Indiana Humanities Wins Schwartz Prize for “Next Indiana Campfires”

November 9, 2017

Indiana Humanities Wins Schwartz Prize for Outstanding Public Humanities Program “Next Indiana Campfires”
Winning program confronts questions of place, environmental stewardship, and identity through literature, hiking and conversation

[Nov. 9, 2017 – Boston, MA] The Federation of State Humanities Councils presented the 35th annual Schwartz Prize award at the 2017 National Humanities Conference to Indiana Humanities for their program, “Next Indiana Campfires,” which was created for the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires initiative, inspired by Pulitzer Prize winner and environmental writer Edwin Way Teale, and designed to celebrate the state’s bicentennial. The award was presented on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Converse Hall in Boston, MA.

“The Schwartz Prize is awarded every year to a council that demonstrates, among other things, innovation in public humanities’ programming,” said Esther Mackintosh, Federation of State Humanities Councils president. “Next Indiana Campfires does just that by making the humanities central to environmental conversations happening across the state – even bringing together two opposing groups in collaborative dialogue through an examination of literature and an experience in nature. It’s a truly remarkable program that has the potential to be replicated across state lines and draw together new audiences in conversations that otherwise wouldn’t happen. We are so proud of Indiana Humanities and are thrilled to recognize Next Indiana Campfires with this award.”

Judges of the Schwartz Prize nominations lauded the program as “groundbreaking” and a “remarkable confluence of the humanities with the natural world.” They also stated that “it is innovative and potentially productive well beyond the norm in its interaction between the humanities, a broad range of the state’s citizenry, and the natural environment. It is thus richly deserving of the Schwartz Prize.”

About “Next Indiana Campfires”

Next Indiana Campfires was developed in 2016 as a special year-long program for the Indiana bicentennial and the Pulitzer Prizes centennial celebrations; but now, due to the popularity of the program, its fundraising success, and impact on the community, the council is continuing the program in 2017 with sustainable plans for 2018 and beyond. The program was inspired by Indiana native, Pulitzer Prize winner and environmental writer, Edwin Way Teale. The centerpiece of the program is a series of hikes, bike rides, canoe trips, and other activities that lead to discussions of Indiana and Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental literature and the state’s environmental legacy.

In addition to the outdoor component, the council created DIY materials, “Trek & Talk” toolkits, blog posts and other events to complement the hikes. Read more about Next Indiana Campfires.

About the Schwartz Prize

Each year the Federation of State Humanities Councils awards the Schwartz Prize to up to three councils for outstanding work in the public humanities. The prize is funded through an endowment from founding Federation board member Martin Schwartz and his wife, Helen. One of their daughters, Deborah Schwartz, presented the 35th annual Schwartz Prize at the 2017 National Humanities Conference in Boston, MA this year.  View a video of the programs nominated for this year’s prize.

The Federation of State Humanities Councils

The Federation of State Humanities Councils, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and territorial councils, provides support for the state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. The state humanities councils are independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations supporting grassroots humanities programs and community-based activities. Humanities councils were created by Congress in the early 1970s and receive an annual congressional appropriation through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which most councils supplement with state and private funding.

For more information about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, please visit: www.statehumanities.org