Below are some excepts from today's press release about Harvard's intention to reconsider the role of art in the university. What seems to be missing is consideration of how the artistic resources of a university (the collections, the artists, the art historians, etc.) can interact with and enrich the general public. Being a good steward of these treasures means sharing them, educating people about them, and inviting as many people as possible to enjoy them. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of art locked away in storage and accessible to a select sub-set of our society should not be part of Harvard's vision.
Harvard president announces task force on the arts — Press Release
Charge to the Task Force on the Arts at Harvard University from President Faust
“This is a period of significant transformation at the University — a new president, new deans of the FAS [Faculty of Arts and Sciences] and GSD, as well as both a new undergraduate curriculum and a new campus taking shape in Allston. At this crucial moment of institutional renewal, we have an historic opportunity to consider what place the arts will hold in the Harvard of the 21st century
...We confront ever-increasing demand for opportunities for artistic expression both within and beyond the curriculum. We anticipate a significant place for the arts as a central component of our growth in Allston."
The task force will begin meeting in the next few weeks and is expected to complete its report by the fall of 2008. The task force welcomes communications at firstname.lastname@example.org