Ken Burns
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Ken was one of the nicest speakers we’ve ever had. He was very easy to work with and spent a gracious amount of time with anyone who asked. He was very well received at the event, reception and book signing. All were well attended.
Vanderbilt University

Ken Burns

Historian and Award-Winning FilmMaker

One of the most recognizable and popular documentary filmmakers of our time, Ken Burns chronicles those aspects of U.S. history that make us uniquely American.

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A Treasure House of Nature's Superlatives

Burns discusses the great gift of our national parks. Here both “the immensity and the intimacy of time” merge, as we appreciate what the parks have added to our collective and individual spirit. Begins with a 13-minute clip (the intro to The National Parks: America’s Best Idea).

Sharing the American Experience

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. No clips.

No Ordinary Lives

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. Opens with Norah Jones 5-minute “American Anthem” clip from The War.

Mystic Chords of Memory

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 years 1861 through 1865 and the war’s profound relevance to us today.

American Lives

This combines the biographies of some of Ken’s most fascinating subjects, including Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and Mark Twain. He shares how biography works, and gives insight into the storytelling process. No clips.

Conversation with Ken Burns

This is a less formal, Inside-the-Actors-Studio type of event. Burns responds to questions from moderator on all his films (or film-specific) and issues in history and contemporary American culture. Audience Q&A to conclude if wanted.

Meet Ken Burns

One of the most recognizable and popular documentary filmmakers of our time, Ken Burns chronicles those aspects of U.S. history that make us uniquely American.

A perennial figure on PBS, Ken Burns is the creator, director and producer of numerous award-winning documentaries, including Jazz, Civil War, Baseball, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and The Tenth InningHis documentary, Prohibition, tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. Burns has also focused his lens a number of other topics, including: The War, an intimate look at the years 1941-1945; Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; Frank Lloyd Wright; and Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. His documentary, The Address, tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.  His new documentary/television miniseries, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, chronicles the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics. It is the first time in a major documentary television series that their individual stories have been interwoven into a single narrative. A compelling storyteller, Burns speaks to audiences about the subjects of his documentaries as well as the creative process.

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