The Woody Guthrie Center Presents Woody Guthrie Prize Honoring Norman Lear
May 12 , 2017 Doors: 7pm Show: 7:30PM
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 Q&A with Lear on his extraordinary career, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Founding Executive Director Bob Santelli, and special performances by Los Angeles-based four-piece Chicano Batman and singer/songwriter and folk musician Joel Rafael. Rafael has five co-writes with Woody Guthrie, and the largest collection of contemporary Woody Guthrie recordings. He’s been featured in the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Okla. Rolling Stone’s Will Hermes has described Rafael as: "a disappearing breed: a Guthrie-Dylan-Llewyn Davis-style folk singer and Vietnam draft-dodger armed with a harmonica rack and acoustic guitar, who sings tales of love and history flickering with ache and political outrage." As part of the performance at the GRAMMY Museum, Chicano Batman will play their reimagined rendition of Woody Guthrie’s iconic American folk song "This Land Is Your Land," released earlier this year as part of the Johnnie Walker Keep Walking America campaign, which is aimed at inspiring cultural progress and celebrating America’s rich diversity. Chicano Batman and Johnnie Walker give a fresh, vibrant sound to the decades-old classic, speaking to a new generation of Americans with the same resounding messages of positivity, possibility and unity as the original. Chicano Batman's new album Freedom Is Free is out now on ATO Records, and the band recently performed on "CONAN."
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.
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- Friday, May 12, 2017 at 7:30pm Add to Calendar