Specialists will take the customary deliberations about arts and culture into new, substantive, and shaping discussion. Beyond “leisure” or “entertainment,” beyond art’s personal impacts, beyond contributions to tourism, community building, or the classroom, do the arts and culture power progress? This convening will ask if (and how) the arts provide structures and strategies for social change, how they help define peoples and nations, how they deal with actual matters of life and death. Are the arts essential in ways that economics and medicine and politics are? If so, how is this manifest? What are the theoretical bases that ground the arts and govern our expectations of them?