Numerous programs exist that focus on politics, economics, liberty, and democracy. The Center for American Culture & Ideas is singular in its emphasis on the fine arts and reflection on questions of beauty and meaning as essential to a free society. These aesthetic values are fundamentally linked to the universal values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and are essential in promoting the flourishing of American life within the principles of freedom of expression, a free economy, and the nation’s Founding.
In Democracy in America (1835), Tocqueville writes that democratic countries “will habitually prefer the useful to the beautiful and they will require that the beautiful should be useful.” In pragmatic America, the arts and humanities tend to be of secondary or tertiary concern, something one enjoys on weekends or holidays. The utility of science and technology overshadows the important role that culture plays in the education of a cultivated citizen and the development of a successful society. The Center addresses cultural and intellectual lacuna of American life.
Goals and Objectives
- Engage a wide-ranging unfamiliarity and illiteracy with the American intellectual and cultural experience with respect to the philosophical principles at the core of the nation.
- Serve as a laboratory for pedagogical innovation.
- Formulate the character of future leaders through an emphasis on the foundations of America’s cultural and economic heritage.
- Expand intellectual toleration and act as free speech and open inquiry advocates.
Our Three Domains
Research publications investigate the subjects of freedom, classical music, business and free-market economics, visual art and architecture, and religion in the form of monographs, edited volumes, articles, and artistic output, which contributes to Western civilization’s creative legacy and demonstrate its value to American life.
Outreach programs utilize the well-tested platforms of lectures and conferences together the newer outlets of podcasts and social media. Outreach activities bring the fine arts and thoughtful discussion into the public square.
Education and cultural training unite formal academic learning with America’s legacy of entrepreneurial innovation and commercial achievement. Educational models engage both the home and business environments as alternative and dynamic places to educate the public. Curricula reinforce classical notions of learning with universal ideas and traditional subject matters.
Overall, these activities work harmoniously to combat a gross illiteracy and widespread unfamiliarity with the American intellectual and cultural experience with respect to the philosophical principles at the core of the nation.