The submission deadline was August 4 and the 2023 nominations call is now closed.

Register for the 2023 National Humanities Conference so you can attend the October 27 Schwartz Prize Presentation in Indianapolis!

About the 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 for their project: “The Trinity Humanities Series: The Dramatic Work as a Historical, Cultural Document.”

Helen and Martin Schwartz

This year’s Schwartz Prize Grant-Funded Category is named in memory of Marilyn Hatza, Director of Grants and Community Engagement at Maryland Humanities, who passed away in passed away January 2023. 

Register for the 2023 National Humanities Conference to attend the Schwartz Prize Presentation on Friday, October 27 in person!


The Federation intends to collaborate with the winning councils to make an announcement to local media about these projects. Nominees for the 2023 year will be contacted with more information regarding publicity. 

Please note: by submitting a program to the Federation and Schwartz Prize, you consent to the use of the nomination packet information, images, and content in Federation promotion and publishing. Please include proper photo citations, attributions, and permissions as required of the assets. Nomination packets will be published and shared on the Federation website and photos and information will be used to promote the Schwartz Prize on social media and in other forms of communication unless the use of these assets is explicitly denied by the council.


Our most commonly answered questions can be found by clicking the FAQs button below. Additional inquiries can be sent to

Past Winners

Click images to view nominating statements


Hawai’i Council for the Humanities – “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation”

Oklahoma Humanities – “Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commemoration Initiative”


Minnesota Humanities Center – “How Can We Breathe”

Nevada Humanities – “Humanities Heart to Heart”


Scwartz Prize for 2019 Programming

California Humanities – “Library Innovation Lab” | Vermont Humanities – “Vermont Reads 2019: March: Book One

Schwartz Prize for Rapid Response, COVID-19 Programming

Humanities Washington – “Cabin Fever Questions” | Humanities Texas – “Teacher Professional Development Programs”


Humanities Guåhan – “Taking Root: Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability”

Ohio Humanities – “Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio”


Mississippi Humanities – “Racial Equity Grant Program”

Oregon Humanities – “This Land”

Mississippi Humanities 2018 Nominee
Oregon Humanities 2018 Nominee


Indiana Humanities – “Next Indiana Campfires”