An “Open Academy” involves a small gathering of people in a public environment, the goal of which is to increase knowledge through the presentation and discussion of a stimulating topic of current interest arising from the arts, humanities, or sciences. The Open Academy is held in community-accessible spaces such as coffee houses, restaurants, recreation centres, provincial archives, museums, art galleries, Graduate Houses, or local libraries. In a sense, the organizers of the Open Academy form a partnership with their prospective venues, each of them benefitting from the opportunity to bring engaged members of the academy and the general public together to debate and discuss topics ranging from spirituality to ecology.
Open Academies are publicly advertised and are free to the general public. They will be organized around 2-4 experts in the field (for example, artists, scientists, scholars, or teachers) who have specialized knowledge of the topic under consideration. These individuals will act as a catalyst for public discussion, most frequently making short presentations themselves before engaging the audience and fellow presenters in an active analysis of issues. However, opportunities for engagement in the Open Academy do not exclude creative presentations such as plays, readings, art exhibitions, and visual showings that focus on a topic of current interest and generate public discussion in the context of the Open Academy.
Up to 15 Open Academies will be funded annually to Atlantic Canada host institutions (which must be RSC institutional members) in the next few years. See our website for a complete list of Institutional Members in the Atlantic region. The allocated budget per event is a maximum of $3,000.