The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (on the building itself called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts, and commonly referred to as the Kennedy Center) is a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, produces and presents theater, dance, ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, in addition to multi-media performances for all ages.
It is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 20 million more. Now in its 40th season, the Center presents the greatest examples 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 affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Center's achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.
It represents a public-private partnership, since it is both the nation's living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and the "national center for the performing arts", which includes educational and outreach initiatives, almost entirely paid for through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.
Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, it was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain and is administered by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. It receives federal funding each year to pay for the maintenance and operation of the building.
Famous quotes containing the words performing arts, arts, performing, john, kennedy and/or center:
“More than in any other performing arts the lack of respect for acting seems to spring from the fact that every layman considers himself a valid critic.”
—Uta Hagen (b. 1919)
“No doubt, to a man of sense, travel offers advantages. As many languages as he has, as many friends, as many arts and trades, so many times is he a man. A foreign country is a point of comparison, wherefrom to judge his own.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“When performing an autopsy, even the most inveterate spiritualist would have to question where the soul is.”
—Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (18601904)
“Fair, rich, and young: how rare is her perfection,
Were it not mingled with one foul infection!
I mean, so proud a heart, so curst a tongue,
As makes her seem nor fair, nor rich, nor young.”
—Sir John Harington (15611612)
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
—Bible: Hebrew Proverbs 29:18.
President John F. Kennedy quoted this passage on the eve of his assassination in Dallas, Texas. Quoted in Theodore C. Sorenson, Kennedy, epilogue (1965)
“Death is someone you see very clearly with eyes in the center of your heart: eyes that see not by reacting to light, but by reacting to a kind of a chill from within the marrow of your own life.”
—Thomas Merton (19151968)