“History made them famous. Ken Burns made them real.” So says PBS about one of the most influential documentary filmmakers of our time.
Burns will sit down for an on-stage conversation with Michael Krasny. Tackling subjects ranging from the Central Park Five to the Dust Bowl through the eyes of everyday people, Burns keeps social justice at the heart of all of his work.
Authorized by the Steinbeck estate, The John Steinbeck Award, “in the souls of the people,” is presented to artists and activists whose works exemplify the spirit of Steinbeck’s social engagement.
Previous recipients include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Sean Penn, John Sayles, Studs Terkel, Joan Baez, Garrison Keillor, John Mellencamp, Rachel Maddow, and Dolores Huerta (co-founder, with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers).
At the event, Burns will screen a sneak peek of his upcoming documentary, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” set to air in 2014.
There’s a connection between John Steinbeck and Eleanor Roosevelt. When detractors accused Steinbeck of exaggerating the conditions in migrant labor camps as depicted in The Grapes of Wrath, the first lady came to the novelist’s defense.