AIF Blog

May 15, 2015
("SMAC" by Club S+S, photo courtesy of Jonathan Ferrara Gallery)Guns In The Hands of Artists is a community-based social activist artistic project that involves taking guns off the streets and transforming them into works of art that comment on the issue of guns and gun violence in American society. This exhibit is organized and curated by Jonathan Ferrara and will be displayed at the Aspen Meadows campus during the...
May 14, 2015
The idea behind the first-ever Aspen Ideas Award was simple: provide funding to a meaningful project that would have a lasting impact on a local or global community. The Aspen Ideas Festival would put out a call to action to all Festival presenters and scholars asking for their best ideas. A group of judges would then evaluate all submissions until five finalists were chosen to take the stage, live, at the Festival...
May 12, 2015
 As the US Supreme Court mulls over the marriage equality case, following the oral arguments delivered on April 28, it’s worth revisiting a session with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival. Entitled “Civil Liberties: 2024,” the talk between Romero and the Aspen Institute’s Elliot Gerson covered a wide range of issues and how Romero thought they would play out in the following...
April 27, 2015
 If a driverless car came upon a bus stuck in the middle of the road, would it plow into the bus, possibly killing all the occupants, or drive off the road, killing the driver? During the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival session Drones, Phones, and Robotic Friends, a panel of experts considered this and other ethical and social questions surrounding technologies that are poised to become more and more a part of our daily...
April 14, 2015
 By Catherine Lutz, guest blogger As the gun debate intensifies and becomes more and more partisan and polarized, lost in the noise are voices like Dick Metcalf, a historian, writer, and lifetime gun owner who believes strongly in the Second Amendment and regulated armament. At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, Metcalf discussed how his views on firearms training got him terminated from Guns and Ammo magazine, a...
April 03, 2015
 From student loan interest rate hikes to colleges savings to the recent freeze on maximum Federal Pell Grant, the issues surrounding access and affordability go far deeper than the increasing price tag of a college degree. Sandy Baum, David Leonhardt, Anthony P. Carnevale, and Michael McPherson, discussed college affordability with the Aspen Institute's Josh Wyner at the Festival. (Watch full session here.) And...
March 20, 2015
 A panel of international experts at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival was asked to predict the most dangerous place in the world in 2024. Here’s what they came up with: Former deputy secretary of state James Steinberg picked the South and East China Sea, where a long-simmering dispute between China and Japan over a few tiny uninhabited islands may be approaching the boiling point.  It’s about a lot more than the...
March 18, 2015
 Neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen has been breaking new ground with her research into the brain and creativity for decades. Author of one of the first studies on the connection between creativity and mental illness, Andreasen’s most recent study delves intensively into the brains of some of today’s most famous scientists and artists, including Pulitzer Prize winners and six Nobel laureates, to better understand what...
March 13, 2015
 On March 7, 1965, 25-year-old John Lewis was beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Trained in nonviolent protest, the young civil rights leader was at the head of a peaceful march advocating for voting rights for blacks when law enforcement officials brutally attacked the 600 activists with weapons and tear gas.  Fifty years later, Lewis, the only “Big Six” civil rights leader still alive...
March 11, 2015
The US Justice Department’s recent findings of widespread racial discrimination in Ferguson, Missouri’s police force and court system may seem like a straightforward condemnation of deeply embedded racist practices, but the department’s same-day announcement that it would not bring civil rights charges against the white officer who killed Michael Brown shows how nuanced and complex the issue of racism can be. These...

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