CAH aims to foster innovative initiatives that strengthen the environment for humanistic inquiry and the arts at the university and in the region. A grant of $2 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding 15 faculty fellowships and 10 postdoctoral fellowships in addition to writers and artists in residence, high-profile public arts events, regional collaboration with scholars and universities, and other focused workshops and exchanges.

The center is serving as an intellectual base for interdisciplinary scholarly and creative production, innovative curricular development and teaching, and public events that highlight the relevance and importance of the arts and humanities across the university and to the broader local, regional, and international community. In addition to providing support for the arts and humanities the center is serving as an alternative, Middle Eastern site for the study and production of humanistic knowledge.