OVERVIEW: California Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
California Humanities
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Colleges and Universities, K-12 Institutions, Libraries, Museums, Nonprofits, Other Subject: Art/Photography, Cross-Cultural Understanding, History, Journalism, Varies Audience: All, Colleges and Universities, Educators, Rural Communities, Young Adult

California Humanities created a series of discussion forums throughout the stated entitled, On the Road with California Humanities to commemorate the Pulitzer 100th anniversary. The series began April 2016 and wrapped up October 2016 and featured six Pulitzer Prize winners and one finalist in dialogue with notable thinkers and Californian communities, examining contemporary issues.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HISTORICAL LITERACY: WHAT GOOD IS HISTORY?
Two of America’s talented historians, professors and Pulitzer Prize winners, Alan Taylor and Elizabeth Fenn joined in conversation about the relevance of history and the humanities in today’s times.  The two conversed about the importance of history and how it connects us to what and who came before.

FOOD FUTURES @ LOS ANGELES TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS
Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, renowned chef and food champion Alice Waters, and Sarah Smith from the Institute for the Future discussed the future of food with author and Central Valley peach grower Mas Masumoto.  The council partnered with The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books – the largest in the nation – to provide this speaker panel. As part of their partnership, the council purchased a sponsorship that allowed a dedicated booth for both days of the festival, giving visibility and access to approximately 140,000 festival-goers.

JOURNALISM AND DEMOCRACY IN CALIFORNIA
Pulitzer Prize winner Héctor Tobar led a discussion with fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Rob Kuznia and authors and journalists Frances Dinkelspiel and Mark Arax that discussed the evolution and future of journalism in California throughout this time of “demographic shifts and environmental crises.”

CALIFORNIA’S WATER: RIVERS, OCEANS, AND OUR FUTURE
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bettina Boxall joined Felicia Marcus, Chair of California’s State Water Resources Control Board, Abby Taylor-Silva, Vice President of Policy and Communications at the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, and Bruny Mora, alumni of University of California – Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Aquarium Teen Programs in discussion what is known and not known, and about how to manage a future in which water will become a great commodity.

THE FARMWORKER MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA: FROM CHAVEZ ONWARDS
Noted director and playwright Luis Valdez, founder of El Teatro Campesino led a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winner Miriam Pawel on how the farmworker movement of the past can help inform the future of agriculture, along with Dawn Mabalon, Associate Professor of History at San Francisco State University and Samuel Orozco, author and National News and Information Director of Radio Bilingüe.

IN TUNE: THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES IN THE GOLDEN STATE
During National Arts and Humanities Month, in partnership with the California Arts Council, California Humanities offered a celebration of the arts and humanities at the center of California life, and a conversation about the importance of providing access to educational opportunities that include both. Artist and educator Marc Bamuthi Joseph of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, led a conversation with electronic music pioneer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Morton Subotnick, together with Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center and Jordan Simmons, Artistic Director at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. The evening included spoken word artist Donté Clark and youth music and dance performances.

For videos and recordings of these events, click here.

PARTNERSHIPS:

  • The Huntington
  • Huntington – USC Institute on California & the West
  • Huntington Library
  • The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
  • University of Southern California Campus
  • San Jose State University
  • KQED
  • San Jose Mercury News/Mosaic High School Journalism Workshop
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • National Steinbeck Center
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Teen Programs/Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH)
  • Fresno Art Museum
  • Fresno County Office of Education
  • Fresno State University
  • Center for Multicultural Cooperation
  • California Arts Council
  • Oakland Museum of California
  • The Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company
  • East Bay Center for the Performing Arts: Deep Roots, Wide World
  • Youth Radio

PULITZER PRIZE PARTICIPANTS:

  • Elizabeth Fenn, History (2015)
  • Alan Taylor, History (1996, 2014)
  • Jonathon Gold, Criticism (2007)
  • Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times team – Spot News Reporting (1993)
  • Rob Kuznia, Daily Breeze team – Local Reporting (2015)
  • Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times team – Explanatory Reporting (2009)
  • Miriam Pawel, Newsday team – Spot News Reporting (1997); Los Angeles Times team – Breaking News Reporting (2004)

EVENT LOCATIONS:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Salinas, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Oakland, CA

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