Access, Innovation, and Elevation: Our new priorities for the year

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What do we mean by "access"? We mean our minds and our doors are open, our resources are available, our approach is nonpartisan. New Hampshire Humanities is not stuffed-shirt, ivory-tower, or exclusive. We are business casual and graphic t-shirt. We are multi-cultural, multi-media, multi-age, and multi-discipline. Think the humanities and technology, the humanities and the arts, the humanities and the environment. Think the humanities at work, and the humanities for fun. We are connected – and unbounded.

What do we mean by "innovation"? Behind the scenes this year we are trying out new models that will make our organization more sustainable. We’re adopting new systems and technologies to make our work more efficient. We’re exploring new communications approaches that will expand our reach and our impact.

What do we mean by elevation? We have always worked with and through partners. By identifying elevation as an organizational priority we mean lifting them up. We mean listening and responding to our partners’ ideas and needs, and offering programs, connections, and grants to meet them. We mean helping others capitalize on the power of the humanities to educate and motivate their audiences, their patrons, their employees, neighbors, and families. Our partners’ people are our people, too. And more than ever, we seek new partner organizations and new people who may never have thought the humanities had anything to offer them.

We also mean elevating the quality and tenor of conversations in our state by providing knowledge and context and inspiration. We get people talking about books, films and articles, broadcasts and podcasts, and the ideas and questions they raise. We encourage critical thinking, ethical deliberation, civility and respect.

Finally, elevation is destination. Our recently concluded capital campaign and challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities give us the opportunity to go new places. This summer we’re walking and talking in our "granite hills" to take advantage of one of New Hampshire’s most distinctive natural resources. We’ve lined up two "Humanities in Action" events in New Hampshire’s great outdoors. (Visit our website in July to find out more.) Lace up your sneakers. Stretch your legs and your mind. Come with us, in person or in spirit.

- Susan Hatem, Director of Programs and Grant Making