News & Politics

The Kennedy Center Will Reopen in Full This September

The cultural center expects to announce additional concerts over the spring and summer.

The Kennedy Center on Tuesday announced details of its 50th anniversary season and full reopening this fall, and a spokesman says it will soon unveil a limited number of additional in-person performances to be held over the spring and summer.

As part of its 50th Anniversary celebration, the Kennedy Center on September 14 will stage a  “celebratory reactivation” of its campus that will include a concert hosted by Michael Tilson Thomas. “I can think of no better way to reemerge from the darkness of these last many months than to reopen with a vibrant, season-long celebration of the Center’s rich history and the bright future of the arts in our nation,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a press release.

Among the highlights of the upcoming season, from the release:

September 10: National Symphony Orchestra Concert of Remembrance

To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, reflect on the ongoing loss from Covid-19, and to honor the healthcare professionals who have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic, a commemorative program featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by NSO music director Gianandrea Noseda will take place in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.” 

November 2021: Unveiling of new statue of John F. Kennedy

This large-scale, bronze sculpture will be located within the lower gardens of the REACH and will complement the campus’s pieces by Joel Shapiro, Deborah Butterfield, and Roy Lichtenstein located nearby…The new Kennedy sculpture is designed by STUDIOEIS, a Brooklyn-based sculpture and design studio under the direction of brothers Elliot and Ivan Schwartz, known for creating strikingly realistic bronze works.”

Artists in Residency: The Roots

“In its ongoing commitment to celebrate the multi-hyphenate genius of hip hop generation creators, the Center’s Hip Hop Culture Program is excited to announce its For The Culture Artist Residency, a new Kennedy Center initiative. For the inaugural residency, the program has engaged one of hip hop’s best known and most respected acts—four-time Grammy Award®– winning band, The Roots. Heralded as one of the greatest live bands and the official house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Roots are an institution.”

For a full list of the events currently scheduled for the Kennedy Center’s 2021-2021 season, click here.  

Brendan Padgett, a spokesman for the Kennedy Center, says that in the wake of DC’s decision to allow live entertainment venues to reopen at limited capacity on May 1, the Kennedy Center will soon announce additional slate of concerts to be held this spring and summer. 

Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.