October 8, 2015 – The Federation of State Humanities Councils notified 46 state humanities councils of awards approved by the Pulitzer Prizes board of directors to carry out activities related to the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative. The awards, which total more than $1.5 million, will be used toward projects ranging from an exploration of Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry to a year-long exploration of political cartooning, including the development of a 15-minutes documentary film. Funds will be released to councils within the coming month, and activities will take place throughout 2016.

“Collaborating with the Pulitzer Prizes on their centennial celebration is an honor and an incredible recognition of the capabilities, reach, and quality of the state humanities councils’ programs and their understanding of local communities,” said Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. “We are looking forward to bringing the centennial to life next year with a diverse array of council programming to reconnect Americans with the nation’s amazing cultural production from the past 100 years.”

About the Council Programs:

From radio programs to teacher institutes, and from competitions to nature outings, the state humanities councils have developed a package of Campfire programs that will appeal to diverse populations, communities, and individuals throughout the nation and the U.S. territories. The Federation of State Humanities Councils will continue to feature Pulitzer Prize Campfire programs from councils on its website.

Following is a sample of the programs launching in 2016:

  • A series of four radio documentaries featuring the life and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists and journalists.
  • A teacher institute focused on four Pulitzer Prize winners.
  • A six-week program pairing high school students with newspaper journalists in which students will conduct recorded interviews with journalists, use social media to circulate articles, and plan and carry out a public program bringing the Prize winners together with the students to discuss the value of journalism.
  • An exhibition featuring a Pulitzer Prize-winning multimedia photojournalist, which will include scholarly lectures, school presentations, and community conversations centered on this photojournalist’s work.
  • Nature outings (biking, hiking, kayaking) led by a scholar and interspersed with reading from Pulitzer Prize winning nature writers. Physical outing will be followed by a conversation around a campfire, centered on environmental writings.
  • Statewide programs based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial (1922) on the freedom of speech. Programs will include a short film about the author, lectures throughout the state, newspaper articles, and writing workshops.
  • Multi-faceted year-long program to include a large-scale panel discussion, six journalist panels, a theater event, a blog series and radio segments, all using state Pulitzer Prize winners.
  • A high school journalism competition culminating in awards for high school students to attend an annual journalism conference, where students can showcase their work and interact with seasoned journalists.
  • A year-long exploration of political cartooning, including development of a 15-minute documentary film, a student conference, and a public forum.

About the Pulitzer Prize Campfires Initiative:

In preparation for the Pulitzer Prizes 100th awarding of the Prizes in 2016, the Pulitzer Prize board launched Campfires Initiative to “ignite broad engagement with the journalistic, literary, and artistic values” the Prizes represent. With the help of the councils, the Pulitzer Prizes Campfires initiative will involve a year’s worth of grassroots programming featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, poets, and journalists and sharing the values of the arts and humanities that both the Pulitzer Prizes and the Federation of State Humanities Council embody.

The Pulitzer Prize board of directors developed this initiative with the help of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and John L. Knight Foundation, as well as Columbia University, home to the Pulitzers.

Click to view the Pulitzer Prizes press release announcing the Campfires Initiative.