News & Politics

The Kennedy Center is Closing Through March 31

All performances are canceled and the building is closed to the public.

The Kennedy Center will get new rehearsal space and classrooms, among other fresh features. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Coronavirus 2020

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Update, March 17, 2020: The Kennedy Center now plans to remain closed through May 10.

The Kennedy Center announced this afternoon all performances and public events are canceled through March 31 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, effective March 13.

The campus and facilities will be closed to visitors until further notice. Administrative staff will be allowed in the facilities to continue business. Programmers are looking at options for rescheduling canceled performances for a future date.

Ticket holders for performances scheduled between March 13 and March 31 can exchange their tickets for a future date or alternate show, donate their tickets, exchange their tickets for a Kennedy Center gift certificate, or receive a full refund. Patrons can contact the Box Office a 202-416-8540, or at

The decision comes after Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a state of emergency in the District, and DC Health released guidelines that non-essential mass gatherings (events of more than 1000 people) should be canceled through March 31.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said, “While this is an extraordinarily difficult decision…it is the right thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our patrons, artists, and staff. Kennedy Center leadership has taken swift action and will do our part to help in the serious containment efforts called for by our city’s and country’s top government officials and medical experts.”

Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.