LEH Humanities Awards

Since 1985, the LEH has honored Louisianans who have made outstanding contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities.

The “humanities,” as defined by Congress, include the study of literature, history, philosophy, modern and classical languages, linguistics, archaeology, jurisprudence, art history and criticism, ethics, comparative religion, and those disciplines of the social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches such as cultural anthropology or social theory.

Award Categories

Lifetime Contributions: Honors citizens who have supported and been involved in public appreciation of issues central to the humanities.

Michael P. Smith Documentary Photography: Honors documentary photographers whose subject matter exemplifies Louisiana topics and aesthetics. Nominations may be for a complete body of work or for a single project.

Humanities Documentary Film of the Year: Awarded to the documentary film that best exemplifies scholarship on Louisiana topics or by Louisiana documentary filmmakers.

Humanities Book of the Year: Awarded to the book that best exemplifies scholarship on Louisiana topics or by Louisiana writers.

Light Up for Literacy: Honors individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to literacy efforts in the state. The award is presented in partnership with the State Library of Louisiana’s Center for the Book and the Library of Congress.

Museum Exhibition of the Year: Recognizes an exhibition held during the prior calendar year (2018) that brought new insights to our understanding of the state, its artists, and/or its history.

Nominations for 2019

Individuals, institutions or organizations may submit nominations. Individuals, however, may not nominate themselves. Letters of nomination should not exceed two pages and should detail specific accomplishments that qualify the nominee for the award, in particular, their contributions to our understanding of the state and the humanities. Whenever possible, curriculum vitae for the nominee and other letters of support should accompany the letter of nomination.

Additional Requirements

Humanities Book of the Year: Include three copies of the book in the nomination packet.

Humanities Documentary Film of the Year: Include a screening link.

Michael P. Smith Documentary Photography Award: Include digital or print samples of the artist’s work as well as a list of exhibitions and/or publications in which the work has appeared.

Nominations must be received in the LEH office no later than 5 p.m. on November 1, 2018, and should be addressed to: Humanities Awards Committee, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 938 Lafayette St., Suite 300, New Orleans, LA 70113. Nominations also may be emailed to restovic@leh.org.

The Humanities Awards Committee will select nominees who best exemplify one or more of the above categories. No single humanities area will receive primary consideration, but the nominees’ activities must reflect one or more disciplines in the humanities. For additional information about the annual humanities awards, contact LEH President Miranda Restovic at restovic@leh.org or visit the LEH website www.leh.org.

View a list of awardees since 1985  
2019 Bright Lights event info coming soon!