Ken Burns has been making films for more than 30 years, directing and producing some of the most celebrated historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose has said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun wrote in March 2009, “Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker, period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” Burns’ films have won ten Emmy Awards, garnered two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, he was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Read More >
Interview with Bill Maher
Ken Burns discusses the great gift of our national parks with the same passion and depth that trademark his award-winning films. He notes that the immensity and the intimacy of time merge as we appreciate what the parks have added to our collective and individual spirit. This presentation begins with the 13-minute introduction from his documentary, National Parks: America's Best Idea.
In this 45 to 50 minute speech, compelling storyteller Ken Burns reminds the audience of the timeless lessons of history, and the enduring greatness and importance of the United States in the course of human events. Incorporating The Civil War, Baseball and Jazz, Burns engages and celebrates what we share in common.
Drawing on some of Lincoln's most stirring words as inspiration, this speech engages the paradox of war by following the powerful themes in two of Ken Burns’ best known works: The Civil War, his epic retelling of the most important event in American history, and The War, his intensely moving story of WWII told through the experiences of so-called ordinary people from four geographically distributed American towns. Burns opens with Norah Jones 5-minute American Anthem clip from The War.
The Civil War continues to be the most important event in American history. In this eloquent address, Burns paints both an intimate and bird’s eye view of the searing events of the years1861 through 1865 and the war’s profound relevance to us today.
This keynote combines the biographies of some of Ken’s most fascinating subjects, including Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark and Frank Lloyd Wright. He shares how biography works, and gives insight into the storytelling process.
This is a less formal, Inside-the-Actors-Studio type of event. Ken Burns responds to questions on all his films and issues in history and contemporary American culture.
"You won't be surprised to hear that Ken was amazing last night. He was mesmerizing (as I've heard about him) and fit in perfectly with our program, the occasion of which was to award our 3rd annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities to a young person."
"His clips of The War were stunning. In addition, he's so personable, generous, and genuine. He's obviously devoted to his work and passionate about sharing it with everyone. I don't know how we'll top, or equal, him next year. We got nothing but compliments from the 400 in the audience, who left feeling that they had experienced something significant (which was true). Once again, thanks for helping us 'hit a home run,' as one of our donors said last night. I look forward to more."
"It was a great event. Ken goes above and beyond on all accounts. He put the film together in segments that allowed him to introduce each segment in context. The Q&A portion was well done. I’d like to find a time to bring Ken back to Dallas!"