The Call for Nominations for the 2021 Schwartz Prize is now open! We are accepting nominations for the 39th annual Schwartz Prize through Sept. 13, 2021. Questions? Check out our recently developed Schwartz Prize FAQs which include topics from the nomination packet and program eligibility to awards logistics and promotion.

The 2021 Schwartz Prize awards presentation will take place during the 2021 National Humanities Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Learn more about the Schwartz Prize, including past nominees and winners below.

Nomination requirements and recommendations  

Characteristics of programs or initiatives that could result in a prize-winning nomination include the following:

  • Involvement of new audiences
  • Unique or far-reaching collaborations
  • Capacity-building efforts
  • New uses of technology
  • Demonstrated sustainability
  • Creative merge of public and academic programs/audiences
  • Innovative response to COVID-19

The nominating statement should include the following information:

  • The council’s aims in undertaking the project
  • The project’s public impact
  • The project’s financial structure

 Nomination “packets” should include the following materials:

  • Nominating statement
  • Electronic image(s) and brief program description suitable for posting on the Federation’s website
  • Link to program information online (either council, partner, or program-specific webpage)
  • NOTE: Please submit the nominating statement and program description in one PDF. Image(s) can be sent separately, preferably via Dropbox or a similar sharing tool.

Once all submissions are received, the Federation may contact nominees to schedule an interview and obtain optional audio, additional images, or video related to the nominations leading up to and during the 2021 National Humanities Conference. These materials would be used for promotional and archival purposes. 

About the Schwartz Prize

The Schwartz Prize was 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.