Burt Kempner has been a friend of mine for close to 20 years. Our friendship started over some emails and phone calls, before we teamed up on a trip to visit Dennis Banks, one of the founders of the American Indian Movement. We were both there to document the first annual Great Anishinabe Canoe Race (Yamamoto Cup), an event that was designed to "instill pride, to revive the active use of the canoe and canoe racing, to encourage Native American youth to participate in cultural activities, and to defeat the high incidence of alcohol and drug use. The youth experience traditions of their culture that they may otherwise never have the chance to experience."
We both left with some incredible stories and experiences, and we vowed to stay in touch over the years. We've done so, and recently I reached out to Burt to tell him about The BridgeKeepers Project. I wanted to see if he wanted to be a part in some way. We've got some ideas slowly burning, but I wanted to introduce you to him now. Aside from future content contributions, Burt has a dazzling array of wonderful stories he has put down in the form of some award winning children's books. Please take a minute to read his introduction below and visit his page here, to further explore his books! You'll be glad you did...
Hi, I'm Burt Kempner.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Philadelphia when I was four years old. I was not consulted in the matter. I knew from childhood that I wanted to be a writer. I love playing with words, coming up with new combinations and puzzles.
My first job was as a news reporter at a rock and roll radio station. I then learned television production and expanded into films. For 45 years I was a scriptwriter and sometimes producer. I specialized in documentary, environmental and non-profit programming, and my work appeared on PBS, Discovery, History, CNBC, European and Asian TV. I also co-wrote two produced feature films and four short films.
In 2014, I suddenly got the urge to write children’s books. It was because I wasn’t seeing the books I had wanted to read as a kid. In my books, you won’t be a bit surprised to see an elephant bounce off a trampoline or a sleepy blue whale nearly be the cause of war. That’s just the way things are in a Mild Wild Media book. I had composed quite a few for my son when he was small, and he delighted in them. My first published book was