AIF Blog - Arts

August 30, 2016
Is America turning its back on the humanities? The declining enrollment in disciplines including history, literature, language, philosophy and the arts, at colleges and universities across the country, signals a significant cultural shift. In this episode, Leon Wieseltier, contributing editor for The Atlantic, and Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust unpack why the diminished appeal of the humanities has...
July 29, 2016
Drew Gilpin Faust and Leon Wieseltier at Aspen Ideas, discussing Do We Need to Rescue the Humanities?Earlier this month, the Washington Post journalist Jeff Guo wrote a detailed account of how he’d managed to maximize the efficiency of his cultural consumption. “I have a habit that horrifies most people,” he wrote. “I watch television and films in fast forward … the time savings are enormous. Four episodes of ...
July 01, 2016
(Photo Credit: White Light Exposure)Sam Killermann is a multi-disciplinary artist and director of creativity for Hues, which works toward the goal of global justice. He spoke at the Festival on July 1st on a panel called “How to Talk about Gender.” We caught up with Killermann to learn more about his full exploration of gender from a social justice perspective.How did you end up getting into this hybrid field of...
June 30, 2016
(Photo Credit: istockphoto)Jason Van Genderen is a director and producer, known for “Mankind Is No Island," “The Unspoken” and “Chocolate.” He spoke at the Festival on June 30th on a event called “Smartphone Storytelling in 60 Minutes.”We caught up with van Genderen to learn more about his passion for smartphone storytelling.What inspired you to take the phone out of your pocket and start using it professionally...
June 29, 2016
David Litt is head writer and producer in the Washington, DC, office of "Funny or Die" and a former White House speechwriter, from 2011 to early 2016. He will speak at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30th on a panel called “Laugh to Keep From Crying: Comedy Writers on Making Politics Funny.”We caught up with Litt and asked him to share his journey from comedian to White House speechwriter, and connecting humor...
June 28, 2016
(Photo Credit: istockphoto)KATIE RICH is a writer for “Saturday Night Live." She will speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30th on a panel called “Laugh to Keep From Crying." We caught up with Rich and asked her to share her lessons about the importance of teamwork — from her years working in improv.Something I created once bombed so hard that I considered giving up and going to law school. I walked into...
June 14, 2016
Every summer, writers, professors, artists, activists, and others deliver their “big ideas” at the Aspen Ideas Festival. The onstage advice celebrates the Festival itself, which brings together great thinkers to debate and discuss the most important and fascinating issues of our time. The Festival marks its twelfth year in late June. This episode features “big ideas” from as far back as 2007...
June 07, 2016
Author and filmmaker Negin Farsad calls herself a social justice comedian. She works to prove that humor — just like activism — can effectively challenge deep-seated and sclerotic prejudices about race and religion. In her recent book, How to Make White People Laugh, she addresses the mistreatment and misperceptions of Muslims in the US after 9/11. In this episode, she’s joined by radio host Dean...
May 17, 2016
Powerhouse literary couple Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz didn’t start their careers writing books. The two were war correspondents covering events like the Gulf War in the 1990s. In this episode, Brooks and Horwitz are onstage for a lecture series held by Aspen Words, the literary organization of The Aspen Institute. Besides recalling their reporting experiences, the duo discuss what it takes to write a...
April 26, 2016
Best-selling author of The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast! Josh Kaufman shares universal, field-tested approaches to effective learning and rapid skill acquisition in adults. From deconstructing complex skills to maximizing productive practice and removing common learning barriers, Kaufman describes how 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice can help you develop surprising levels of skill in any field...

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