Things to Do

The Kennedy Center Honors Announces the 2014 Recipients

Al Green, Tom Hanks, and Lily Tomlin are among the individuals recognized this year.

Photograph of Hanks by Featureflash/Shutterstock; Tomlin by Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.

On Thursday, the Kennedy Center announced the five people who will be recognized at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony on December 7. Soul singer Al Green, actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, ballet dancer Patricia McBride, musician Sting, and actress Lily Tomlin are this year’s honorees, and will be received by President and Mrs. Obama at the White House before the gala. 

In a press release, Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein lauded the recipients as “five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world.” 

Last year, the KenCen revised the process used to select honorees, after organizations including the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda criticized the lack of diversity among recipients. (Until 2013, just two Latino artists had been chosen in the event’s history.) Members of the public are now permitted to make recommendations, which are then narrowed down by a committee composed of artists, past Kennedy Center Honors recipients, and members of the arts center’s board. 

Tickets to the gala can run thousands of dollars, so if you don’t have a few spare Gs lying around, you can watch the ceremony during a two-hour broadcast on CBS Tuesday, December 30, at 9 PM. 

Find Tanya Pai on Twitter at @tanyapai.