***The deadline for the contest to design a National Humanities Medal has been extended to March 15, 2013. See Challenge.gov  for more details.***
WASHINGTON, DC (October 1, 2012) – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today launched a nationwide contest to design a new National Humanities Medal to be awarded annually by the President to the nation’s most distinguished leaders in the humanities.
The National Humanities Medal is bestowed in a White House ceremony on individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizen engagement with humanistic fields, or helped preserve and expand access to resources in humanities areas. Honorees have included authors such as Toni Morrison and Philip Roth, historians such as Stephen Ambrose and Robert Caro, filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, and Nobel laureates such as Elie Wiesel. (See a complete list of past National Humanities Medal recipients.) 
In a contest opening today at Challenge.gov, NEH is accepting designs for a new medal that reflects the values of the humanities and the importance of the contributions of the medal winners. Design proposals are due by February 1, 2013. Information on how to enter the contest, which is open to individuals 18 years of age and older, can be found at: http://humanitiesmedaldesign.challenge.gov .
The creator of the winning design will receive a $3,000 prize and an invitation to the unveiling of the final medal in Washington DC. The prize-winning design should be beautiful, reflect the humanities, and be easily replicable as a medal.
The new medal design will premiere at the 2013 National Humanities Medals ceremony and will serve the Endowment far into the future. The winner will be announced in April 2013.
For more information on the contest please see: http://humanitiesmedaldesign.challenge.gov .