California Humanities wins Schwartz Prize for Outstanding Work in Humanities Programming
November 17, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2015
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Oakland, CA – California Humanities is a 2015 recipient of the Schwartz Prize for outstanding work in the public humanities, a prize that is awarded annually by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. This is the third time that California Humanities has been similarly honored, receiving this recognition in 2007 and 2009.
“We are honored to receive the Schwartz Prize and proud to have funded the creative and original ‘War Ink’ project,” said California Humanities President & CEO Julie Fry. “This is a grantee-initiated library project that used veterans’ tattoos as a vehicle for veterans to share their experiences with war and homecoming to an interested public. The ‘War Ink’ project blends contemporary cultural issues and technologies with traditional humanities practices of listening, reflection and dialogue.”
“War Ink” is an online interpretive exhibit of stories and images shared by 24 California veterans through photos, text and audio and video recordings. Initiated by the Contra Costa Public Library and co-directed by a librarian, Chris Brown, and veteran advocate and social researcher, Jason Deitch, the project launched on Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, and quickly attracted widespread viewership and media attention. To date, the exhibit has received over 50,000 visits and extensive national media coverage as well as several prestigious awards. “War Ink” was recognized with a Webby nomination, won an Independent Media Award, and received a John Cotton Dana Award from the Library Leadership and Management Association (an American Library Association affiliate).
“This year’s Schwartz Prize winners highlight the important work councils conduct to promote understanding, provide needed resources to often underserved communities, and inspire community involvement and pride,” said Esther Mackintosh, Federation President. “The outstanding work conducted and partnerships formed further demonstrate the ability of the councils to touch every aspect of their states. We are so proud of all the nominations and especially congratulate California Humanities, Humanities Montana and Maryland Humanities Council for their well-deserved awards.”
In addition to California Humanities, Humanities Montana and Maryland Humanities Council also received awards for their programs ranging from a year-long support program for rural communities to a partnership to revitalize a community and its history. The awards were presented at the 2015 National Humanities Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on November 6, 2015.
About California Humanities
California Humanities is an independent nonprofit and state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This year marks the organization’s 40th anniversary of promoting the humanities as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. The organization produces, funds, creates and supports humanities-based projects and programs, eye-opening cultural experiences and meaningful conversations. During the past 40 years California Humanities has awarded over $28 million in grants across the state. For more on California Humanities’ work and current initiatives, please visit www.calhum.org, connect on Facebook at “California Humanities,” and Twitter at @Cal_Humanities.
About the Schwartz Prize and Judges
Every year the Federation of State Humanities Councils awards the Schwartz Prize to up to three councils for outstanding work in the public humanities. The prize is funded through an endowment from founding Federation board member Martin Schwartz and his wife Helen. The Schwartz Prize judges are selected from the previous year’s winning councils. More information about the Schwartz Prize can be found on the Federation website at: http://www.statehumanities.org/about-us/schwartz-prize/. View the 2015 Schwartz Prize Nominees here: http://www.statehumanities.org/program/?qmt[commonprogram]=145.
The Federation of State Humanities Councils
The Federation of State Humanities Councils, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and territorial councils, provides support for the state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. For more information about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, please visit: www.statehumanities.org.
The State Humanities Councils
The state humanities councils are independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations supporting grassroots humanities programs and community-based activities. Humanities councils were created by Congress in the early 1970s and receive an annual congressional appropriation through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which most councils supplement with state and private funding. For more information about the state humanities councils, please visit: http://www.statehumanities.org/the-state-humanities-councils/