To present the greatest performers and performances from across America and around the world, nurture new works and young artists, and serve the nation as a leader in arts education.
About the Organization:
Located on seventeen acres overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a living memorial to the nation's thirty-fifth president and its busiest arts facility, presenting about three thousand performances to more than two million people each year. It has co-produced more than 150 new works of theater, as well as new operas such as John Adams' Nixon in China; and has commissioned ballet and dance pieces by leading American choreographers, and dozens of new musical works including the Pulitzer Prize-winning RiverRun by Stephen Albert and StringMusic by Morton Gould through its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra. Kennedy Center touring productions and television, radio, and Internet broadcasts — including the televised Kennedy Center Honors, Onstage at the Kennedy Center, and the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize — reach millions of people around the world each year.
The Kennedy Center has dramatically expanded its education programs to reach more than 11 million people nationwide via performances, lecture/demonstrations, open rehearsals, dance and music residencies, master classes, competitions for young actors and musicians, backstage tours, and workshops for teachers. It sponsors two annual dance residency programs for young people, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell and the Dance Theatre of Harlem Residency Program; and each year, sends the National Symphony Orchestra to a different state to perform full orchestral, chamber, and solo concerts, and teach master classes. The center offers programs to professionals and college students who plan to pursue arts-oriented careers through the Kennedy Center Institute for Arts Management and the Capacity Building Program for Culturally Specific Performing Arts Organizations, which helps thirty-two U.S. institutions hone their fundraising, marketing, and administrative skills. The center sponsors the nation's largest specially-priced-tickets program for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, military personnel, and others with fixed low incomes, and has been in the forefront of making the performing arts accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Web site provides a history and virtual tour of the Kennedy Center, a description of its performing arts programming, performance calendars, and background on the National Symphony Orchestra.
As a presidential memorial, the Kennedy Center receives a direct federal appropriation for the operation and maintenance of its building. However, none of this funding supports its numerous artistic programs and educational activities, which are supported through ticket sales, other earned income, and gifts from individuals and corporations.