Middlesex Community College will establish a Public Humanities Center on the Lowell campus, thanks to a $16,000 grant from the Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Scheduled to open in June 2017, the new center will develop outreach programs, foster community relationships, and create pathways for exploring the cultural mosaic of the Lowell area, according to Matthew Olson, MCC Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences.

“Greater Lowell is steeped in history and culture,” said Olson. “The diversity of our community, the thriving arts scene, and the active partnerships between the college and many community-based organizations make Lowell an ideal location for the new Public Humanities Center.

“The humanities traditionally include the study of history, literature, architecture, religion, music and languages,” continued Olson. “By bringing Middlesex humanities faculty and students together with our community partners to provide broad-ranging educational initiatives, we hope to empower our community and stimulate the local creative economy.”

MCC History Professor David Kalivas will be the center’s director. In addition to a variety of humanities-based projects, “immigration” will be a central theme of the new center, he said.

“Our Public Humanities Center will work with community and educational leaders to develop cultural programs that enable local residents to learn more about their immigration roots,” Kalivas explained. “We plan to explore the broader patterns of community life – as well as individual cultures and histories – that make up the multi-generational character of greater Lowell’s immigrants and their descendants.”

Mass Humanities was established in 1974 as the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It is an independent programming and grant-making organization that receives support from the NEH and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as private sources. For further information, visit: www.masshumanities.org