During National Arts & Humanities Month in October, we should celebrate an aspect of our work that is the most inspiring and vital: creativity.
What do clients most value? What do we as practitioners most enjoy delivering? What gets us out of bed in the mornings and our hearts pumping? After decades in the communications field, I am convinced it is our creative ideas, actualized to make an impact.
The arts and humanities sector put creativity on full, glorious display. Talented artists, writers, musicians, poets, philosophers and historians, and the organizations that showcase their work, feed our creative spirits.
Stoking the creative flame during National Arts & Humanities Month
North Carolina Humanities, a long-standing client, is a great example. For half a century, the nonprofit has been the designated affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the state, administering federally funded grants for humanities-based programming, events and other activities. Signature offerings include “Museum on Main Street,” a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, that brings award-winning traveling exhibits to rural communities across North Carolina; and “Let’s Talk About It,” a library discussion series about a variety of themes from our relationship with technology to the Tar Heel state’s rich literary heritage.
On the arts side, Charlotte, like many cities, has a wide assortment of options to stoke the creative flame such as the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, performance spaces large and small, and burgeoning arts districts including NoDa, Southend and Camp North End. Another client, the city’s Arts & Science Council, has a 50+ year legacy of helping to create the rich cultural landscape that residents enjoy today.
Embracing the arts and humanities provides other benefits
Embracing the arts and humanities delivers other benefits for the communications professional, especially in honing the essential skill of writing. As one commentator observed, “the ability to capture the essence of information quickly, assess its strategic value and communicate the story with the right messages are skills developed in humanities courses.”
In a column about modern workplace trends, another writer characterized the study of humanities and other aspects of a liberal arts education as an inoculation against job loss due to automation. He noted that “Artificial intelligence will automate technical skills and drive the demand for soft skills like creativity, communication and empathy. While there’s been such a focus on recruiting STEM over the past several years, those majors will continue to lose relevance, while liberal arts majors will become more valuable to companies moving forward.”
The arts and humanities remind us how vital creativity is in our work – and life – in so many ways. This month, celebrate the people and organizations that nurture your creative self.
What is your favorite arts and humanities organization, and why?
Let us know in the comments below.