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Hall Center launches Applied Humanities Boot Camp

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LAWRENCE — A pioneering initiative designed to assist University of Kansas graduate students in the humanities, arts and social sciences pursue careers outside of the professoriate will take place May 18-22 when the Hall Center for the Humanities unveils its first-ever Applied Humanities Boot Camp.

This weeklong immersion combines a series of presentations by veteran practitioners with hands-on, problem-solving workshop sessions and site visits to Kansas City-area cultural institutions. The Applied Humanities Boot Camp will admit up to 12 participants and offers a $500 stipend and a certificate of completion. Application deadline is March 9. More details are available from the Hall Center website.

Morning sessions will be a combination of talks and panel discussions featuring representatives from the media, leading museums and cultural institutions, and nonprofits and foundations examining the various skill sets necessary for success in the applied humanities field, such as budgeting, marketing and promotion, programming, partnership development, fundraising and grant-seeking, community relations and management.

In the afternoon workshop sessions, participants will be assigned to teams that will be charged with developing a comprehensive public programming plan designed to commemorate one of several anniversaries scheduled to occur in 2015, ranging from the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 150th anniversary of publication of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll to the 50th anniversary of the high tide of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, including passage of Medicare and the Voting Rights Act, as well as the 25th anniversary of the end of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment in South Africa. Other topics for consideration include the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna, the 150th anniversary of the premiere of the "Unfinished Symphony" by Franz Schubert, the 70th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 60th anniversary of the publication of "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien and the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.

Plans will be evaluated by their capacity to elicit interest, engage the public, encourage dialogue, draw diverse audiences, obtain positive media exposure, stay within budget, attract additional funding and enhance understanding of the topic. Each team will be required to give an oral summary report on its progress during the final hours of each workshop session, followed by evaluations from one or more Hall Center representatives. Concluding presentations on the afternoon of Friday, May 22, will be judged by a panel of experts and a winning proposal will be chosen.

The Applied Humanities Boot Camp, made possible by support from the Hall Family Foundation, was conceptualized and developed by Victor Bailey, director of the Hall Center; and Henry Fortunato (g’03), a visiting fellow at the Hall Center and director of public affairs at the Kansas City Missouri Public Library.

The Applied Humanities Boot Camp is part of series of enhanced offerings by the Hall Center that also includes an Applied Humanities Panel Discussion on Thursday, March 26, 2015, and expanded roster of Humanities Summer Graduate Internships.


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