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Pulitzer Prizes Awards $17,400 to Oklahoma Humanities Council for 2016 Centennial Campfires Initiative

Pulitzer Prizes Awards $17,400 to Oklahoma Humanities Council for 2016 Centennial Campfires Initiative

Oklahoma City, OK – The Pulitzer Prize Board announced the award of $17,400 to the Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) for activities commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Prizes in 2016 through Pulitzer’s Campfires Initiative.

OHC will purchase over 900 copies of Pulitzer Prize-winning books relating to the themes of war and peace, civil rights and equality, and the American frontier. Books will be on loan to libraries and other nonprofit organizations through Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma, OHC’s statewide, humanities-based reading and discussion program designed to encourage readers to become more reflective and responsible thinkers.

The humanities help us learn from history, expand our perspectives beyond the immediate time and place, think more critically and analyze complex circumstances, and empathize with other points of view. Exploring the world through the lens of Pulitzer Prize-winning literature will serve as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue throughout the state.

Each of the three new Pulitzer-inspired discussion themes will consist of a five-book series. The series are being developed by humanities scholars who are dedicated to providing profound scholastic opportunities for the citizens of Oklahoma. Tracy Floreani, Ph.D., Professor of English at Oklahoma City University, sheds light on civil rights and issues of equality in America and India. Britton Gildersleeve, Ph.D., writing coach and consultant, challenges readers to consider how we define peace; is it simply “not war,” or is it something more? Bill Corbett, Ph.D., retired Professor of History, introduces us to the individuals who influenced the historical process and development of the great American frontier. Each scholar has composed an essay that introduces the theme’s five titles, ties the books in the series together, and acknowledges the vital role that the Pulitzer Prizes play in making these exceptional programs possible.

“OHC is honored to have this opportunity to work with the Pulitzer Prize to celebrate the legacy of Joseph Pulitzer and recognize the high-caliber literature associated with his name,” stated Ann Thompson, OHC Executive Director.

Applications to host this program will be accepted in March and April. Host sites for fall 2016 reading and discussion programs, featuring Pulitzer Prize winners, will be determined in May. To learn more about Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma, contact Kelly Burns at (405) 235-0280. To receive the latest updates about these Pulitzer sponsored programs, click here to sign up for OHC’s bi-monthly electronic news and calendar of events.

About the Campfires Initiative

To prepare for the centennial, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced the Campfires Initiative, which aims to ignite broad engagement with the journalistic, literary, and artistic values the Prizes represent. To inspire year-long programming throughout the country, the board partnered with the Federation of State Humanities Councils on the initiative. After a review of grant proposals, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded more than $1.5 million to forty-six state humanities councils.

The program will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning work in journalism, arts and letters, and music. The goal of the board and the Federation of State Humanities Council is to engage American communities in discussion about the values these disciplines represent. “We look forward to bringing the centennial to life next year with a diverse array of council programming that reconnects Americans with the nation’s amazing cultural production of the last 100 years,” said Esther Mackintosh, president of the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

The Federation and the Pulitzer Prize Board, which is headquartered at Columbia University, developed this initiative together. It is supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Federation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Pulitzer Prize Board.

To learn more about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, please visit www.statehumanities.org.

About the Oklahoma Humanities Council

The Oklahoma Humanities Council is a nonprofit organization that strengthens communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life. The Council strives to stimulate discussion, encourage new perspectives, and to actively engage people in the humanities disciplines, such as history, literature, philosophy, and ethics. To learn more, please visit: www.okhumanities.org.


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