While the sun struggles to regain its footing and bring warmth to much of the U.S., councils are fanning “Campfires” programs across the country, fueling them with topics ranging from poetry and fiction to investigative reporting and photography. More than 20 councils are hosting 68 events through more than 35 programs around the country. These programs include book discussion groups, panels, lectures, festivals and conferences, poetry nights, workshops, theater performances, and radio interviews. The state humanities councils are inspiring communities, students, educators, writers, families, and more to explore, through a variety of events, how Prize-winning masterpieces help us think about contemporary issues and the future. To view all April’s events and to learn more about the FSHC-Pulitzer partnership, please visit the Spotlight on Pulitzer page.
KICKING OFF THIS MONTH
Two councils are kicking off their Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires programming this month. At this year’s 2016 Alaska Press Club Conference, the Alaska Humanities Forum (AHF) is hosting a panel discussion on People in Peril, a series of in-depth stories published by The Anchorage Daily News in 1988, which won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1989. Additionally, AHF is sponsoring the conference’s keynote speaker, Cliff Levy, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist at The New York Times. In addition to his keynote, Levy will also record a radio interview. Arkansas Humanities Council (AHC) is sponsoring the kick-off lecture for the 2016 Literary Festival in Little Rock this month. Southern Arkansas University Interim Provost Ben Johnson will provide a deeper dive into the history of John Gould Fletcher, author and poet. This is the first in the council’s series of lectures on Pulitzer Prize winners.
IT’S NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
Humanities Montana and the North Carolina Humanities Council are featuring poetry-related Pulitzer Prize programs as part of the Campfires Initiative. In Montana, the national student poet, Anna Lance is touring three cities and speaking at state high schools. Additionally, the council is hosting an “Evening of the Poetry of Galway Kinnell,” and a poetry workshop inspired by the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan. Across the country, North Carolina is hosting an interview and evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon on April 14 and 15. To view all poetry-related council programming, including those outside of the Campfires Initiative, please click here.
TACKLING TOUGH ISSUES
State councils across the nation use the humanities to generate programs that tackle tough issues, address contemporary concerns, and support local communities. In honor of the Pulitzer Centennial, councils are using prize-winning works to examine their impact on some of today’s most difficult topics. In Iowa, the humanities council connects IowaWatch Connection radio program listeners with Jane Schorer Meisner, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning report on the rape of a woman changed the way people think of rape and other assaults. In California, On the Road with California Humanities – Food Futures brings together Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathon Gold, chef and food champion Alice Waters, and Sarah Smith from the Institute for the Future to discuss and present on the future of food and how, California, one of the nation’s largest producers of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, has a population where one out of seven is starving. For Earth Day, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is using its With Good Reason radio program to feature Dan Fagin, 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning author for his nonfiction book Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, a true story about a small town devastated by high rates of childhood cancers resulting from industrial pollution. And, on the other side of the nation’s capital, the Maryland Humanities Council is supporting a panel discussion hosted at The Baltimore Sun focused on the “Challenges Faced by Baltimore.”
TRAININGS & WORKSHOPS
Both students and students at heart can participate in workshops taught by Pulitzer Prize winners, or that use Prize-winning work as inspiration. For example, the Maine Humanities Council is supporting three workshops that feature presentations and an exhibit by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Larry Price and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ralph Blumenthal. Colorado Humanities is hosting a Pulitzer-themed “Writers in the Schools” program focusing on news literacy using Pulitzer Prize-winning works that talk about the “American West as Living Space.” During the annual Journalism Day celebration at the University of Missouri, the Missouri Humanities Council is hosting an exhibition, as well as a workshop, to learn about Prize-winning editorial cartooning, as well as “News Literacy in the Digital Age” with a focus on the use of drones in journalism. Finally, the Delaware Humanities Forum launched a series of reading and discussion groups, and workshops, with the first workshop starting this month. Using Margaret Fully’s A New American Life the council is hosting an Autobiography Writing Workshop for all levels and ages.
These are just a sampling of the programs run and supported by the state humanities councils in honor of the Pulitzer Campfires Initiative. To view all Pulitzer Campfires council programs, please visit the Council Program Database.
To learn more about the FSHC-Pulitzer partnership and view all April council events, check out the Spotlight on Pulitzer page on this website.
For more information about the Pulitzer Prizes, visit them at www.pulitzer.org.