North Carolina Humanities Council Receives Grant for Programming to Celebrate Pulitzer Prize Centennial

Pulitzer Centennial Logo

Charlotte, NC – The North Carolina Humanities Council has received a $35,000 grant from the Pulitzer Prize Board to fund Pulitzer NC: The Power of Words, a program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Prizes in 2016 through Pulitzer’s Campfires Initiative.

Pulitzer NC: The Power of Words is a statewide, multifaceted public program that will connect Pulitzer Prize-winners and their work to broad and diverse audiences through discussions, summer reading programs, educational materials, exhibits and films. Activities will include public conversations, a digital media campaign developed by college and university students, and a suite of free online educational materials, including two webinars for high school and college instructors and their students developed by the National Humanities Center.

“We’re excited to join this national celebration and for the opportunity to deliver innovative and enriching programming about the iconic Pulitzer Prizes with North Carolina communities in our mountains, piedmont and the coastal regions,” said Paula Watkins, Executive Director of the North Carolina Humanities Council. “The Council brings more than 43 years of expertise of collaborating with scholars and organizations to develop and present insightful and engaging humanities programs.”

Pulitzer Charlotte: Power and Accountability, the Charlotte Campfires celebration, will explore how Pulitzer Prize winning journalism shapes the agenda for community conversation. Community partners are Central Piedmont Community College, The Charlotte Observer, Johnson C. Smith University, Levine Museum of the New South, The Knight School at Queens University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Programming will take place in March, April and September, and includessix moderated conversationsamong Pulitzer Prize winners, scholars and live and online audiences; receptions; a gallery exhibit; a film series, and a keynote presentation on Technology, Disruption and the Future of News Literacy.

Campfires across the state -- Pulitzer NC Mountains, Pulitzer NC Piedmont, and Pulitzer NC Coastal Plains – comprise a calendar of events during March – October, developed in collaboration with high profile organizations serving 22 counties. Presenting collaborators include AMY Regional Library System, Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, Carolina Mountains Literary Festival, Craven Arts Council and Gallery, East Carolina University, Lenoir Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series, Lenoir Rhyne University Asheville Center for Narrative Medicine, Library Directors of Western North Carolina, Parkway Playhouse, and the Paul Green Foundation.

Educators across the globe will have access to Pulitzer materials via online educational components, including a Pulitzer NC website, educator webinars designed by the National Humanities Center, and films highlighting Pulitzer Prize winners José Galvez (Public Service, 1984), Paul Green (Drama, 1927), and Kevin Siers (Editorial Cartooning, 2014).

About the Pulitzer Campfires Initiative

To prepare for the centennial, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced its 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 and awarded more than $1.5 million to 46 state humanities councils. The programs will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning work in journalism, arts and letters, and music. The goal of the initiative 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, jointly developed the initiative, which is also supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 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

To learn more about the Pulitzer Prizes Campfires Initiative, please see their March 2015 announcement.

About the North Carolina Humanities Council

The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The North Carolina Humanities Council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. It facilitates the exploration and celebration of the many voices and stories of North Carolina’s cultures and heritage. In addition to grants, the Council offers the Road Scholars speakers bureau; Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care, a literature discussion series for health care professionals; the Let’s Talk About It library discussion series; and the traveling exhibition Museum on Main Street in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and rural communities statewide. To learn more about the North Carolina Humanities Council, visit

Paula Watkins
Executive Director
(704) 687-1519