Support & Join

Bright Lights

Celebrating Louisiana Luminaries

Thank you to everyone who made the 2024 Bright Lights Awards Dinner a success!

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.

The LEH and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser hosted the 2024 Bright Lights Awards Dinner, presented by Entergy, on Tuesday, April 23, at the Capitol Park Museum.

The 2024 Humanities Awards

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is pleased to announce that Richard “Dickie” Landry (left)—saxophonist, composer, photographer, and painter—has been named 2024 Humanist of the Year. In addition, the 2024 awardees include:

  • Champion of Culture: Nick Mueller
  • Chair’s Award for Institutional Support: Charles Lamar Family Foundation
  • Documentary Photographer of the Year: Ben Depp
  • Humanities Book of the YearThe Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South by Elizabeth Ellis
  • Humanities Documentary Film of the YearThe Precipice directed by Ben Johnson and produced by Linda Midgett
  • Lifetime Contributions to the Humanities: Freddi Williams Evans
  • Museum Exhibition of the Year: The Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo’s Creole New Orleans, Honey!
  • Light Up for Literacy: Jane Wolfe



Event History

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.

Want to stay updated on the latest involving the Bright Lights Awards Dinner and the Humanities Awards? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.

Humanist of the Year Zachary Richard at the 2016 Bright Lights Awards Gala
gold accent
LEH Executive Director/President Miranda Restovic at the 2023 Bright Lights Awards Dinner
gold accent
2014 Humanist of the Year Walter Isaacson (left) and 2018 Humanist of the Year Leah Chase (right)
gold accent
2023 Humanist of the Year Chef John Folse (left) being presented with his award by Entergy's Roderick K. West (right)
gold accent