Ken Burns, the award-wining documentarian who pioneered a new genre of historical filmmaking, will deliver the 2016 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.
The lecture is the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. The lecture is produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
NEH is a federal agency created in 1965 that is celebrating its 50th anniversary. NEH awards grants to individuals and institutions (e.g. museums, libraries, archives) that support understanding and appreciation of cultural topics including languages and literature, history, philosophy and others.
Burns will deliver the lecture on May 9 at the John. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is a free public event and will also stream live online.
Burns will talk about race in America, a topic he has illuminated and confronted through his nearly 40 years of directing and producing acclaimed historical documentaries.