2018 philanthropic partners


Most of our students don't see a lot of themselves in the current offerings on film and TV. At Young Storytellers, we give them the confidence to tell their story to its end. Students leave the program with the knowledge that their story matters and their unique voice can be the one telling it. We are humbled to receive the HUMANITAS Prize and are grateful that you value putting kids at the center of their own narrative so they can discover and value their unique voice. Every story matters.

-Bill Thompson, Executive Director

When the HUMANITAS Prize recognized WeForShe this year, it was an honor and a wonderful recognition of our commitment to creating practical programs that support women writers and directors to help create a gender-balanced television landscape.  WeForShe is anchored in shining a light on talented female writers and directors and the diverse, compelling, original stories they have to tell. We are in a watershed moment for women in Hollywood, and there is still a lot of work to do to reach gender-balanced television, and we look forward to working alongside HUMANITAS to create programs that support the stories and visions of so many talented female creators.

-Katy McCaffrey, Co-Founder

As an organization committed to empowering the voices of young people both on and off stage, Rosie’s Theater Kids is honored to be a beneficiary of the 2018 HUMANITAS Prize Award donation. Through the power of theater, Rosie’s Theater Kids has touched the lives of over 20,000 NYC public school students encouraging them to explore new possibilities and pursue their dreams. We share the core belief with HUMANITAS, that one story and one voice can motivate empathy, respect, and compassion, and help others to better understand the human experience.

-Lori Klinger, Artistic and Executive Director

At Film2Future, we educate diverse underserved youth using the magic of filmmaking with narrative short films, animation and VR. We recognize our students’ unique voices and bring these talented students into the Hollywood pipeline through one-on-one mentorship, resume writing workshops, college essay review and paid PA jobs and internships. We are so grateful and honored to receive the HUMANITAS Prize because our students deserve to be heard within their own communities and by much larger audiences. Film2Future and HUMANITAS recognize that we can truly change the world one story at a time.

-Rachel Miller, Founder

The Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) is thrilled and honored to receive a 2018 HUMANITAS Prize on behalf of Matt Ruskin, writer and director of Crown Heights. Storytelling is perhaps our most powerful tool to connect our communities and promote meaningful change. ARC’s formerly incarcerated members share their stories to advocate for fairer criminal justice policies and change public perception of individuals who have been incarcerated. We are so grateful to HUMANITAS for recognizing that every individual’s story matters and for supporting the work of writers and storytellers who help create a more compassionate, understanding world.

-Scott Budnick, President

The Heidelberg Project (HP) is deeply honored and appreciative of receiving a 2018 HUMANITAS Prize in honor of Kerri Grant. The HP is organized to improve the lives of children and neighborhoods in one of Detroit’s oldest African American communities. We use art and creativity in non-traditional ways as a catalyst to empower, inspire and restore hope that once existed in our community. This unexpected recognition for the work we are executing in Detroit came during a time when we were launching our most robust k-12 children’s program, known as the Heidelberg Arts and Leadership Academy (HALA).  We have a vision to empower youth in artistic ways that prepare them for a world that is hardly kind to them.  Through the arts, we are equipping students with the skills and tools, to survive and thrive! We think it’s honorable that our fellow artisans in film and television recognize the value in supporting organizations like the Heidelberg Project, and very much look forward to this new partnership.  We sincerely hope that members of HUMANITAS will visit us whenever they are in the D. 

–Jenenne Whitfield, CEO, and the Heidelberg Project Team


The Remix Project is beyond grateful to receive the HUMANITAS Prize as the charity designate of Matt Huether- winner of Live Children’s Action 2018! It was a true honor for graduates of our program from Toronto, Canada to represent the charity at the awards presentation in Los Angeles, California. Recognition of thoughtful leaders that share their experience in the craft, along with mentorship in organizations such as ours is vital! We are thankful to HUMANITAS for being a leader in the artistic community, supporting programs that provide youth the accessibility and resources to create beyond any limitations! It is truly through this collective effort that an impactful cycle thrives, not only crossing borders, countries, continents and seas; but further to ‘empower, enrich, and support’ our young storytellers for generations to come!

-Annalie Bonda, Executive Director

P.S. ARTS is honored to have been a beneficiary charity at the 2018 HUMANITAS Prize event, and so grateful to the incredibly gifted Liz Hannah for championing our mission to improve the lives of children through arts education. The HUMANITAS award celebrates the powerful impact that the arts and story telling have on our lives and collective wellbeing. In working to give all children access to arts education, P.S. ARTS is also giving them the tools to take ownership of their own narratives and amplify their voices toward the pursuit of a more unified society. Our hope is that these children, readied with a high-quality arts education, will be inspired to dream bigger, work harder, and be better advocates for this earth and its people, like Liz Hannah and all of the HUMANITAS prize nominees.

-Dr. Kristen Paglia, CEO

International Documentary Association is thrilled by the support from and partnership with HUMANITAS. The missions of HUMANITAS and IDA are centered around the idea that storytelling helps us recognize the richness of our shared human experience. Documentary films shine a light on people's stories; they create empathy, inspire us and build understanding in an increasingly divided world. HUMANITAS and IDA share these values, and our alliance with HUMANITAS makes our work have that much greater impact.

-Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director

InsideOUT Writers (IOW) is incredibly honored to be one of the recipients of the HUMANITAS Prize for our work providing creative writing classes to children detained inside the Los Angeles County juvenile halls, as well as for the reentry services we offer our students returning to their homes and communities. Oftentimes, our young people who have been directly impacted by the juvenile justice system face incredibly difficult hardships during their transition to new lives beyond incarceration. IOW is fortunate to have a compassionate Board of Directors, staff, and numerous volunteer creative writing teachers and mentors to provide support and encouragement to teenagers and young adults both inside and out of detention facilities. Paired with writing and storytelling, opportunities into the worlds of film or television have become more easily accessible and available to our participants which have led them to feel more confident in the power of their voices and their own truths. We are deeply grateful to HUMANITAS for the recognition of our work, and for their donation to directly support the services we offer our youth.

-Jimmy Wu, Executive Director

The grant we received as a HUMANITAS Prize beneficiary has only strengthened our ability to provide free legal support and resources to journalists and news organizations across the country. Every day, our attorneys work to protect and advance First Amendment freedoms so that journalists can continue to shine a light into the darkest corners and keep our communities informed about the people, events, and issues that shape the world we live in. We’re excited to have the support of an organization like HUMANITAS, who deeply understands the power of stories and the importance of empowering those who tell them.

-Katie Aune, Development Director

The Sundance Institute is grateful and honored to have received the HUMANITAS Prize on behalf of writer/director Dee Rees, who we supported as a Fellow of our Screenwriters and Directors Lab on PARIAH, her award-winning first feature. Seventeen years ago, HUMANITAS partnered with the Sundance Institute to create the Sundance Independent Feature Prize, which is an annual award that has recognized the work of the ground-breaking Lab and Festival filmmakers Ryan Coogler on FRUITVALE STATION, Gina Prince-Bythewood on LOVE AND BASKETBALL, Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar on BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, and this year Matt Ruskin on CROWN HEIGHTS. We are excited to continue this partnership in support of unique, character-driven stories that explore the common humanity and complexities of the world we live in. The support you have provided the Sundance Institute and countless filmmakers over the years has given voice to a powerful group of independent filmmakers whose work deepens our empathy and understanding of underrepresented communities and crosses cultural, geographic and political boundaries. We are forever grateful!

-Michelle Satter, Founding Director

Through Hedgebrook’s partnership with HUMANITAS, we’re unleashing the powerful, transformative force of women storytellers on the world. And we need to be hearing equally from women in the cultural conversation, now more than ever, for meaningful dialogue that can effect change in all aspects of our lives. HUMANITAS has supported the launch of two Labs, one for screenwriters and one for documentary filmmakers, that bring mentors and mentees together for a ten-day residency and workshops at Hedgebrook’s renowned retreat on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle. HUMANITAS inspired a coalition of allies, women writers at the top of their game in television and film (known as the 'Woolf Pack' in honor of Virginia Woolf and her famous call for 'a room of one’s own' for women writers) who are collectively supporting the launch of the Labs, and engaging in ongoing conversations about how to transform the industry towards gender parity. Together, we’re cultivating the next generation of female filmmakers. And watch out world! - these filmmakers are extraordinary! HUMANITAS has made it all possible. 

— Amy Wheeler, Executive Director

Similar to HUMANITAS, our vision at KidUnity is to change the world one child at a time by preparing him or her for civic leadership. HUMANITAS' generous grant helped underwrite the launch of our innovative experiential learning program Civics in Action – The Iowa Caucuses. Through this program, KidUnity trained students to be investigative journalists at the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. The students interviewed a number of presidential candidates, political reporters, and community leaders - and were even featured in the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post! One student's comments expressed our thanks to HUMANITAS: 'Iowa opened the doors for me as a reporter, changing my life forever. It is an experience I will never forget and will cherish for the rest of my life.'                                                                                       

— Peter Sheehy and David Snow, Directors

At its best, education aims not just to impart knowledge, but to spark curiosity and imagination so that young people can powerfully meet the challenges of a new generation. Since 2004, Story Pirates has been providing high-quality creative writing programs in under-resourced schools in order to show kids that their words, their ideas and their stories matter. As a philanthropic partner of HUMANITAS, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to bring our work to the children who need it the most. HUMANITAS knows that storytelling is humanity’s most powerful tool to teach and inspire, and their support of organizations like Story Pirates is making a real difference in the lives of young people throughout Los Angeles.

 — Benjamin Salka, Co-FOunder

Through HUMANITAS’ continued support of our organization, Affordable Living for the Aging, we have been able to reach more vulnerable populations to provide affordable housing and services in Los Angeles. HUMANITAS is deeply committed to sharing their resources to empower many organizations in the community, and through this mission, they have continued to demonstrate the principles and ideals of stewardship, community, and shared humanity. Thank you HUMANITAS. 

— Antonio Manning, Executive Director

HUMANITAS is dedicated to highlighting the best, and the most powerful, creative offerings, words and images that bring change into the world. That mission is in perfect alignment with WriteGirl's goal of empowering the bold and elevating voices of teen girls. You encourage us to say more, say it louder, and say it together. 

— Keren Taylor, Executive Director

As organizations who champion stories and storytellers, the Writers Guild Foundation and HUMANITAS have enjoyed a wonderful partnership based on our love of words, film, TV, and the visionaries who entertain and inspire us. Just as film and television possess the power to reach many, so do our collaborative efforts to engage and support current and future generations of writers. WGF is honored to work alongside HUMANITAS on this shared mission.

— Katie Buckland, Executive Director

We were so honored to have received the HUMANITAS Prize for our work nurturing young storytellers, especially young people who are so often marginalized because of their economic class, immigration status, or race. At the heart of all we do is a deep commitment to equity and justice, achieved by teaching the next generation how to harness the power of story to illuminate both our differences and our shared humanity. What an extraordinary affirmation of the value of our programs, and the creative works of our young filmmakers, photographers, and writers, to be acknowledged by HUMANITAS alongside some of the best writers for film and television.

— Lynn Warshafsky, Executive Director

826LA is proud to have been awarded the HUMANITAS Prize and to have been included as a partner through the years. It is inspiring to see the work they do since it connects deeply to what 826LA strives to inspire in youth. We want to help build the next generation of storytellers who can feel empowered and safe to share their unique experiences with the world. We all need to work together to continue to learn from each other and build a more inclusive society that understands and values powerful writing.

— Joel Arquillos, Executive Director