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Ken Burns American Heritage Prize to be Awarded to Maya Lin Prize Presented by American Prairie Reserve to Celebrate the Indomitable American Spirit

Bozeman, MT, December 09, 2017 --( American Prairie Reserve is proud to announce that artist, designer, and environmentalist Maya Lin has been named the recipient of the second annual Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. The award will be presented May 2, 2018, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The evening’s festivities will include remarks by Ken Burns, Maya Ying Lin, American Prairie Reserve President Alison Fox, as well as the Prize’s National Jury Chair David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, and National Jury Vice Chair Dawn Arnall, Chair of SBP Capital Corporation.

Named in honor of America’s most revered visual historian and documentary filmmaker, the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize recognizes individuals whose achievements have advanced our collective understanding of America’s heritage and the indomitable American spirit of our people. Nominees for the annual Prize consist of visionary artists, authors, educators, filmmakers, historians, and scientists. The candidates are chosen by a National Jury of distinguished leaders who represent communities across the country and share a common appreciation of America’s heritage.

“It’s a privilege to lend my name to a Prize honoring individuals whose accomplishments reinforce the nation’s understanding of all that is possible. The way Maya boldly and creatively brings attention to some of the nation’s and world’s most critical social and historical issues embodies all that is the indomitable American spirit.” – Ken Burns

Maya Lin is an artist, designer, and environmentalist known for her work in sculpture and land art. Lin’s works span from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to her latest global memorial to the planet, What is Missing?

“Not only am I proud to be considered an individual who has advanced the understanding of the indomitable American spirit, I am honored to be named the recipient of the 2018 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. It is a gift to be given this platform to share my work and to shed light on the ways American Prairie Reserve is making strides to preserve and restore what is vanishing and how we can advance this bold mission.” – Maya Lin

American Prairie Reserve, which created the Prize, is a modern-day embodiment of America’s optimistic and boundless approach to accomplishing the unprecedented — in this case, by creating the largest nature reserve in the continental United States, located on the Great Plains of northeastern Montana. The Prize will be presented to Lin by American Prairie Reserve’s President Alison Fox and Board of Directors Chair George Matelich, at the Prize Presentation Event on May 2, 2018, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

American Prairie Reserve’s mission is to create the largest nature reserve in the continental United States, a spectacular refuge for people and wildlife preserved forever as part of America’s heritage. When complete, the Reserve will be larger than Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks combined and will support all the animals that historically called the Great Plains home, including buffalo, wolves, bears, elk, deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, swift fox, upland birds including the greater sage grouse, birds of prey and all manner of reptiles, amphibians and insects. Already open to the public for recreation including camping, hunting, fishing and birding, the Reserve offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime, horizon-expanding opportunity to reconnect with nature on a truly grand scale. Learn more at and

About Ken Burns
Ken Burns ( has been making documentary films for almost forty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Mr. Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; Defying the Nazis: The Sharp’s War; and, most recently, The Vietnam War. His films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including fifteen Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Mr. Burns was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

About Maya Lin
Maya Lin ( is an artist, designer, and environmentalist who interprets the natural world through science, history, politics, and culture. From her very first work, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Ms. Lin has gone on to a simply remarkable career in art and in architecture while still being committed to works that have dealt with memory and history and some of the critical cultural issues of our time.

Lin has created seminal art and architectural works, such as the groundbreaking four-acre earthwork for the Storm King Art Center and the 11-acre A Fold in the Field for Gibbs Farm in New Zealand. Lin’s architectural works include a chapel and library for the Children’s Defense Fund and the master plan and primary building in Novartis’ Cambridge, Massachusetts, complex, which The Boston Globe’s Robert Campbell described as "A work of Art" that is "ambitious in its scope and brilliantly designed." Currently, Lin is working on the new Neilson Library at Smith College, a major outdoor art installation at Princeton University, and What is Missing?, a multi-sited memorial dedicated to raising awareness about species loss and climate change.

In 2009, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Lin the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, praising her for a celebrated career in both art and architecture, and for creating a sacred place of healing in our nation’s capital.
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American Prairie Reserve
Becky Lonardo

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