The Kennedy Center Opera House
President Kennedy’s words resonate more strongly than ever for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the 21st century. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, continues its efforts to fulfill President Kennedy’s vision by producing and presenting an unmatched variety of theater and musicals, dance and ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, world, and folk music, and multi-media performances for all ages. Every year the institution that bears President Kennedy’s name brings his dream to fruition, touching the lives of millions of people through thousands of performances by the greatest artists from across America and around the world. The Center also nurtures new works and young artists, creating performances, broadcasts, and touring productions while serving the nation as a leader in arts education.
The Kennedy Center presents festivals celebrating cities, countries and regions of the world, including the San Francisco and Texas festivals, France Danse, Festival Australia, the Arts of Japan, the Kennedy Center African Odyssey, Art of the State: Israel at 50, Island: Arts from Ireland, UK/KC, celebrating the arts of the United Kingdom, the Tchaikovsky Festival and the French Festival, and AmericArtes, celebrating the arts of the Americas. A six-month celebration of the American arts of the 1940s entitled “A New America: The 1940s and the Arts” filled the Center’s theaters. The Center created a month-long salute to the traditional and contemporary arts of China followed by America’s Country Music, a highly praised three-week festival. Other festivals include a six-month, citywide celebration Shakespeare in Washington, an exploration of the culture of Japan entitled JAPAN! culture + hyperculture, andthe Kennedy Center Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, an annual event entering its 15th year. The 2008-09 season saw an exploration of the culture of the 22 Arab nations entitled Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World which received international attention and acclaim.