Illiustration by Donna Grethen
The Future of
There are problems, and then there are wicked problems. These existential dilemmas, like climate change and social injustice have been brewing for years, decades, even centuries and promise no simple solutions.
Traditionally, natural history museums are staffed with taxonomists whose primary functions are to identify and catalogue specimens, from minerals to mammals, birds to bugs. Building relationships with their fellow scientists and the public is not usually a top priority.
The Museum of Natural History was no exception. But by instituting an interdisciplinary approach to confronting 21st-century challenges such as population growth and biodiversity loss, the museum has taken a leading role in changing the model.
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was the quintessential canary in the coal mine if there ever was one. Carnegie Museum of Art took a page—actually a passage—from that cautionary tale and built an entire exhibition on its power—both to inspire and shock.
Jasper Johns has never stopped reimagining, reconfiguring, and redefining his work. Not too bad for a guy, now 89, who once famously said, “I assumed that everything would lead to complete failure, but I decided that didn't matter—that would be my life.”
In the midst of suffering and loss, art is often born; its lifespan far exceeding that of its creators, its meaning changing and growing with every subsequent generation of viewers. By sharing personal perspectives of a universal experience, artists working in the shadows of tragedy can provide a light like no other.
Working as the interim communications director for Pitt Global, I helped coordinate the department's most successful Pitt Day of Giving campaign to date (more than doubling the number of individual donors from the previous year, and as a result, earning bonus funding).
Part of the 2020 strategy involved leveraging original social media content designed to target students and alums. To that end, I created, developed, and produced more than 20 videos, which can now be re-edited and repurposed for other uses.
The Pitt Day of Giving video features Ariel Armony, vice provost for Global Affairs and Pitt Global director, discussing the many ways Pitt students are encouraged to experience the world as well as the many ways the university brings the world to its students.
The Chair video is one in a series where Pitt students and faculty talk about their travels, what they have learned from exploring different countries, and what they see as the most challenging issues facing the world today.