The Humanities Council is proud to announce that the following four distinguished awards, which will be presented at the 2016 Celebration of the Humanities in October:

Honorary Chairs’ Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities
Tom Roberts, Founding Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates an individual whose career achievements demonstrate humanities excellence, reflect the Council’s mission and core values, and enrich public life in Rhode Island. This year, the award celebrates Tom Roberts for over two decades of visionary leadership at the Council (1973-1995), which inspired civic dialogue and creative humanities programming connecting scholarship to key issues in our state, and for his extensive body of diverse cultural work as an educator, writer, performer, producer, and leader.

Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities
Lorén Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum
The Tom Roberts Prize celebrates creativity in topics, disciplines, and formats that extend the field of the humanities. This year, the Prize honors Lorén Spears for her extensive work as an advocate of Native American history and cultural heritage in preservation, the arts, and education. As a leader, culture bearer, educator, and artist, Spears amplifies Rhode Island’s collective awareness and understanding of Native history, and inspires pioneering practices in educational and cultural institutions throughout the state.

Innovation in the Humanities Award
Providence Children’s Film Festival
The Innovation Award recognizes the innovative implementation of the humanities by an organization to achieve a specific goal. This year, the Award is presented to the Providence Children’s Film Festival for cultivating critical thinking and media literacy in the next generation. Through partnerships with libraries, the PCFF amplifies its community impact and connects librarians, educators, and families with resources and programming to discover, explore, and inspire storytelling and literacy through film year-round.

Public Humanities Scholar Award
Marta Martínez, Executive Director of Rhode Island Latino Arts
The Scholar Award recognizes outstanding public humanities work in teaching and scholarship that advances the civic and cultural life of Rhode Island. This year, the Award honors Marta Martínez for her work to capture the stories of Rhode Island’s burgeoning Latino community and advance previously untold histories of our state. As an oral historian, cultural programmer, and educator, Martínez promotes collecting history as a way to amplify community pride and spark creative community engagement.

“It is thrilling to celebrate the work of these outstanding leaders enhancing our community,” said Elizabeth Francis, executive director of the Humanities Council. “Their outstanding work exemplifies our 2016 theme, Amplify, which highlights how the humanities heighten awareness of voices and stories that need to be heard, resonate with current issues and future possibilities, and magnify connections between economy, community, and culture.”

The Celebration of the Humanities will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at the Providence Public Library. The occasion will bring together community and business leaders, government officials, scholars, artists, and Rhode Islanders to raise funds to support the public humanities including culture, history, heritage, and civic education in our state. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, an open wine bar provided by Campus Fine Wines, a silent auction featuring unique humanities experiences, and the award presentation.