Jean-Marc Mangin Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
This weekend, Carleton University and the Michaëlle Jean Foundation held the first Power of the Arts National Forum. It was a resounding success. I have rarely taken part in a conference that resonated with so much energy and hope for our country. The Forum participants, consisting of artists, researchers, community workers, students and various health professionals, developed an action plan for the following themes:
- Physical and mental health
- Citizenship and democratic participation
- Economic development and social enterprise
- Cultural institutions and community integration
- Public safety and access to justice
- Community and urban renewal
- Diversity and social inclusion
- New technologies and social change
A speech by Antonia Maioni, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, stressed the civic and profoundly democratic character of social inclusion through the arts. She also discussed the implications of such an ethos and culture of engagement for all aspects of academic work (teaching, research, service, etc.).
Despite their shared historical roots, there remains a certain distance between social sciences and the arts. We must improve collaboration between the disciplines, between granting councils and with communities. Our future and communal well-being depend on it.