"Whatever differences may exist, we can all come together and agree on one thing, and that’s our love of this state and our country and the people," Redford said.
The evening began with a Native American dance and invocation. Entertainment was provided by Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald, who sang five songs including a solid cover of "The Way We Were," from the 1974 movie that starred Redford and Barbra Streisand.
A video presentation — with Redford and others talking about the beginnings of Sundance as a resort, a catalog shop, and an arts institution — highlighted the cultural and economic benefits Redford’s efforts have given the state.
James Redford, the actor’s son, joked about another way Redford’s presence in Utah has brought money to the state: "The speeding tickets." (Redford is known for his love of fast cars.)
More seriously, James Redford praised his father’s appreciation of Utah. "The love he has for Utah is visceral, it’s primal, and it’s deeply personal," James Redford said, saying that love has been passed down to Robert Redford’s children and grandchildren. "We all live in different places, but Utah will always be our deep home."
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