Ken Burns has been making documentary films for over 35 years and as a professional speaker, he brings his audience through his experiences to tell astounding stories. He is a sought-after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations and business groups throughout the country. Any audience he speaks to leaves inspired to follow their own creative desires. Ken’s films have won thirteen Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. A compelling storyteller, Burns speaks on these topics of his documentaries as well as the creative process.
The National Parks - 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’s 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 TheWar.
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.
This 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. No clips.
This is a less formal, Inside-the-Actors-Studio type of event. Ken responds to questions on all his films and issues in history and contemporary American culture. Audience Q&A to conclude if wanted.