Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Scala Foundation - Playing a Crucial Role in the Evangelization of the Culture and Breaking the Mould of Education

Attend the spring conference: Art, the Sacred, and the Common Good, at Princeton, NJ, April 30th, 2022. Free to register and attend.

I want to highlight the work of Margarita Suarez Mooney who is the founder and CEO of the SCALA Foundation (named from the Latin word for ladder). The Scala Foundation’s mission is to renew American culture by restoring beauty and wisdom to the liberal arts. Scala’s seminars, reading groups, conferences, summer programs, and online resources help educators and culture creators engage the millennia-old tradition of liberal arts education and its power to form virtuous, purpose-driven citizens, form young leaders who are pivotal agents of cultural renewal, and build communities of like-minded cultural entrepreneurs and magnify their impact.

Some may remember that I recently spoke on the Scala webinar, listen here. She has also invited me to be on a panel for the SCALA 2022 conference - Art, the Sacred, and the Common Good - in Princeton NJ this April, which is free to attend.
The focus of Scala is in creating creative communities at a local level that are able to contribute to Catholic education locally and to the culture through the creation of art, music, literature etc (eg she organizes writers' workshops).
It occurs to me that Scala is offering programs that complement formal online education, such as that offered by www.Pontifex.University, where I work, and when the two approaches to student formation are combined offer a genuine opportunity. The zoom revolution that has happened as a result of Covid has opened up people’s minds to the idea of online education.
The advantages of this are that high-quality and standardized educational material can be delivered at a fraction of the cost of the traditional on-campus experience. However, I am conscious that providing community of learning - so important in education - is the weakness of online education and while things are improving, it is clear that Facebook pages and chatrooms don't fill the gap. This is where Scala comes in. They are guiding educators and artistic creatives who can contribute to a culture of beauty to form communities locally.

I am encouraging our Pontifex students to attend and participate the conferences and events and meet each other, (and me if they are interested!) so that they might be inspired to start to form communities with each other locally under Scala's guidance. It is these local communities, it occurs to me, which might be portals for grace and love that can transform the culture.

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