AH! initiative to target NU, locals alike

Erin Kim

The city of Evanston and the state of Illinois are working together to bring AH! moments to city residents and students throughout the month of October.

Evanston’s Arts and Humanities Month, part of both a statewide initiative titled “AH!” and a national campaign to encourage cultural activities and education, will feature events such as music concerts, historical walking tours and a lecture series co-sponsored with Northwestern.

This year is the city’s first participation in National Arts and Humanities Month, said Jeff Cory, the city’s cultural arts and arts council director.

“It’s a great chance to share in the arts and humanities,” he said. “This is an opportunity for our arts groups to showcase various offerings.”

The Evanston Arts Council encourages “all Evanstonians to establish, deepen and expand our relationships with the arts and humanities,” according to the city Web site. Event information will be available through the Evanston Arts Buzz Web site, as well as the Arts Council Web site. The Arts Buzz site was started two years ago and functions as a permanent online calendar of culture-related events in the Evanston area.

“It’s great that Northwestern is showcasing the talents of its students and surrounding community,” said Johanna Middleton, a Communication junior who received a flyer about the initiative.

Events will emphasize history, literature and broader perspectives on human nature, organizers said.

The four-part Evanston Northwestern Humanities Lecture Series began last night at the Evanston Public Library with a speech by Prof. Edmund Muir on “People Who Believe in Nothing: Intolerable Thoughts in Late Renaissance Italy.” The series will also include lectures on topics as diverse as reflections on mystics and psychics to myths and misconceptions of the Holocaust.

These events are an opportunity for professors to talk about their latest projects, said Beverly Zeldin-Palmer, department assistant for the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at NU. “It’s very important to include the humanities, especially at times like this, when the economy is the way it is,” she said. With so much going on around the city, Cory said he looks forward to raising awareness and appreciation for the arts and humanities in the community.”I just hope that people get out and take advantage of all these events,” he said. “There’s really something for everyone.”

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