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)
“Self-expression is not enough; experiment is not enough; the recording of special moments or cases is not enough. All of the arts have broken faith or lost connection with their origin and function. They have ceased to be concerned with the legitimate and permanent material of art.”
—Jane Heap (c. 18801964)
“Bottom. What is Pyramus? A lover or a tyrant?
Quince. A lover that kills himself, most gallant, for love.
Bottom. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“Now John wore clothing of camels hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.”
—Bible: New Testament, Matthew 3:4.
“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)
“Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin helping them. Such a world does not existnever has.”
—Gerda Lerner (b. 1920)