The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is deeply proud of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ ability to identify the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and creative leaders, and the Alliance celebrates a shining example of the exceptional artistic and literary talent that is encouraged through the Awards: Ken Burns.
Ken Burns received a Scholastic Writing Award in 1971 for an essay entitled “First Christmas in Ann Arbor” as a senior attending Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has since become an internationally renowned, award-winning filmmaker with an exceptional career spanning more than thirty-five years, having directed and produced some of the most acclaimed documentaries ever made, sparking important national conversations about race, health, morality, politics, and the heroes of our times.
The recognition Ken Burns’s work has received highlights his dedication and incomparable point of view. His films have collectively received thirteen Emmy Awards and two Academy Award nominations and, in 2008, Mr. Burns was honored at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, he was appointed by the National Council on the Humanities as the Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
Therefore, the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers wishes to once again recognize and applaud Ken Burns, now with the Scholastic Art & Writing Alumni Achievement Award, for his triumphs in film and his unwavering commitment to history, storytelling, and artistic excellence.