Liberal Arts Engagement Hub

A photo of Pillsbury Hall

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 is housed in a newly renovated Pillsbury Hall on the east bank of the Twin Cities campus.

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 is dedicated solely to fostering public engagement and civil society. Thus, it will 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 is used to bring crucially important visibility to the engagement work that is already being done in the College of Liberal Arts, and it serves as a catalyst for activities including classes, workshops, training sessions, listening sessions, exhibitions, and lectures. In addition to the specific projects and events hosted and developed in The Hub, the space creates a welcoming environment for community members that supports trusting and reciprocal relationships between the College and communities.