Liberal Arts Engagement Hub

About the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub

Fostering community engagement in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences

The Liberal Arts Engagement Hub (The Hub) in the College of Liberal Arts is an outgrowth of the college’s Roadmap and is a vehicle to deepen our culture of engagement with the community. It will be housed in a newly renovated Pillsbury Hall on the east bank of the Twin Cities campus, which will open to the public in fall 2021.

The Hub manifests the College’s commitment to engaging humanistic scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences in a reciprocal partnership with the community to respond to important social problems. We envisioned it as a dynamic space where members of the University will become the students of the public, educated by and partnering with external community members around critical topics of shared interest.  

Unique to the University of Minnesota and rare among universities nationally, the space will be dedicated solely to fostering public engagement and civil society. It will thus assert its place among an elite group of similarly visionary efforts at select colleges and universities in the US where social justice, democracy, civic debate, and citizenship are integral to the educational mission. These include New York University’s Urban Democracy Lab, Rutgers University’s Express Newark, Brown University’s John Nichols Brown Center for Public Humanities, the New School’s Humanities Action Lab, and the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s University in Maryland.

The Hub will be used to bring crucially important visibility to the engagement work that is already being done in the College of Liberal Arts, and it will serve as a catalyst for activities including classes, workshops, training sessions, listening sessions, exhibitions, and lectures. In addition to the specific projects and events that will be hosted and developed in The Hub, the space will provide an opportunity to create a welcoming environment for community members that will support the establishment of trusting and reciprocal relationships between the college and external communities.