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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 was given by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for The New Yorker, who spoke at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on June 1, 2018. The event was co-presented by The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico. Learn more about the 2017 Annual President’s Lecture and salon here.

The 2018-2019 Creative Thought Forum explored the theme of tradition and innovation. Now in its third year, the programming’s 2019-2020 lectures and salons address a theme of the future of work. These events continue to enhance SAR’s mission of promoting creativity in the humanistic social sciences and Native American art. SAR is excited by the possibility of engaging our members and Santa Feans in general with the work of emerging thought-leaders. Learn more about this year’s series and register for events in advance here.

We are grateful to donors of SAR’s Founders’ Society who made a significant investment to help launch this program in 2017. 

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