LeVar Burton to Receive Los Angeles Press Club’s Distinguished Storyteller Award

Actor, director, producer, educator, and lifelong literacy advocate LeVar Burton will accept Los Angeles Press Club’s Distinguished Storyteller Award for Storytelling Outside of Journalism.

Previous awardees include Michael Connelly, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lee and Tanya Tucker.

The ceremony will take place at the 16th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards Gala on December 3, 2023, at the historic Biltmore Hotel DTLA. This is a fundraiser for the Los Angeles Press Club, a 501c3 charitable organization.

“LeVar Burton has left a lasting impact through different types of storytelling,” said LA Press Club President Lisa Richwine. “His memorable acting performances wowed TV audiences, while ‘Reading Rainbow’ educated and inspired millions of children.”

Burton is best known for his roles in ROOTS, Star Trek: Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow. He is an actor, director, and educator committed to improving children’s education through innovative uses of storytelling.

Burton launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. At 19, he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine, after landing the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series Roots. Burton achieved further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation television series – a role he reprised in Star Trek: Picard in 2023. However, it has been as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow for which he is most proud. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

As a lifelong literacy advocate, Burton has dedicated decades to encouraging children to read. In 2017, long-standing literacy non-profit Reading is Fundamental acquired Burton’s Skybrary reading app in order to provide access to millions of children both at home and at school. Always committed to improving children’s education through the latest pioneering technologies, Burton partnered with Osmo’s Reading Adventure, an innovative technology that uses speech recognition and digital storytelling to teach children to read. In 2023, Burton premiered his first documentary, The Right to Read, a film that positions the literacy crisis in America as a civil rights issue.

Full Bio here.

Ava DuVernay, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Barbara Eden will also be honored at this gala event.

The Los Angeles Press Club has a long and storied history as one of the oldest and most prestigious journalist organizations in the country, serving the Southland since 1913.

The club established the NAEJ Awards in 2008 to recognize and honor quality journalism in the fastest-growing segment of the modern media revolution. It remains the sole acknowledgment of its kind in the nation and has become a much-anticipated celebration for those covering the entertainment industry and its artists.

For tickets, advertising and sponsorship opportunities go to www.LAPressClub.org or contact NAEJ producer Diana Ljungaeus at Diana-AT-lapressclub.org.

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