Register here for the sixth edition

2016 Palazzo Strozzi High School Renaissance Award

Open to 11th Grade Students in Participating Schools in New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit. Essay Competition Information, Registration Form and Deadline to Submit Essays. Winners go to Italy for one Month of Renaissance Studies

All eleventh graders in selected schools listed below are invited to compete for the 2016 Palazzo Strozzi High School Renaissance Award. In this competition, participants are required to research and write a 1,000 word essay on the Renaissance, choosing one of three essay questions.

All students who wish to participate in competition must first register here:

Click here to register

This competition is organized in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District and Detroit Public Schools. The competition is offered to five public schools in NYC, two in Los Angeles, and two in Detroit. The participating schools are as follows:

2016 Participating Schools

New York City:
  • Brooklyn School for Global Studies
  • CSI High School for International Studies, Staten Island
  • DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx
  • Long Island City High School, Queens
  • The Facing History School, Manhattan
Los Angeles:
  • Ambassador School of Global Leadership
  • Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts
  • Detroit School of Arts
  • East English Village

Essays are due to appointed faculty of participating schools on February 5th, 2016.

The appointed faculty will submit 6 finalists’ essays to Palazzo Strozzi Foundation’s Advisory Committee. The Committee then will review each essay and conduct interviews with each finalist. After thoughtful consideration of the finalists’ essays and personal interviews the Committee will select approximately two students (at minimum one student) per participating school as a recipient of the 2016 Award.

All finalists will receive a certificate acknowledging his/her finalists status. This achievement can be noted in finalists college applications. The 18 competition winners, along with four chaperone/teachers, will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Florence, Italy during the summer of 2016.

Awardees will participate in a month long academic program based in Florence, Italy. New York University’s Florentine campus is the host of classes which are taught by the 4 chaperones/teachers. Classes will center around the evolutions of the Italian Renaissance and the composition of a college common application essay. In addition to classes on campus, the group (students and chaperones/teachers) will study on site at various locations of cultural significance in Florence, surrounding areas, and in the cities of Milan, Venice, and Rome.

A certificate will be awarded to each student upon successful completion of the the 4-week academic program. The aim of this award and experience is to help participants secure admissions to college. Above all, Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA, hopes participation in this program proves a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that inspires each student to pursue future endeavors in the spirit of the Renaissance.

The Palazzo Strozzi, a palatial home and now converted cultural center, is a prime example of Florentine Renaissance architecture. Today the Palazzo Strozzi hosts series of art exhibitions that showcase a range of art periods and geographies. The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation funds this award in its entirety.

The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation thanks all interested students and welcomes their participation.

2016 Instructions and Guidelines for Essay Submission

Essays must be submitted no later than February 5, 2016. Award decisions will be announced by mid April.

2016 Essay Questions and Readings

Women of the Renaissance. Choose one of three topics

Note to the teachers of the participating schools

Selection of the finalists