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Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA

Established to raise awareness and support in America for the exhibits and cultural activities of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.

The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA was established in 2010 in New York to raise American awareness and support for the exhibits and cultural activities of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. The mission of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA, in this era of globalization, is to preserve the values of openness and creativity of the Renaissance, one of the foundations of the Enlightenment and of modern Western societies. Among the major initiatives of The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA is The Palazzo Strozzi High School Renaissance Award.

The Palazzo Strozzi High School Renaissance Award
A life-changing experience for talented and hardworking
11th grade students in New York City, Los Angeles
and Detroit public school systems.

This program, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District and Detroit Public Schools, is now in its tenth year. The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA introduced The Palazzo Strozzi High School Renaissance Award in 2010. The Award is an essay competition on the Renaissance requiring in-depth research and sophisticated writing. The applicants tend to be ambitious, curious, and hardworking; primarily from low and middle-income backgrounds. The competition requires no previous expertise on the Renaissance other than what the students have learned in European History; but applicants must be willing to read assigned texts and conduct independent research in order to craft an original and thoughtful essay.

The winners of this competition travel to Italy the summer after their junior year for one month to learn about the Renaissance through the lenses of art, history, language, literature and science. The students and their chaperones/teachers are based in Florence for their classes and visit Milan, Rome and Venice as well as the regions surrounding Florence in order to experience first hand some of the roots of Western culture.

In the context of today’s evolving world and globalization process, this award carries a symbolic message: it represents an anchor to the central values of our time – openness, mutual understanding and progress – that have been part of our history, both in business and the arts in the Western world. These central roots of our core values, of our humanistic-centered society, are to be found in the Renaissance Florentine experience, the link between the greatness of Rome and Athens, and the heritage of what we are today as a civil society.

For these students, the trip is most likely their first experience traveling abroad and often their first experience away from their families. It is an academically demanding journey designed not only to educate the students about the Renaissance but importantly, to also prepare them in many ways for the upcoming college application process.