(Camden, NJ) – The New Jersey Council for the Humanities announces the launch of the Stanley N. Katz Prize for Excellence in Public Humanities campaign. The first annual Katz Prize will be awarded in 2022 to recognize an organization that has demonstrated significant engagement with and impact through community-focused public humanities work in New Jersey. This inaugural effort coincides with Public Humanities in the Garden State: Celebrating 50 Years of Connections, a year-long initiative to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Council, and is designed to spotlight the extraordinary programming efforts of the nonprofit community while honoring Stanley N. Katz, Ph.D., former NJCH board chair and Princeton professor. Katz, the longest-serving NJCH board member and a gubernatorial board appointment, has been an influential champion for the public humanities and the work of state humanities councils throughout his remarkable career.
In 2010, President Barack Obama bestowed the National Humanities Medal on Stanley N. Katz in recognition of that work. The medal, awarded to up to twelve people annually, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities and broadened our citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects.
“Stan Katz is a legendary teacher and scholar, an inspiring and visionary leader, and a warm and generous colleague,” said Douglas Greenberg, Ph.D., chair of the Katz Prize committee and former NJCH board chair. “In more than forty years of friendship, I have never ceased to be astounded by his breadth of interest, his devoted commitment to scholarship, and his remarkable national and international impact as a passionate advocate for the humanities. It does not overstate the matter to say that the public humanities in the United States might not have survived without his steady and morally informed connection to every sector of our community.”
The Katz Prize application will be made available in May 2022. Any organization that has received a NJCH award between 2018 and 2021 will be eligible for nomination. A $5,000 prize will be awarded to the winner. The goal of the Katz Prize Fund is to raise $150,000 to endow the annual prize; the Fund has already received $99,000 in commitments.
“NJCH’s longtime leader, Stan Katz, helped shape the Council as an organization that works with scholars across disciplines to serve the New Jersey public, recognizing that public humanities help us bridge divides, promote civic engagement, and give a voice to all members of our society,” said Dan Fatton, NJCH board chair. “In this important moment for the public humanities, we hope naming our award honors his commitment to public humanities and ensures a better future for our communities.”
Throughout 2022, NJCH will offer monthly Public Humanities in the Garden State: Celebrating 50 Years of Connections programs and events to foster discussion and consideration of the role of the public humanities in our everyday lives. On January 13, 2022, NJCH will host the first event in the year-long series, “Engaging the Public and Shaping Civic Life.” This kickoff conversation event will feature Katz himself discussing the history of the Council and of the broadening of cultural pursuits in New Jersey. This online event is free and open to the public. To access additional information and registration for the event, click here.
To learn more about the Katz Prize, the 50th anniversary and the work of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, click here.
To access more information about Stanley N. Katz, Ph.D., click here.
To access more information about Douglas Greenberg, Ph.D., click here.
About the New Jersey Council for the Humanities
The New Jersey Council for the Humanities is a nonprofit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. NJCH harnesses the power of the humanities to strengthen our pluralistic society. We envision a New Jersey that delights in diversity, appreciates that there are no easy answers, and finds joy and understanding in the humanities. We work statewide with cultural and community organizations to bring dynamic programming to the local level.