The call of history : Ken Burns delivers a classic speech at A&L’s anniversary event

UCSB’s Arts & Lectures capped off its 50th anniversary season with a special dinner, auction and lecture event at the Coral Casino on Monday night. With the Pacific Ocean rolling and crashing right up to the rocky berm not that far below the resort, the evening reminded the $350/plate guests how their support plays out in season after season of musicians at the top of their game, stellar dance and theater companies, humorists, intellectuals and the best in cinema. Part fund-raiser for next season, part thank-you, and part private party, the evening ended with a special appearance by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

In his 50s now, but still looking a boyish early-30s, Mr. Burns is coming off his most recent multi-part documentary for PBS: a history of the National Parks. In the style that he made famous through docs on the Civil War, baseball and jazz, this journey through our national treasures once again made centuries-old voices come alive, still photographs look like they were shot yesterday, and revealed the weird and wonderful fabric of America.

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We’re Gonna Need to See Some Identity – A master documentarian of American history, Ken Burns and his bottomless curiosity help UCSB Arts & Lectures cap its 50th Anniversary season

Ken Burns has been shaping the way we think about history for the past 30 years with his epic, sprawling narratives of America’s past. In his multi-part documentaries for PBS, he has taught us about the Civil War, baseball, jazz, World War II and, in last year’s 12-hour series, the history of our National Parks.

UCSB’s Arts & Lectures celebrates the end of its 50th anniversary season with a very special appearance by Ken Burns on Monday, May 24, at the Coral Casino. Paula Poundstone emcees the event, which includes dinner and a silent auction of such goodies as a guitar autographed by Elvis Costello.

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