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 a doc on Rob Shetterly

Award-winning filmmaker, Richard Kane, is making a documentary about Robert Shetterly and Americans Who Tell the Truth. To learn more got to

The Samantha Smith Challenge

Registration is open for the 2019/20 Samantha Smith Challenge, an initiative of AWTT and Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE).  Get the guidelines and resources now

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 240 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. 


  • SUNY Polytech Artist's Talk

    SUNY Poly

    Join Robert Shetterly to hear stories about what inspires the artist and how his series of paintings came to be. Be inspired bythe remarkable truth tellers he has studied and painted. Gannett Gallery, SUNY Poly campus, 2 p.m., November 7, 2019. Exhibit runs from October 21 to December 13.

  • Robert Shetterly at the Active Bystanding and Caring Communities Symposium

    Gorham, Maine
    Hosted by University of Southern Maine

    We are looking forward to the Active Bystanding and Caring Communities Symposium at University of Southern Maine on Thursday and Friday., October 24 and 25. Here is the schedule of events AWTTwill be participating in.

  • AWTT Exhibit at SUNY Polytechnical Institute

    Utica, N. Y.
    Hosted by SUNY Poly

    SUNY Poly is hosting an exhibit of Americans Who Tell the Truth portraits from October 21 through December 13, 2019 at Gannett Art Gallery. The Gallery will be open for extended hours during this exhibit: Monday-Friday: 9 am - 7 pm Saturday and Sunday; 10-5 pm

  • Legacies of War 15th Anniversary Gala

    Washington, D.C.
    Hosted by Legacies of War

    Robert Shetterly will unveil his new portrait of peace advocate Channapha Khamvongsa at this Sept.

  • COA Reception with Robert Shetterly

    Bar Harbor, MA
    Hosted by College of the Atlantic

    Join painter Robert Shetterly on Thursday, Aug. 22 for a closing reception for College of the Atlanticsummer exhibit, Americans Who Tell the Truth. This incredible show of Shetterly's portraits and narratives highlights citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness. The reception gets underway at 5 p.m.

  • Samantha Smith Challenge 2019-20 - Registration Open

    Calling all middle school teachers! We are excited to begin the 5th annual Samantha Smith Challenge program. Through this school-based program, we aspire to engage Maine middle school students in creating art that moves others to make the world a better place to live.Projects canincluded film, performance, visual art, name it. There are no boxes.

  • Honoring America's Veterans

    On Veterans Day we remember thosewho have served our country through military service, including these AWTT portrait subjects: Dwight D. Eisenhower, WW II Allied Commander, Supreme Commander ofNATO, and U.S.

  • Dr. Paul Farmer still a readers' favorite on 60th birthday

    As Paul Farmer turns 60 on Saturday, November 26, he is making news in the publishing world. The University of California Press is releasing this month the paperback version of his popular 2016 book To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation.

  • Glide Memorial Church Celebrates 90th Birthday Of Founder Rev. Williams

    Glide Memorial Church Celebrates 90th Birthday Of Founder Rev. Williams

    The congregation at Glide Memorial Methodist Church, a ray of hope in the Tenderloin District for over 50 years, wished the church’s founder a very special happy birthday on Sunday morning. The morning’s services were even more colorful than usual as the choir arrived, happily wearing the signature dashiki robes that Rev.

  • Remembering Frances Crowe

    As we mourn the loss of peaceactivist Frances Crowe, we need also to remember her wit and wisdom. On the occasion of her death, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has re-published its 2014 interview with her - worth reading and re-reading.