What was the purpose of this event?

The purpose of the event was twofold. First, it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities and looked forward to the next 50 years. Second, it showcased what the humanities do. The speakers, panelists, and participants didn’t just talk about the humanities. They demonstrated how the humanities can help us better understand some of the biggest questions and challenges of our day from war and globalization to race and technology.

Did you have to buy a ticket to attend?

Every aspect of the event was free and open to the public—from art exhibits to film screenings to a panel discussion at Monticello—no tickets were sold for the event. However, some events required a free ticket or RSVP.

Who was this event for? Did you have to have a humanities degree?

Over its 50 year history, the NEH has supported a wide range of scholarship and projects, including 16 Pulitzer prize winning books to Ken Burn’s Civil War documentary. This event celebrated how people from across the nation do the humanities whether in a local museum, radio show, public library, or classroom. And it returned to the NEH’s founding legislation from 1965 to consider how the humanities can contribute to “the current conditions of national life.”