The Prize also serves to inspire public support for American Prairie Reserve, a modern-day embodiment of America's optimistic and boundless approach to accomplishing the unprecedented — in this case, by creating the largest park in the continental United States on the Great Plains of northeastern Montana.
"As a lifelong student of the American experience, it's a privilege to lend my name to a Prize honoring individuals whose accomplishments reinvigorate the nation's understanding of all that is possible," Mr. Burns says. "And as one who has been irrevocably changed by the majesty of the American West, I am inspired by American Prairie Reserve's historic mission to return a vast swath of Montana to the spectacular natural beauty first enjoyed by Native Americans and later noted by Lewis and Clark. The Prize we present together to David acknowledges the historic role that the Great Plains played in helping to shape America's character. It's that same character, courage and fortitude which David's tremendous work elucidates. This indomitable American spirit is alive and well today, in David and in the men and women in many arenas whose work reminds us that our lives serve a greater purpose."
Mr. McCullough will receive the honor from Mr. Burns and others during the Prize's inaugural presentation event on May 3, 2017, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The evening's festivities will include remarks by these gentlemen as well as the Prize's National Jury Chair and Former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Barbara Barrett plus live, specially-commissioned music.
About American Prairie Reserve
American Prairie Reserve's mission is to create the largest nature reserve in the continental United States, a spectacular refuge for people and wildlife preserved forever as part of America's heritage. When complete, the Reserve will be larger than Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks combined and will support all the animals that historically called the Great Plains home. Learn more at americanprairie.org and kenburnsprize.com.
About Ken Burns
Ken Burns has been making documentary films for almost forty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Mr. Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America's Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; and, most recently, Defying the Nazis: The Sharp's War. His films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including fifteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Mr. Burns was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
About David McCullough
David McCullough has been acclaimed as a master of the art of narrative history. In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale, "As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character." During his crowded, productive career, Mr. McCullough has been an editor, teacher, lecturer, familiar presence on public television, and narrator of numerous documentaries including The Civil War, one of many collaborations with Ken Burns. He is a two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. His most recent book, the widely praised The Wright Brothers, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and remained on the list for nine months. His book 1776 has been acclaimed "a classic," while John Adams, published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely-read American biographies of all time. Mr. McCullough's other books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, Truman and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. His books have been published in 19 languages and as may be said of few writers, none of his books has ever been out of print.
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SOURCE American Prairie Reserve