Keynote by LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton (RRKidz)
Keynote Broadway Ballroom
This presentation will be streamed live along with the other keynotes.
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Photo of LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton


LeVar Burton has been capturing the admiring attention of both audiences and his
industry peers for three decades, and continues to enjoy longevity truly rare within the
industry. His deftness in avoiding stereotype continues to be a hallmark of an incredibly
diverse career. Whether acting, directing, producing or writing, LeVar has demonstrated,
over time that he can do it all. No greater proof of his enduring appeal and deep
personal connection with his audience is the fact that LeVar is one of the most followed
people in the world in TWITTER, with over 1.7M followers.

As if following some implausible Hollywood scenario, LeVar’s first professional audition,
while pursuing his undergraduate studies at USC, led to his being cast as Kunta Kinte in
the acclaimed miniseries ROOTS. The phenomenal success of ROOTS launched his
career as an actor, and more importantly, earned his performance as KUNTA KINTE,
lasting status as a worldwide icon representing the indomitability of the human spirit.

An avowed science-fiction buff as well as a devoted fan of the unique vision of Gene
Rodenberry, LeVar considers his longtime association with the STAR TREK franchise
nothing short of a dream come true. Having both appeared in and directed a plethora of
TREK incarnations over the years, LeVar adamantly adheres to his optimistic point of
view of the future saying, “I’m betting on our ultimate success at rising to our highest
level of human expression.”

After twenty-five seasons as the host and executive producer of the highly acclaimed
PBS children’s television series READING RAINBOW, LeVar ended his long time
commitment to the television show in favor of exploring other avenues of creative
expression. While taking great pride in the series’ role in garnering him a total of 13
Emmy Awards, five NAACP Awards and numerous nominations, he continues to be
most proud of Reading Rainbow’s ability to “use the medium of television to help create
generations of Americans who are passionate readers”.

Today LeVar is primarily focusing his energy behind the camera as a successful film and
TV director. He has directed television as diverse as all four STAR TREK series,
CHARMED, LAS VEGAS and more. His first dramatic television movie, THE TIGER
WOODS STORY, for Showtime, received three Emmy nominations. His Disney Channel
film SMART HOUSE remains one of the most popular original movies in the channel’s
history. His first full length feature film, BLIZZARD, received numerous accolades
including Best of Fest at the 2006 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and had
joined the pantheon of classic Holiday movies.

Burton’s newest endeavor is the launch of a new production company, formed with his
business partner, producer Mark Wolfe. BURTON/WOLFE ENTERTAINMENT, is a cross
platform media company producing television programs, feature films, and original web
content. BWE has lined up numerous strategic partnerships with networks, distribution
companies and internet portals.

2011 has been a big year for Burton. He guest starred in episodes of two highly popular
and critically acclaimed TV shows, BIG BANG THEORY and COMMUNITY. He signed to
co-star in the 2012 TNT TV series, PERCEPTION with Eric McCormack. In September
LeVar announced the 2012 return of Reading Rainbow as a multi-faceted new media
venture under Burton/Wolfe’s RRKIDZ banner. Burton serves as Curator of this exciting
enrichment children’s brand, and (along with Wolfe) as the company’s Co-Founder.

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

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