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The Creative Thought Forum at SAR

In the summer of 2017, SAR launched a new initiative called the Creative Thought Forum (CTF). The goal of the CTF is for SAR to bring to Santa Fe exciting and inventive thinkers whose work illuminates topics of broad public concern—ranging from climate change and growing social inequality to the unanticipated risks posed by new technologies. Other speakers may be working on projects of no immediate utility but which instead challenge our imagination and expand our sense of the possible. Some of these visiting experts will be anthropologists, but disciplinary identity is of less concern to SAR than is a demonstrated ability to communicate fresh ideas effectively. This initiative will complement but not replace SAR’s longstanding commitment to programming focused on the history and diverse cultures of the Southwest.

Many of these talented visitors will be giving public talks to SAR members. In addition to presenting a lecture, however, they will also lead a discussion with SAR members in a salon-style setting. These conversations will be held in SAR’s Dobkin Boardroom on the morning after the lecture and will be limited to twenty-five members who are at the Chaco level or above.

As part of the CTF, SAR will present an annual President’s Lecture featuring an especially prominent speaker. The first President’s Lecture will be given by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for The New Yorker, who will speak at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on June 1, 2018. This event will be co-presented by The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico. More detailed information on this event will be distributed in the coming months.

In the summer of 2018, CTF guests Dan Flores and William deBuys will offer salons for SAR members.  Sociologist James L. Nolan, Jr., will present a public lecture about the life and work of his grandfather, also named James Nolan, a physician who served in the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos.  His lecture will be presented in collaboration with the Santa Fe Opera’s performance of Doctor Atomic.

The Creative Thought Forum will enhance SAR’s traditional mission, which is to promote creativity in the humanistic social sciences and Native American art. We are excited by the possibility of engaging our members and Santa Feans in general with the work of emerging thought-leaders.

We are grateful to members of our Founders’ Society who have made a significant investment to help launch this program. If you would like more information about how to get involved, please click here.