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The Woody Guthrie Center Presents Woody Guthrie Prize Honoring Norman Lear

Emmy-winning television producer, writer and activist Norman Lear will be presented with the fourth annual Woody Guthrie Prize during a special evening in the Clive Davis Theater at the GRAMMY Museum on Friday, May 12. The prize is given annually to an artist who best exemplifies the spirit and life work of Woody Guthrie by speaking for the less fortunate through music, film, literature, dance, or other art forms, and serving as a positive force for social change in America. Lear is the first recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize whose work is in a medium other than music. The evening will feature an intimate conversation with Lear, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. American singer/songwriter and folk musician Joel Rafael will also perform.

Lear's work has led him to earn four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award, and induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame as one of the first of seven "television pioneers." Through his programs such as "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "Maude," and "The Jeffersons," the shared experiences of everyday Americans were brought into homes across the country and helped to guide national conversations. His shows depicted the struggles and triumphs of Americans through relatable and vivid characters, many of whom continue to hold a prominent place in pop culture. When Lear was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1999, then-President Bill Clinton said: "Norman Lear has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it." Off screen, Lear's work for social justice was unbound. In 1981 he founded the People for the American Way and in 1989 co-founded the Environmental Media Association and spoke about issues related to the First Amendment.  

Currently, Lear is executive producing his second season of the Netflix original series, ONE DAY AT A TIME, as well as, developing a handful of other projects under his company, ACT III Productions.  His new podcast, "All of the Above with Norman Lear," will be launched via PodcastOne and available everywhere May 1.