A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 
The Maine Humanities Council engages the people of Maine in the power and pleasure of ideas, encouraging a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, fostering wisdom in an age of information, and providing context in a time of change. The Council uses the humanities to provide cultural enrichment for all Mainers and as a tool for social change, bringing people together in conversation that crosses social, economic and cultural barriers.

“Uninterrupted Adventure; Often Desperate and Wild;
Always Voluntary”

Writing in 1862, in Wandering Recollections of a Somewhat Busy Life, Portland native John Neal (who clearly had a way with words) used this lively phrase to describe his experiences in Maine’s largest city. And while some might quibble with the merits of desperation and wildness, the notion of uninterrupted, voluntary adventure is quite appealing.

I like to think that the Council is itself in the adventure business. We serve as “intellectual outfitters,” whether the trips we organize are on the trails and byways of books, in person on the streets of places like Rome, or simply in the sense of community that seems to spring up each time people gather to “do the humanities” in public spaces around our state. We provide access to adventure for people of all backgrounds.

In this issue of The Power and Pleasure of Ideas, we’re sharing both recollections of adventures past, and news of excitement yet to come, here at the Council. This fall, we will host public symposia on topics as diverse as the history and culture of Latin America, and the work of Zora Neale Hurston. We’re also offering As Maine Grows..., our new traveling Theater of Ideas piece. That’s just a glimpse, but there is truly something for everyone.

These adventures are rarely desperate, but they are sometimes wild. We hope you will join one of them soon!

Erik C. Jorgensen
Executive Director




Board of Directors
  • Chair
    Douglas E. Woodbury
    Cumberland
  • Vice-chair
    Thomas K. Lizotte
    Dover-Foxcroft
  • Treasurer
    Peter B. Webster
    South Portland
  • Secretary
    Kathryn Hunt
    Bangor
  • Peter J. Aicher
    Falmouth
  • Charles B. Alexander
    Ellsworth
  • Allen H. Berger
    New Sharon
  • Patricia Bellis Bixel
    Bangor
  • Judith Daniels
    Union
  • Jill M. Goldthwait
    Bar Harbor
  • Sheila J. Jans
    Madawaska
  • Lincoln F. Ladd
    Wayne
  • Alexandra A. Lawrence
    Rockport
  • Robert L. McArthur
    Auburn
  • John R. Opperman
    Portland
  • Stephen J. Podgajny
    Brunswick
  • Patricia D. Ramsay
    Yarmouth
  • Joel H. Rosenthal
    Fairfield, CT
  • Rachel Talbot Ross
    Portland
  • Kenneth Templeton
    Brunswick
 
Staff
  • Victoria Bonebakker
    Associate Director, Director of the
    Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book

  • Martina Duncan
    Assistant Director
  • Trudy Hickey
    Office and Grants Manager
 
Programs
 
Consultants
 

The Maine Humanities Council is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Editor: Brita Zitin
    Design: Lori Harley