Robert Shetterly's Americans Who Tell The Truth

portraits and narratives highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness.

By combining art and other media, AWTT offers resources to inspire a new generation of engaged Americans who will act for the common good, our communities, and the Earth.

Mary Ellen Tracy
I teach at one of the schools which Samantha Smith attended. Because of this, when I heard about thisSamantha Smith Challenge (click to sign up your students)I was excited to learn more.
David Hilton
I know my time with my students will have been worthwhile if, at the end of our class, each child has grown as a citizen. I want my students to learn to be aware, empathetic, and active. The Samantha Smith Challengefits right into this approach.
Adele Drake
Robert Shetterly's portraits cut to the chase in a compelling way. Students could access the profound sentiments that these portraits represent.
Dr. Elisa Díaz-Martínez
Robert’s Americans Who Tell the Truth has become a distinctive and profound way of teaching American History and American Thought...His work will help us advance towards common understanding and tolerance.
Karyn Field
During the 2013/2014 school year, teachers Karyn Field and Sharyn Hastings used the AWTT portraits and resources to help students analyze "themes related to scapegoating, intolerance and social strife." Students wrote poems, orchestrated press conference
Laurie Solchenberger
I am a special and regular educator in Madison, WI. My students used your images to discuss how some people choose to do amazing things with their lives: some in big ways, some in small ways, but always by finding something they believe in.
Kristen Zoeller
Finally, I was shown people of all backgrounds who had made a difference; finally, I found people who were so normal, who I could relate to, and yet were so profound. Suddenly, there was no more excuse.

Support the AWTT Video Project!

Award-winning filmmaker, Richard Kane, is making a documentary about Robert Shetterly and Americans Who Tell the Truth. Please support this outreach project, which will take the AWTT portraits to many more people around the country.

The Samantha Smith Challenge

The 2018/19 Samantha Smith Challenge, an initiative of AWTT and Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE), wrapped up in June. Educators and students interested in participating next year should contact us by September. 

Additional education projects: Check out our resources for educators to see AWTT's new, in-development project, engagEd.

Most Recent Portraits

Our full gallery now includes over 235 portraits of American truth-tellers. You can browse the full gallery. Or just begin your exploration by linking to a few of the most recent additions to the series here. 


  • Climate Convergence Conference

    Blue Hill, Maine
    Hosted by Reversing Falls Sanctuary

    Robert Shetterly will serve as host at the Climate Convergence Conference to be held at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine on July 20, 2019 - an all day event starting at 8:30 am. Go here to register. Find all other details about the day's events on Reversing Falls Sanctuary website. We planto laugh and sing (amidst the angst), learn from the experts and each other

  • “Americans Who Tell the Truth” Exhibit of 29 portraits opens in Ipswich, MA

    Ipswich Museum, Zumis, True North Taproom
    Hosted by AWTT/Ipswich

    Americans Who Tell the Truth, a collection of portraits painted by nationally acclaimed cultural and educational artist Robert Shetterly, will be on public display throughout the town of Ipswich, MA during the month of July 2019.

  • Reggie Harris Concert

    Blue Hill Town Hall, Blue Hill, ME
    Hosted by Americans Who Tell the Truth

    June 29, 2019, 7:00 p.m. Blue Hill, Maine Town Hall We're happy to welcomeReggie Harris, singer/songwriter/social activist, to Blue Hill, toperform his rousing, heart-breaking, community-building music and storytelling.

  • The Long History of Racism and Police Violence in Chicago (and America)

    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Hosted by Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

    Legendary Civil Rights lawyer, Flint Taylor presents his recently published book, "THE TORTURE MACHINE: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago".

  • Archipelago Artists and Makers Conference

    Northport, Maine
    Hosted by Island Institute

    April 4, 2019, 5-6 p.m. Point Lookout, 64 Atlantic Highway, Northport, Maine Join us for an evening with Maine artist and author Robert Shetterly as he highlights and discusses the paintings and process around his "Americans Who Tell The Truth" project. Appetizers will be served. On Friday, April 5th, from 2:15-3:45 p.m., Shetterly will join visual artistKenny Colefor the

  • Human Rights Lawyer Jennifer Harbury on How Trump Is Punishing Cartels’ Victims—Not Their Members

    Brownsville, Texas

    Amy Goodman interviews human rights lawyerJennifer Harbury about how our government's "zero tolerence" policy is punishing people who are fleeing crime in Central America and Mexico. "...that’s what this administration wants. We want to drive them home. We’ll take your kids. We’ll imprison you for years. We’ll make you sit on the bridge and die of heat stroke.

  • Dance concert inspired by woman who was last arrested when she was 94 years old

    Ipswich Museum, Ipswich, MA

    As part of the month-long AWTTIpswichevent, choreographerJanet Taisey Craft, along with dancers Jessie Boudreau, Jenny Carlson, Danielle DiVito, and Tabitha Rodger of the Ipswich Moving Company, created a set of performance pieces based on the courageous lives of four AWTT portrait subjects. Read full story in

  • 2018-19 Samantha Smith Challenge: Another Successful Year

    Thomas College, Waterville, Maine

    The 2018-19Samantha Smith Challenge saw over 300 Maine middle level students become engaged and active citizens. The climate crisis, gun violence, racism, the impact of cancer on families, hate language, and many other concerns surfaced as important topics for this year’s SSC students.

  • Kids Suing the U.S. Government to Take Action Against Climate Change: It's a '911' Situation

    Eugene, OR

    They're on a roll. Less that a month after their big day in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the power team landeda major spread in People magazine. These youth know that they are now reaching deeply into middle America.

  • World premiere of coal town production set to hit West Virginia Public Theatre stage

    Morgantown, W. Va.

    Denise Giardina's award-winning novelStorming Heavenhas been adapted for the musical stage and is currently showing at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center. The story line centers on Carrie Bishop (Alison McCartan), the mine doctor’s nurse and sister of the mine superintendent, who finds herself unwittingly in the middle of a love triangle with Albion Freeman (Luke