Arts for Humanity


Our missions is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogues and youth focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.

Arts for Humanity Award Honoring George Clooney - 2014

In May of 2014 the Elie Wiesel Foundation presented the Arts for Humanity award to George Clooney, who is recognized as much for his global humanitarian efforts as he is for his accomplishments in the entertainment industry. His achievements as a performer and a filmmaker have earned him two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, four SAG Awards, one BAFTA award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, an Emmy and four National Board of Review Awards. When Clooney received his eighth Academy Award nomination, he earned a special spot in the Oscar record books. He has now been nominated in more categories than anyone else in Oscar history.

George Clooney is a strong First Amendment advocate with a deep commitment to humanitarian causes. In 2006, Clooney and his father, Nick, went to drought-stricken Darfur, Africa, to film the documentary “Journey to Darfur.” Clooney’s work on behalf of Darfur relief led to his addressing the United Nations Security Council with Elie Wiesel. He also narrated the Darfur documentary “Sand and Sorrow.” In 2007, he co-founded “Not On Our Watch,” an organization whose mission is to focus global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities in Darfur.

In 2008, George Clooney was designated a U.N. Messenger of Peace, one of eight individuals chosen to advocate on behalf of the U.N. and its peacekeeping efforts. In January of 2010, he co-produced the “Hope for Haiti Now!” telethon, which raised more than $66 million, setting a new record for donations made by the public through a disaster-relief telethon. In December of 2010, he, along with the United Nations, Harvard University and Google, launched “The Satellite Sentinel Project,” an effort to monitor violence and human-rights violations between Southern and Northern Sudan. “Not on Our Watch” funds new monitoring technology, which allows private satellites to take photographs of any potential threats to civilians, detect bombs, observe the movement of troops and note any other evidence of possible mass violence. In March of 2012, George Clooney was part of the delegation that peacefully demonstrated in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., calling worldwide attention to the human-rights violations being committed in Sudan, which resulted in his arrest.

In recognizing artists not only for their intrinsic talent but for their concern for others, the Arts for Humanity Award strives to highlight the important role performers play in global well-being. George Clooney’s humanitarian efforts are the perfect representation of the goals of this honor.

Arts for Humanity Award Honoring Tom Hanks - 2012

In October of 2012 the Elie Wiesel Foundation bestowed its inaugural Arts for Humanity Award on acclaimed actor, producer and humanitarian Tom Hanks. The event, held at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum celebrated the numerous charitable endeavors of Mr. Hanks. These include his work with the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, ONE Campaign, National Space Society, Hole in the Wall Gang, Got Your 6 Campaign and the New Orleans World War II Museum to name but a few.

Tom Hanks holds the distinction of being the first actor in 50 years to be awarded back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards ®: in 1993 as the AIDS-stricken lawyer in Philadelphia and the following year in the title role of Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globes for both of these performances, along with his work in Big and Cast Away.

A gifted actor and producer, Tom Hanks proves that success can have far-reaching rewards. His charitable work helps people around the world. His belief in the importance of remembering the past combined with his efforts on behalf of those in need create an exemplary humanitarian and a most fitting recipient of our inaugural Arts for Humanity Award.

In recognizing artists not only for their intrinsic talent but for their concern for others, the Arts for Humanity Award strives to highlight the important role performers play in global well-being. Future honorees will reflect the essential values which the Foundation holds dear.

For more information about the Gala honoring Tom Hanks, please click here.