South Carolina Humanities is pleased to announce that nominations for the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities and the newly-renamed Akers Prize are now being accepted through Wednesday, May 31, 2023. Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards celebrate the Palmetto State’s humanities academics and advocates. The Akers Prize, formerly the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award, recognizes innovative individuals who use culture and history to bring people together, but whose efforts may have gone relatively unnoticed beyond their own community. SC Humanities has awarded 97 Governor’s Awards since 1991 and 12 Fresh Voices Awards since 2018.
In 2023, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of SC Humanities, the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award was renamed the “Akers Prize” to honor and recognize the passionate work in the humanities of longstanding SC Humanities Executive Director, Dr. Randy Akers. Dr. Tom Mack, USC Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Board Chair of SC Humanities, explained: “What more appropriate recognition could be afforded individuals forging new paths in the public humanities than to bestow upon them a prize named after a man who has devoted decades to the promotion of the humanities, thus enriching the lives of South Carolinians for generations.”
All nominations for the Governor’s Award in the Humanities and the Akers Prize should be sent by May 31, 2023, to the attention of Dr. Randy Akers, SC Humanities, P.O. Box 5287, Columbia, SC 29250. Nominations can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must include: a letter describing the contributions of the nominee (up to three pages); a resume or C.V. for nominated individuals; 2-3 letters of support for nominated organizations/institutions; and contact information for the nominee, including name, phone number, and email address. Please note that individuals, organizations, and/or institutions may not nominate themselves.
The South Carolina Humanities Award Luncheon, featuring the Governor’s Awards and Akers Prize ceremony, will be held at the Pastides Alumni Center in October 2023. Table sponsorships are available, as well as individual tickets. To reserve one or more tables or to purchase individual tickets, call 803-771-2477.
Learn more about past winners here.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Now in our 50th year of service, this 501(c)3 organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos, and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. The National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.