The Schwartz Prize

37 years of celebrating outstanding work in the
public humanities

The 2019 Schwartz Prize

The 2019 Schwartz Prize awards presentation will take place on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 5:00 PM HST at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort during the National Humanities Conference. The event will be live-streamed via the Federation’s Facebook page and will be presented by Federation board member and former executive director of Vermont Humanities, Peter Gilbert. Follow the conversation on social media using #SchwartzPrize19.

Meet the 2019 Nominees:

Alabama Humanities Foundation
Making Alabama: A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit

Alaska Humanities Forum
Sister School Exchange

California Humanities
CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California

Humanities Guåhan
Taking Root: Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability

Illinois Humanities
Sojourner Scholars

Indiana Humanities
One State / One Story: Frankenstein

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
64 Parishes

Maryland Humanities
Is Justice Just?

Michigan Humanities
Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan

Humanities Nebraska
An Issue of Trust: Democracy and the Future of Journalism

Ohio Humanities
Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio

Virginia Humanities
Immigration Stories

Wisconsin Humanities Council
Beyond the Headlines

Wyoming Humanities
WY Treaties Matter

The 2018 Schwartz Prize

Congratulations to Mississippi and Oregon Humanities Councils!

Congratulations to the 2018 Schwartz Prize winners who were announced in a special ceremony at the 2018 National Humanities Conference in New Orleans, LA this November! The first prize went to Mississippi Humanities Council for its “Racial Equity Grant Program” and the second prize to Oregon Humanities for “This Land.”

Check out both Mississippi’s and Oregon’s nomination statements to learn more about these outstanding programs! Don’t miss the other excellent programs that were nominated – all nominations for the 2018 prize are included below.

Mississippi and Oregon Win Schwartz Prizes
November 2018
Press Release

Racial Equity Grant Program
Mississippi Humanities Council
Nominating Statement, 2018

This Land
Oregon Humanities
Nominating Statement, 2018

The 2018 Nominees:

California Humanities
Straight Outta Fresno: From Popping to B-boys and B-girls

Illinois Humanities

Minnesota Humanities Center
We are Water

Mississippi Humanities Council
Racial Equity Grant Program

Humanities North Dakota
GameChanger Ideas Festival: In Justice: Rethinking America’s Criminal Justice System

Oklahoma Humanities
In the Light Bulb Room

Oregon Humanities
This Land

About the Schwartz Prize

The Schwartz Prize is made possible through an endowment 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.

The 2017 Schwartz Prize

Congratulations to the 2017 Schwartz Prize Winner!

The 2017 Schwartz Prize was awarded to Indiana Humanities for their program “Next Indiana Campfires,” a program judges lauded as “groundbreaking” and a “remarkable confluence of the humanities with the natural world.” View the press release, read their nominating statement, and learn more about their program and where it is today below.

Indiana Humanities Wins Prize
Press Release, November 2017

Next Indiana Campfires
Nominating Statement, 2017

Next Indiana Campfires
Program, 2016-Present

The 2017 Schwartz Prize Nominees

Thank you to Jesse Moss of NEH for this video of the 2017 Schwartz Prize nominees. This video was aired for the first time at the 2017 National Humanities Conference Schwartz Prize awards presentation in Boston, MA.

Nominees included are: California Humanities’ “We Are The Humanities” presented by President & CEO Julie Fry, Indiana Humanities’ “Next Indiana Campfires” presented by Director of Programs and Community Engagement Leah Nahmias, Maryland Humanities’ “A Journey through Vietnam” presented by Executive Director Phoebe Stein, and Missouri Humanities Council’s “Heritage Program” presented by Heritage Resources Coordinator and Development Associate Caitlin Yager and Director of Development Austin Skinner.

Schwartz Prize Winners (2014-2017)  View All


Martin and Helen Schwartz
Founders of the Schwartz Prize Endowment