The Kennedy Center Announces Over 2,000 Performances in 2014-2015

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces its 2014–2015 Season  2014 with More Than 2,000 Performances of Theater, Dance, and Music of All Kinds

kennedy-center

Highlights include:

Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents

World Premiere Kennedy Center Musical: Little Dancer

National Symphony Orchestra:
Mahler Explored • Fantasy & Fate: Tchaikovsky Masterworks

Washington National Opera:
Florencia in the Amazon • Dialogues of the Carmelites • The Little Prince

The Royal Ballet • Mariinsky Ballet • Scottish Ballet’s D.C. Debut

Martha Clarke’s Chéri
with Herman Cornejo & Alessandra Ferri

Jason Moran’s In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959

Five World Premiere Theatrical Commissions for Young Audiences

Michael M. Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the  Performing Arts, today announced programming for the 2014–2015 season for the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera. In wide-ranging programming that  includes more than 2,000 performances of theater, dance, music of all kinds, and productions for young people, the Center continues its tradition, as the nation’s center for the performing arts, to commission, produce, and present the best of national and international arts.

In announcing the 2014-2015 season, Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser stated, “We are proud to present a diverse season with wonderful breadth and depth in all performing art qforms.”

The season includes many highlights: a wide-ranging festival of the arts of the Iberian peninsula and their influence across the world, Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents will encompass the seven-theater facility for three weeks; the Center produces the world premiere musical theater production of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Little Dancer with direction and choreography by Susan Stroman; the ballet season brings a host of the world’s best companies, including London’s The Royal Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet; and the jazz season brings two major multimedia performances, including Artistic Advisor Jason Moran’s In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959.

Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra, both affiliate organizations of the Kennedy Center, bring their own exciting programs. Among its seven productions next season, WNO produces four company premieres, including Florencia in the Amazon, directed by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. Among its many exciting offerings next season, the NSO offers a three-week celebration of the music of Tchaikovsky and begins a multi-season exploration of the symphonic and vocal music of Gustav Mahler.

The Kennedy Center’s mission to produce and support the creation of new work is in full form among the five world premiere, Kennedy Center–commissioned theatrical works for young audiences, as well as the Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Project, the annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival, WNO’s American Opera Initiative, the NSO’s newly commissioned work for young audiences composed by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke titled The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!, and other programs. The Kennedy Center, as it has for the past 16 years, continues to present a free performance every day on the Millennium Stage which is broadcast live on the Kennedy Center website and is archived for future viewings.

“Michael Kaiser and the Center’s programming team have put together an outstanding season with such a remarkable variety in its offerings—from established companies and returning favorites to young artists bursting on the scene, from well-known works to newly commissioned world premieres, from wonderful American performers to the best artists from around the globe,” stated Deborah F. Rutter, who will become Kennedy Center President in September. “I look forward to working with the Kennedy Center’s talented and hard-working staff in bringing this exciting season
to the stage.”

THEATER
World Premiere Kennedy Center Musical, Page-to-Stage Festival, and Touring Shows

The Kennedy Center’s 2014–2015 Theater season features the world premiere musical production of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Little Dancer, featuring direction and choreography by five-time Tony Award® winner Susan Stroman. Loosely based on the creation of one of Edgar Degas’s most renowned sculptures, the musical features four-time Tony Award® winner Boyd Gaines as Degas, three-time Tony Award® nominee Rebecca Luker as Adult Marie von Goethem, and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Tiler Peck as Young Marie von Goethem.

The Center also presents a new, pre-Broadway revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Gigi, featuring a new adaptation by Heidi Thomas with direction by Eric Schaeffer.

National touring productions include two Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice creations: Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  The national tour of the charming musical Once makes its Kennedy Center debut and ever-popular Broadway smash production of The Book of Mormon returns to the Kennedy Center for an extended run.

The eighth season of Barbara Cook’s Spotlight features cabaret-style performances by Will Chase, Malcolm Gets, LaChanze, Andrea McArdle, and Faith Prince.

The annual Page-to-Stage New Play Festival highlighting the work of dozens of local theater companies through a series of open rehearsals and readings of new works, is dedicated to the works in 2015’s Women’s Voices Theater Festival. The entirely free Page-to-Stage festival allows area companies to workshop their plays one year before they present them in fully staged world premiere productions.

Shear Madness continues its run in the Theater Lab as it has for the past 26 years and several international theater companies take part in the Center’s Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents festival.

PERFORMANCES FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
Five World Premiere Theatrical Commissions, Major NSO & WNO Programs

The Theater for Young Audiences season presents five new Kennedy Center–commissioned works including The Gift of Nothing, a musical based on a book by wildly popular, nationally syndicated Mutts comic strip creator Patrick McDonnell; Mockingbird, adapted by Julie Jensen from the National Book Award–winning novel by Kathryn Erskine; Doktor Kaboom: LIVE WIRE! The Electricity Tour, a science theater production blending theater arts with the wonders of science exploration co-commissioned with Doktor Kaboom, a creation of David Epley; Jack’s Tale, a mountain musical written by Nashville-based playwright Scot Copeland with music by composer/musician Paul Carrol Binkley that is co-commissioned with Nashville Children’s Theatre; and Outside the Bachs, a hip-hop dance-meets-classical music production, co-commissioned with New York City’s Full Circle Productions. Washington National Opera presents the company premiere of Rachel Portman and Nicholas Wright’s The Little Prince, based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry with direction by Francesca Zambello. Principal NSO Pops Conductor Steven Reineke creates, arranges, and conducts a newly commissioned score set to Jon Scieszka’s acclaimed children’s book, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. The National Symphony Orchestra also presents additional Family Concerts, Young People’s Concerts, Kinderclassics, Teddy Bear Concerts, and a wide variety of performances in the Family Theater and Concert Hall.

Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra’s diverse programming for young people includes dozens of performances for tens of thousands of local school children throughout the season.

IBERIAN SUITE: ARTS REMIX ACROSS CONTINENTS
Celebrating the Best of the Iberian Cultures and Their Influence Around the World. 

Over the course of three weeks in venues throughout the building, the Kennedy Center presents Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents, a major festival highlighting the cultures of Portugal and Spain and the impact they have had around the world, as well as the vast influence this region has embraced from other cultures.

The festival includes dozens of performances by some of the region’s best contemporary music, dance, and theater artists—many of whom are making their U.S. or Washington, D.C. debuts—as well as companies from around the world. Visual arts in works big and small, old and new will be highlighted in exhibitions around the building, and additional events will focus on film, literature, design, architecture, and cuisine. Dance companies performing in the festival include Spain’s Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, María Muñoz, and María Pagés; Portugal’s Sofia Dias & Vítor Roriz and Companhia Portuguesa de Bailando Contemporâneo, Mexico’s Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza, and Brazil’s Grupo Corpo. Theater companies participating in the 4 festival include Portugal’s Mala Voadora, Mundo Perfeito, and Teatro Meridional. Music performances include Portuguese fado singer Camané, Portuguese fado singer Carminho, Mexican singer Eugenia León, Manhattan Camerata, and Washington, D.C. –based PostClassical Ensemble, led by Spanish music director Angel Gil-Ordóñez in a program titled Iberian Mystics: The Confluence of Faiths. The National Symphony Orchestra joins the festival with two programs: Kennedy Center and NSO Music Director Christoph Eschenbach leads a program of Spanish music by French composers with Spanish violinist Leticia Muñoz Moreno and preeminent Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos leads an all-Spanish program that includes Manuel de Falla’s two-act opera La vida breve. The Fortas Chamber Music Series at the Kennedy Center includes a concert from guitarist Sharon Isbin and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in a program of music by Albeniz, Falla, Morante, Garcia Lorca, and others.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
World-Class Soloists/ Conductors, Stars on the Verge, NSO Musicians Featured

The National Symphony Orchestra’s 2014–2015 season, led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, includes distinguished soloists and conductors such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Herbert Blomstedt, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Leonidas Kavakos, Midori, Garrick Ohlsson, Helmuth Rilling, and David Zinman as well as outstanding young artists Claudio Bohórquez, Karen Gomyo, Arabella Steinbacher, and Daniil Trifonov. Demonstrating the talents within the orchestra, the NSO features eight orchestra members as soloists throughout the season. A three-week event titled Fantasy & Fate: Tchaikovsky Masterworks features some of the greatest compositions as well as lesser-known music of this great Russian composer with two orchestral programs led by Christoph Eschenbach that include Arabella Steinbacher and NSO Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef, a program conducted by Juraj Valčuha, and additional free chamber concerts on the Millennium Stage.

As part of the Kennedy Center’s Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents, the NSO presents a program with Spanish violin soloist Leticia Muñoz Moreno conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and a program featuring Manuel de Falla’s two-act opera La vida breve, conducted by preeminent Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. The orchestra embarks on a multi-season focus on the music of Gustav Mahler, titled Mahler Explored, with two programs featuring his fifth and ninth symphonies. Chinese piano sensation Lang Lang returns for a solo recital of music by Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Chopin, and the orchestra performs Ferruccio Busoni’s rarely performed Piano Concerto, one of the largest works of its kind, featuring a large male chorus. The NSO continues to present repertoire for the majestic Rubenstein Family Organ, including the Poulenc Organ Concerto with Paul Jacobs and solo recitals by Cameron Carpenter, Jeremy Filsell, and Thierry Escaich.

The NSO hosts violinist Leonidas Kavakos in a 10-day residency where he performs with and conducts the orchestra, as well as gives a full-length recital with Christoph Eschenbach in the Terrace Theater. The NSO offers the first U.S. performances of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto, commissioned by the orchestra with the Salzburg Festival. As it has for many years, the NSO continues to perform in concerts on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to help the nation commemorate Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. These concerts will be seen and heard by television and radio audiences in the millions.

BALLET 
Return of The Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet’s Kennedy Center Debut

The Center’s 2014–2015 Ballet season, led by Artistic Advisor for Ballet Suzanne Farrell, includes Kennedy Center favorites as well as some of the most renowned companies from the United States and around the world. The Royal Ballet brings Carlos Acosta’s acclaimed new production of Don Quixote as well as a mixed repertory program that includes Christopher Wheeldon’s Aeternum, Wayne McGregor’s new work Tetractys – The Art of Fugue, and a new work from The Royal Ballet’s Artist-in-Residence Liam Scarlett. The Mariinsky Ballet, in its 13th consecutive season at the Kennedy Center, presents Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, reconstructed by Millicent Hodson with a score by Igor Stravinsky played by a 90-member orchestra. The Mariinsky Ballet also presents Folkine’s Le Spectre de la Rose and Dying Swan, and Petipa’s Paquita Grand Pas. The Scottish Ballet makes its long-awaited Kennedy Center debut with its award-winning production of A Streetcar Named Desire choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa in collaboration with film director Nancy Meckler.

The season also includes the return of America’s first full-length production of The Nutcracker by Ballet West. New York City Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center with two mixed repertory programs, including 20th Century Classics which features three Balanchine ballets—Serenade, Agon, and Symphony in C— as well as a program that will be announced at a later date. American Ballet Theatre presents a program of mixed repertory including three works created specifically for the company—Balanchine’s Theme & Variations, Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, and Tudor’s Pillar of Fire—as well as a full-length ballet that will be announced at a later date. The Kennedy Center’s own The Suzanne Farrell Ballet returns to the Opera House with a program that includes three company premieres: the 1951 version of George Balanchine’s Swan Lake, Allegro Brillante, and Jerome Robbins’s The Concert (or The Perils of Everybody). Other than New York City Ballet, which will utilize its own orchestra, all performances in the 2014–2015 ballet season will be accompanied by the acclaimed Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA
Seven Productions: Three Company Premieres; Three Operas in English

Washington National Opera’s 2014–2015 season includes the WNO premiere of two 20th century works that are directed by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello. Opening the season is Daniel Catán’s Florencia in the Amazon, the first Spanish-language work to be performed by WNO in 10 years, starring the great American soprano Christine Goerke. Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, which will be presented in an English-language translation approved by the composer, will also be heard in Washington for the first time and features the WNO debuts of sopranos Leah Crocetto and Layla Claire and the return of legendary mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick.

Contemporary opera will get a boost with the family-friendly The Little Prince, composed by Oscar® winner Rachel Portman and also directed by Zambello, as well as the newly commissioned hour-long work Penny, part of WNO’s American Opera Initiative. Other productions during the season include a brand-new production of opera’s most beloved classic, Puccini’s La bohème, conducted by WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin; a revival of Wagner’s popular The Flying Dutchman, with bass Eric Owens making his staged role debut as the Dutchman; and Rossini’s Cinderella, an adaptation of the familiar fairy tale with several new operatic twists in a delightful production never before seen in Washington. Rising husband-and-wife stars soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello offer a joint recital in the Terrace Theater and Eric Owens returns with his own full-length recital and as the conductor of a special program of opera scenes and arias with members of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. This renowned training program continues to mentor opera singers on the verge of major careers while providing performance opportunities at the Center and throughout the city.

CONTEMPORARY DANCE
Acclaimed Dancers, Diverse Companies From Around the World

The Kennedy Center’s 2014–2015 Contemporary Dance season features a host of American and international companies that are sure to please Washington audiences. Martha Clarke brings her interdisciplinary work, Chéri, an exciting fusion of theater, live music, and dance featuring American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Herman Cornejo, prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, Academy Award®–nominated actress Amy Irving, and pianist Sarah Rothenberg. Dancer, choreographer, and actress Carmen de Lavallade guides audiences through her life’s story with dance, film, and her personal writings in As I Remember It. Beijing Dance Theater returns to the Center with its newest work, Wild Grass, and the Tel Aviv, Israel–based Batsheva Dance Company brings its full-length production of Sadeh21.

Audience favorite Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater makes its annual appearance in the Opera House with a program that includes its signature Revelations. A host of dance companies from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world will take part in the Kennedy Center’s three week–long Iberian Suite: arts remix across continents, celebrating the best of Iberian culture and its vast influence on other cultures of the world. These companies include Spain’s Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, María Muñoz Mal Pelo, and Compañía María Pagés; Portugal’s Companhia Portuguesa de Bailando Contemporâneo and Sofia Dias with Vítor Roriz, Mexico’s Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza, and Brazil’s Grupo Corpo. Repertoire for these companies, as well as additional performances of tango and flamenco dance will be announced at a later date.

The Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Project presents two programs from Washington, D.C. –area based choreographers Adriane Fang and Arturo Garcia, who have been awarded commissions for their works Grains and Here & Now, respectively. Please see the Contemporary Dance press release for additional information about the 2014–2105 season.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA POPS
Classical Music Meets Broadway, Movies, Aerialists, and More

In his fourth season as Principal Pops Conductor, Steven Reineke leads the National Symphony Orchestra Pops in five sets of performances: Pink Martini, the genre-crossing, Kennedy Center favorite, is back by popular demand; Tony Award® winner Sutton Foster performs two Broadway concerts titled An Evening With Sutton Foster, featuring selections from Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek, the Musical, and others; Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of the Circus to the Concert Hall with four holiday-themed concerts; and Do You Hear the People Sing celebrates the music of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon creators Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel  Schönberg. Mr. Reineke creates a brand new program titled Let’s Be Frank in honor of Frank Sinatra’s centennial year.

Acclaimed film composer Danny Elfman and his music for Tim Burton films will be the focus of three Halloween-inspired performances conducted by John Mauceri. The multimedia concerts will feature music and film visuals from Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, and others.

JAZZ
70+ Performances Featuring Masters and New Talents, National Broadcasts

The Kennedy Center’s 2014–2015 Jazz season, under the leadership of Artistic Advisor Jason Moran, hosts more than 70 performances and features artists such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Dee Alexander, Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play, George Cables, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Kurt Elling, Bill Frisell, Allan Harris, Branford Marsalis, Eric Owens, Dianne Reeves, Jenny Scheinman, the SFJAZZ Collective, Cassandra Wilson, and others. Jason Moran celebrates the legacy of Thelonious Monk with a full-length, multimedia work based on Monk’s landmark concert in New York City titled In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959.

Jazz vocalist and Kennedy Center favorite Dianne Reeves returns with a major, star-studded performance in the expansive Kennedy Center Concert Hall in a concert titled Dianne Reeves and Friends. Saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis and his quartet ring in 2015 with New Year’s Eve concerts in the Terrace Theater. Guitarist Bill Frisell and his quartet perform original jazz, gospel, and R&B-tinged music to accompany Bill Morrison’s documentary, The Great Flood, which chronicles the largest flood in U.S. history that forced Mississippi sharecroppers to migrate north in 1927.

Mehliana, featuring Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, and Maceo Parker bring performances to the Crossroads Club, a jazz-specific venue in the Kennedy Center Atrium which featuring expansive standing room, a dance floor, and high-top tables with drinks available for purchase. Annual events such as NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, and the 20th anniversary of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival complete the season.

VSA 
ADA’s 25th Anniversary, Sensory-Friendly Performances, Career Opportunities

Marking its 40th anniversary in the 2014–2015 season, VSA—the international organization on arts and disability—presents performances, exhibitions, and career development programs. Next season, VSA joins the Smithsonian Institution to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act, a significant milestone in the disability civil rights movement. During the summer of 2015, the celebration includes exhibitions around Washington and free performances and events on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Other season highlights include Mockingbird, a world premiere Kennedy Center and VSA theatrical commission about a girl with Asperger’s syndrome and the continuation of ‘Sensory-Friendly’ performances which are designed to create a theater experience that is welcoming to families with children on the autism spectrum. VSA continues to offer career development opportunities for young playwrights aged 15 to 21 through its VSA Playwright Discovery Program. The Emerging Young Artist Program holds an annual national competition to identify work by young visual artists aged 16-25 who are living with disabilities and the VSA International Young Soloists Program will recognize four outstanding young musicians living with disabilities in a concert at the Kennedy Center in June. The Rosemary Kennedy Intern Initiative continues to provide career opportunities for youth with disabilities at arts organizations around the country while the annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference brings cultural administrators together for a conversation on accessibility, disability, and inclusion in the arts.

MILLENNIUM STAGE
A free show every day of the year, streamed live on the web

The Kennedy Center is the only American arts institution that presents a free performance 365 days a year. Created in 1997 by Kennedy Center Chairman emeritus James A. Johnson, the Millennium Stage features a broad spectrum of performing arts each day at 6 p.m. and helps fulfill the Center’s mission of making the performing arts accessible to everyone. In the past 17 years, over 3.5 million visitors have seen more than 6,500 artists with performances as varied as jazz, ballet, storytelling, popular music, contemporary dance, opera, choral music, tap dance, theater, chamber music, symphonic music, puppetry, stand-up comedy, and cabaret. Of the more than 47,500 performers that have appeared on the Millennium Stage, approximately 26,500 have been Washington-area artists and more than 5,000 have been international performing artists representing more than 50 countries.

The Millennium Stage has also hosted artists representing all 50 states, and has presented more than 15,250 artists in their Kennedy Center debuts. Since 1999, each night’s performance has been broadcast live over the Internet, and thousands of performances have been digitally archived on the Kennedy Center website. The 2014–2015 season offers more than 365 free performances, including the annual Page-to-Stage festival featuring dozens of theater readings presented by D.C.-area theater companies. The Millennium Stage also offers happy hours, NSO Prelude concerts, WNO season preview concerts, and special social dancing concert, replete with dance lessons before the show.

GALA EVENTS AND BROADCASTS
Kennedy Center Honors, Mark Twain Prize, NSO Broadcasts

Throughout the 2014–2015 season, the Kennedy Center hosts and presents major performances such as the 37th annual award-winning Kennedy Center Honors which is broadcast on CBS and seen by millions each year. Other special performances include the 17th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the NSO Season Opening Ball, Washington National Opera’s Season Opening Gala and Opera Ball, the Kennedy Center Spring Gala, and more.

The National Symphony Orchestra helps America celebrate its patriotic holidays with free concerts on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol over Memorial Day and Independence Day. The national television broadcasts are seen by tens of millions of viewers from across the United States on PBS. The popular NSO Showcase airs performances from the orchestra’s classical season on WETA-FM monthly from September through June. Many of the Center’s jazz concerts, including the annual NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, are recorded for future broadcast on NPR. Since 1999, the Kennedy Center’s daily, free performance on the Millennium Stage has been streamed live on the web and archived for future viewings.

EDUCATION AT THE KENNEDY CENTER 

The Kennedy Center retains its commitment as the nation’s cultural center to educating and enlightening children in Washington and around the country. The Center’s national education programs include: Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child, which is currently working in 14 municipalities and their school districts around the country to develop a long-range strategic plan for arts education;

ARTSEDGE, a website that offers standards-based materials for use in and out of the classroom, Partners in Education, which forges relationships between an arts organization and its neighboring school systems to build effective arts education programs for teachers and teaching artists; Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network works with 33 state organizations on arts education policy issues; Explore the Arts, which provides insight into the cultural and historical context of the works presented on stage and sparks dialogue between audiences and the artists who have created the performances through participatory workshops, demonstrations, panels, master classes, and open rehearsals; and the Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, which acknowledge teachers of grades K-12 whose efforts have made a significant impact on their students.

Locally, the Kennedy Center’s programs include Changing Education Through the Arts, a program that works with 15 schools in the area to affect long-term change in school culture through professional learning in arts integration; Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers, which trains Washington-area educators to teach the arts or other subject areas through the arts; and Washington, D.C. Partnership Schools, where the Center provides resources and teaching artist residencies to 20 elementary, junior, and senior high schools in Washington, D.C. The Center also mounts more than 100 events and performances of theater, music, dance, and opera throughout the season for more than 100,000 local school-aged children.

ABOUT THE KENNEDY CENTER
Presidential Memorial, More Than 2,000 Performances of Theater, Dance & Music

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the leadership of Chairman David M. Rubenstein, President Michael M. Kaiser, and Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract audiences and visitors totaling 3 million people annually;

Opening its doors on September 8, 1971, the Center presents the greatest performances of music, dance, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions, and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

Each year, millions of people nationwide take part in innovative, inclusive, and effective education programs initiated by the Center, including school- and community-based residencies and consultancies; age-appropriate performances and events for young people; career development for young actors, dancers, singers, and instrumentalists; and professional learning opportunities for teachers, teaching artists, and school administrators. These programs have become models for communities across the country.

The Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program works with selected local school districts and seeks to provide a comprehensive arts education to children K-8. The Center also has been at the forefront of making the performing arts accessible to persons with disabilities, highlighted by the work accomplished with its affiliate, VSA. As part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone outreach program, the Center stages more than 400 free performances of music, dance, and theater by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every evening at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. The Rubenstein Arts Access Program expands the Center’s efforts to make the arts accessible to children, young adults, and to people who have little or limited ability to attend and enjoy the performing arts, enabling audiences to engage in more ways, at more times, and in more places than ever before. Deborah F. Rutter, currently president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will become Kennedy Center President on September 1, 2014.

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