This year, Columbia will administer the 100th annual Pulitzer Prizes. To celebrate, the Pulitzer Prize Board has launched the Campfires Initiative, a series of more than one hundred events that will focus on past winners, their work, and the cultural significance of the prizes.
The initiative is the result of a collaboration between the Pulitzer Prize Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Through their joint efforts, the two organizations secured $1.5 million in grants to forty-six state humanities councils for Pulitzer-themed projects and events.
“We are excited about the events planned for 2016, organized by communities from Guam to Bar Harbor, Anchorage to Miami,” says Keven Ann Willey, vice president of the Dallas Morning News and the chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board’s centennial committee. Larger marquee events, which Willey believes “have great potential to inspire new audiences around the best of American journalism, letters, drama, and music,” will take place in Dallas; Los Angeles; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In addition to events funded by the Campfires Initiative, many teachers, schools, historical societies, and other organizations are planning to host grassroots events that highlight the value of journalism and the humanities today.
Established and endowed by Columbia Graduate School of Journalism founder Joseph Pulitzer, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on June 4, 1917. The Pulitzer Prize Board, which currently includes Columbia president Lee C. Bollinger and journalism-school dean Steve Coll, gives twenty-one annual prizes, including fourteen for journalism, five for books, one for drama, and one for music composition.
This year’s 100th class of Pulitzer Prize winners will be announced on April 18, 2016.