The Schwartz Prize

35 years of celebrating outstanding work in the public humanities

The 2017 Schwartz Prize

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the awarding of The Schwartz Prize to council conducted or granted programs that demonstrate outstanding work in the public humanities. The 2017 prize winners will be announced in a special ceremony immediately preceding the Capps Lecture at the 2017 National Humanities Conference in Boston, MA. The presentation will take place on November 3, 2017 at Converse Hall, Boston, MA.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 Schwartz Prize is now closed.

Presenting the 2017 Award

We are thrilled to announce that Deborah Schwartz, daughter of Helen and Martin Schwartz, will be presenting the 35th annual Schwartz Prize. A native of Indiana, Schwartz received her BA in Government from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and her MA in Public Management from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Texas where she began her career as an aviation executive. Now, Deborah Schwartz is the town manager of Killington, VT and has been directly involved in multiple successful economic development initiatives through public and civic activities. Rotary International honored Deborah Schwartz as a “Paul Harris Fellow” for her civic leadership roles she has played in each community in which she has lived or worked.

About the Schwartz Prize

The Schwartz Prize is made possible through an endowment established by Helen and Martin Schwartz in the early 1980s and was designed to bring recognition to outstanding public humanities programs. An outside panel of judges, typically selected from council board members, executive directors, and program officers who have recently won Schwartz Prizes, is appointed to review and judge the Prize nominations. Up to three councils are awarded the Schwartz Prize every year in a special ceremony at the National Humanities Conference. The first prize was awarded to the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities (now the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities) in 1982.

Learn about Schwartz Prize-Nominated Programs

Thank you to Jesse Moss of NEH for this video of the 2016 Schwartz Prize nominees. This video was aired for the first time at the 2016 National Humanities Conference Schwartz Prize awards presentation in Salt Lake City, UT.

Nominees included are: Michigan Humanities Council’s “Heritage Grants: Exploring the History of All Michigan’s People” presented by Grants Officer Joe Cialdella, Idaho Humanities Council’s “Idaho Wilderness Considered” presented by Board Chair and Vice Chair Jenny Emery Davidson and Murray Feldman, Oregon Humanities’ “Talking About Dying” presented by Executive Director Adam Davis, and Rhode Island Council for the Humanities’ “Kids Reading Across Rhode Island” presented by Rhode Island Center for the Book Director Kate Lentz.

Schwartz Prize Winners (2014-2016)  View All


Martin and Helen Schwartz
Founders of the Schwartz Prize Endowment