New National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Jim Leach wonders why we can’t all get along, or at least be civil in public discourse.
Leach, who became NEH chairman in August 2009 after representing Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years, brings his 50-state American Civility Tour to Atlanta on Tuesday. He will give a public lecture at 10:30 a.m., before the 25th Governor’s Awards in the Humanities luncheon at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.
In a Miami address earlier this month, Leach expressed concern that common respect in American society is waning while expressions of hate are on the rise. “On talk radio, on the Internet, on cable TV, wars of words are incessant,” he said. “It is as if the public is being given a steady diet of those who polarize rather than those who seek common ground.”
Tickets, $50, will be available at the door for Leach’s talk and the Governor’s Awards luncheon, which will honor three organizations and nine individuals, including Theatrical Outfit artistic director Tom Key. Information: georgiahumanities.org. HOWARD POUSNER