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A fine critic observed — "Civilization ... can be reduced to the word welcome!"[1] In that spirit,

Welcome! Step through to universal, voluntary study

Welcome to a human effort, to one with neither limit nor ending. Here we study our civilization with free, expansive expectation. Here's an open door, step through to universal, voluntary study.

Come on in! A Place to Study has room for all. Not just a quick look — we're here to study, which takes some time and concentration. But don't expect wondrous things simply to happen here. Study comes with effort as we do things, as we make them take place. We study. What? Lots and lots, but each must find their own way. There's no program, no lessons, no tests. We don't give anyone anything to mark some completion, a task achieved, an expectation met. We each decide what to do, choose how to do it, and judge the value and meaning it has for each of us.

Come on in! It's a place, a place to study. It's an expansive place with wondrous districts to explore, complex persons to meet, interesting ideas to discuss, beautiful works to contemplate—far more than any of us, as a living person, can ever exhaust.

Some may visit now and then, others might set up as life-long residents, all will enrich the possibilities, but each will only scratch the surface. It's like a big city, like the one we love — brash, resourceful, at once demanding and giving, stylish and plain, energetic, with something for all.

Come visit, and stay as you like, playing your song. Here civilization sings, welcome to life. Both are Jazz, a pulsing, melodic improvisation — freedom in the face of necessity.

  1. Stanley Crouch, Jazz (Ken Burns, Producer, New York: PBS, 2001, Episode 4, 0:43:15. On citation)