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Bright Lights

Celebrating Louisiana Luminaries

Every spring, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities celebrates the brightest lights in Louisiana humanities at the Bright Lights Awards Dinner. The annual event recognizes the recipients of the LEH’s Humanities Awards, honoring individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities.

On Thursday, May 11, the LEH and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Billy Nungesser will join forces for the return of Bright Lights Awards Dinner, presented by Entergy. The event will recognize Humanities Awards recipients from 2020 through 2023 and take place, for the first time, at LEH’s historic Turners’ Hall, now home to The Helis Foundation John Scott Center in downtown New Orleans.

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About the event

Since 1985, the LEH has honored leading humanities scholars, authors, poets, literacy advocates, photographers, humanities patrons, and documentary filmmakers in Louisiana through the Humanities Awards.

The annual Bright Lights Awards Gala brings together local officials, community leaders, and humanities advocates alike to celebrate the year’s awardees and all that the humanities can achieve.

See the full list of Humanities Awards winners from 1985 to now here.

This year’s event takes place Thursday, May 11, 2023,  from 7 to 9 p.m. under the stars at LEH’s historic Turners’ Hall, 938 Lafayette Street in New Orleans. A patron party will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in The Helis Foundation John Scott Center, which now occupies the first floor of Turners’ Hall.

The evening will feature a silent auction with items like locally-made art, unforgettable travel opportunities, festival passes, and more goods that reflect the diversity and richness of Louisiana. 

The event is open to the public, with individual tickets, tables of ten, and sponsorships available. 

The 2023 Bright Lights Awards Gala will be a one-of-a-kind event packed with visionary Louisianans as we acknowledge the last three years of Humanities Awards winners. Join us for an unforgettable evening, long delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when we finally get the chance to celebrate these incredible individuals, projects, and organizations:

The 2023 Humanities Awards winners

The 2022 Humanities Awards winners

The 2021 Humanities Awards winners

The 2020 Humanities Awards winners

Humanist of the Year Zachary Richard at the 2016 Bright Lights Awards Gala
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Humanities Awards winners at the 2019 Bright Lights Awards Gala; photo by Paul Kieu
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2014 Humanist of the Year Walter Isaacson and 2018 Humanist of the Year Leah Chase
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The Cajun trio Angelle Aces performing at the 2019 event recognizing Humanities Awards winners; photo by Paul Kieu
The Cajun trio Angelle Aces performing at the 2019 event recognizing Humanities Awards winners; photo by Paul Kieu
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