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Encyclopedia > John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Kennedy Center as seen from the Potomac River. The Lincoln Memorial is partially visible on the right.
The Kennedy Center as seen from the Potomac River. The Lincoln Memorial is partially visible on the right.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (or Kennedy Center) is located in Washington, D.C. and opened in 1971 as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy. Designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone, it was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain. The center is located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate Hotel. The Kennedy Center represents a unique public/private partnership, since it is both the nation's living memorial to President Kennedy. The Kennedy Center is administered by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, and receives Federal funding each year to pay for the maintenance and operation of the building as a federal facility under the control of the National Park Service. The Kennedy Center is a venue for the presentation of the arts with education and outreach initiatives, which are paid for almost entirely through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC source: NOAA Photo Library File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC source: NOAA Photo Library File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Lincoln Memorial, on the extended axis of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial built to honor President Abraham Lincoln. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th president of the United States. ... Edward Durrell Stone (1902 Fayetteville Arkansas - 1978 New York City), American modernist twentieth century American architect. ... This article is becoming very long. ... John McShain (December 21, 1898 - September 9, 1989) was a highy successful United States building contractor known as The Man Who Built Washington. ... The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (USA). ... The Watergate complex in Washington, DC. The Watergate Hotel is a luxury hotel in northwest Washington, D.C., best known for being at the site of burglaries that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ... The National Park Service (NPS) is the United States federal agency that manages all National Parks, many National Monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. ...

Contents

History

The idea for the center dates to 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Cultural Center Act. This was the first time in history that the United States federal government backed and helped finance a structure dedicated to the performing arts. In 1961, Roger L. Stevens was asked by President Kennedy to help develop the National Cultural Center, which was renamed as the Kennedy Center in 1964.[1] Kennedy sought to bring culture to the nation's capital.[2] Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... D. D. Eisenhower during WWII Dwight David Eisenhower (born David Dwight Eisenhower, October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969), nicknamed Ike, was an American soldier and politician, who served as the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953-1961). ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      The government of the United States of America, established by the U.S. Constitution, is... Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate), generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ...


The total cost of construction was $70 million.[1] Congress allocated $43 million for construction costs, including $23 million as an outright grant and the other $20 million in bonds.[2] Funding was also provided through donations, including approximately $500,000 from the Kennedy family.[3] Other major donors included J. Willard Marriott, Marjorie Merriweather Post, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and Robert W. Woodruff, as well as many corporate donors.[3] Gifts were also provided to the Kennedy Center from governments of numerous other countries, including 3,700 tons of Carrara marble from Italy (worth $1.5 million) which was used in the building's construction.[4] Type Bicameralism Houses Senate House of Representatives United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D, since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D, since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups (as of November 7, 2006 elections) Democratic Party Republican... Look up Grant, grant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the issuer owes the holders a debt and is obliged to repay the principal and interest (the coupon) at a later date, termed maturity. ... John Willard Marriott (September 17, 1900 - August 13, 1985) was an American entrepreneur and businessman. ... Majorie Merriwweather Post ca. ... John Davison Rockefeller 3rd (March 21, 1906 – July 10, 1978) was a major philanthropist and third-generation member of the prominent Rockefeller family. ... Robert Winship Woodruff (December 6, 1889 – March 7, 1985) was the president of The Coca-Cola Company from 1923 until 1954. ... Carrara is a city in the Massa Carrara province of Tuscany, Italy, famous for the white or blue-gray marble quarried there. ... Venus de Milo, front. ...


The first performance was on September 5, 1971, with 2,200 members of the general public in attendance to see a premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Mass.[1] The Kennedy Center officially opened on September 8, 1971, with formal gala and premiere performance of Leonard Bernstein's Mass in the Opera House.[5] The Concert Hall was inaugurated on September 9, 1971, in a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati.[5] On Friday, September 10, 1971, Alberto Ginastera's opera, Beatrix Cenci debuted at the Kennedy Center's Opera House. September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Leonard Bernstein (pronounced BERN-styne)[1] (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, and pianist. ... MASS (formally, MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers) is a musical piece composed by Leonard Bernstein. ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Look up gala in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... The Hall of Nations in the Kennedy Center, with the banner of the NSO. The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in Washington DC is a major American symphony orchestra that performs at the Kennedy Center. ... Antal Dor ti (April 9, 1906 - November 13, 1988) was a conductor and composer. ... September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday. ... Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (April 11, 1916 Buenos Aires - June 25, 1983 Geneva) was an Argentinian composer of classical music. ... Beatrix Cenci is an opera in two acts by Alberto Ginastera to a Spanish libretto by the composer and William Shand, based on historical people, Chronicles Italiennes by Stendahl, and The Cenci by Percy Shelley. ...


Architecture

The Kennedy Center was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone.[6] Overall, the building is 100 feet high, 630 feet long, and 300 feet wide. The Kennedy Center features a 600 foot-long, 60-foot-high grand foyer, with 18 massive crystal chandeliers and red carpeting. The Hall of States and the Hall of Nations are both 250-foot long, 60-foot high corridors. The building has drawn criticism about its location, not near the Washington Metro, as well as for its scale and form.[6] Though, it also has drawn praise for its acoustics, and its terrace overlooking the Potomac River.[6] Edward Durrell Stone (1902 Fayetteville Arkansas - 1978 New York City), American modernist twentieth century American architect. ... Red Carpet is a software management tool for Linux that was developed as part of the Ximian desktop. ... The Washington Metro, or simply Metro, is the rapid transit system of Washington, D.C., and neighboring suburban communities in Maryland and Virginia, both inside and outside the Capital Beltway. ... // Look up scale in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up form in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Acoustics is a branch of physics and is the study of sound (mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids). ... Look up terrace in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (USA). ...


The three main theaters at the Kennedy Center are the Opera House, Concert Hall, and the Eisenhower Theater.

The Grand Foyer, at 60 feet high and 630 feet long, is one of the largest rooms in the world. If laid on its side, the Washington Monument would fit in this room with 75 feet to spare.
The Grand Foyer, at 60 feet high and 630 feet long, is one of the largest rooms in the world. If laid on its side, the Washington Monument would fit in this room with 75 feet to spare.

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1728x2304, 695 KB) Summary Interior of the Kennedy Center Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1728x2304, 695 KB) Summary Interior of the Kennedy Center Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ...

Concert Hall

The Concert Hall, on the south side, seats 2,442. When it opened in 1971, the Concert Hall has a seating arrangement, similar to that used in many European halls such as Musikverein in Vienna.[5] The Concert Hall was renovated in 1997, and currently is state-of-the-art, with a high-tech acoustical canopy, and accessible locations on every level, and new seating sections (onstage boxes, chorister seats, and parterre seats). The Hadelands crystal chandeliers, a gift from Norway, were repositioned to provide a clearer view.[4] Behind the stage the 4,144-pipe organ is located. This was a gift from the Filene Foundation of Boston. The Concert Hall is the largest performance space in the Kennedy Center and is the home of the National Symphony Orchestra. Categories: Buildings and structures stubs ... Vienna (German: , see also other names) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a system is usable by as many people as possible. ... The Hall of Nations in the Kennedy Center, with the banner of the NSO. The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in Washington DC is a major American symphony orchestra that performs at the Kennedy Center. ...


Opera House

The Opera House, in the middle, has 2,300 seats. Its interior features include much red velvet, a distinctive red and gold silk curtain, which was a gift from Japan.[4] The Opera House also features a Lobmeyr crystal chandelier, which was gift from Austria.[4] It is the major opera, ballet, and large-scale musical venue of the Center, and was closed for the 2003/2004 season for extensive renovations which provided a revised seating arrangement at the orchestra level plus re-designed entrances to this level. It is the home of the Washington National Opera and the annual Kennedy Center Honors. The Washington National Opera is a world-class opera company in Washington, D.C., USA. Its general director is the Spanish tenor, Plácido Domingo. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


Eisenhower Theater

The Eisenhower Theater,on the north side, seats 1,100 and is named for President Dwight Eisenhower. It primarily hosts plays and musicals, smaller-scale operas, ballet and contemporary dance. The theater contains an orchestra pit for 40 musicians that is convertible to a forestage or additional seating space. The walls are of East Indian laurel wood. The red and black stage curtain of hand-woven wool was a gift from Canada.[4] Dwight David Ike Eisenhower (October 14, 1890–March 28, 1969), American soldier and politician, was the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961) and supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, with the rank of General of the Army. ...


Other performance venues

Other performance venues in the Center include:

  • The Family Theater, with 324 seats, was opened on 9th December 2005. It replaces what was once the American Film Institute Film Theater located off the Hall of States. The new Family Theater provides a home for world-class family theater performances for the nation's youth and continues the Kennedy Center's $125 million commitment to performing arts education for adults and children alike. Designed by the architectural firm Richter Cornbrooks Gribble, Inc. of Baltimore, the new theater incorporates the most modern theatrical innovations available, including: premium audio technologies; a computerized rigging system; and a digital video projection system.
  • The Terrace Theater, with 513 seats, was constructed on the Roof Terrace level in the late 1970s as a Bicentennial gift from the people of Japan to the United States. It is used for intimate performances of chamber music, ballet and contemporary dance, and theater.
  • The Theater Lab, with 399 seats plus cabaret-style tables for the current 18-year long run of the whodunit, Shear Madness.
  • The Millennium Stage. Part of the concept of "Performing Arts for Everyone" launched by then-Director James Johnson in the winter of 1997, the Millennium Stage provides free performances every evening at 6:00pm on two specially created stages at either end of the Grand Foyer. A broad range of art forms are featured on the Millennium Stage. These include performing artists and groups from all 50 states and an Artist-in-Residence program featuring artists performing several evenings in a month.
  • The KC Jazz Club. On March 12, 2003 the space formerly known as the Education Resource Center was officially designated the Terrace Gallery. It is now home to the Kennedy Center Jazz Club.

Performing Arts for Everyone was designed to introduce the Kennedy Center and its programs to a far wider audience than ever before by providing a performance open to the public and free of charge 365 days a year. In addition, Performing Arts for Everyone initiatives include low- and no-cost tickets available to performances on every stage of the Kennedy Center, and several outreach programs designed to increase access to Kennedy Center tickets and performances. The American Film Institute (AFI) is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act. ... Shear Madness is the longest-running nonmusical play in the world,[1] owned and created by Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan. ...


Events

The Kennedy Center as seen from the air. A portion of the Watergate complex can be seen at the left.
The Kennedy Center as seen from the air. A portion of the Watergate complex can be seen at the left.

Since 1978, the Kennedy Center Honors have been awarded annually by the Center's Board of Trustees. The Center has awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor since 1998. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 502 KB) Summary The Kennedy Center photographed from the air. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1600x1200, 502 KB) Summary The Kennedy Center photographed from the air. ... The Watergate complex in Washington, DC. The Watergate Hotel is a luxury hotel in northwest Washington, D.C., best known for being at the site of burglaries that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center, more formally known as the Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, maintain and administer the Center and its site. ... The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor is awarded by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts annually since 1998. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean [1]. // Coated in ice, power and telephone lines sag and often break, resulting in power outages. ...


The Kennedy Center houses a number of groups and institutions, including:

The Hall of Nations in the Kennedy Center, with the banner of the NSO. The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in Washington DC is a major American symphony orchestra that performs at the Kennedy Center. ... The Washington National Opera is a world-class opera company in Washington, D.C., USA. Its general director is the Spanish tenor, Plácido Domingo. ... The Washington Ballet School History from their website: Founded in 1976 by the great American ballet pioneer Mary Day and under Septime Webres artistic directorship since 1999, The Washington Ballet is an ensemble of powerfully athletic classical ballet dancers performing a repertory of new work and creativity. ... The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national theatre program dedicated to the improvement of collegiate theatre in the United States. ...

Management

Michael Kaiser, who came to the Center from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London with a reputation for major fundraising, is the current President. Earlier he headed the American Ballet Theatre. He oversees all the artistic activities at the Kennedy Center, has increased the Center’s already broad educational efforts, established cross-disciplinary programming with opera, symphony and dance, established an Institute for Arts Management, created unprecedented theater festivals celebrating the works of Stephen Sondheim and Tennessee Williams, and arranged for continuing visits by Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater Opera, Ballet, and Orchestra, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Michael M. Kaiser, is the President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (which is also known as the Kennedy Center) in Washington, DC. Kaiser received his B.A. in Economics from Bradeis University and his M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. ... The Floral Hall of the Royal Opera House The Royal Opera House is a performing arts venue in London. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... The American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, is one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century, and a leading company in America. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Tennessee Williams (1965) Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911–February 25, 1983), better known by the pen name Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright and one of the prominent playwrights of the twentieth century. ... Saint Petersburg  listen (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991... The Maryinsky (or Mariinsky) Theatre (or Theater), is the St Petersburg theatre where the Mariinsky Ballet is located. ... Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon The Royal Shakespeare Company is a British theatre company. ...


See also

United States presidential memorials are created to honor and perpetuate the legacy of United States presidents. ... A Concert hall is a cultural building, which serves as performance venue, chiefly for classical instrumental music. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c Robertson, Nan. "At Last, the Performances Begin", The New York Times, September 6, 1971.
  2. ^ a b Lydon, Christopher. "Kennedy Arts Center Primps for Opening and Hopes to Make Profit", The New York Times, September 6, 1971.
  3. ^ a b Curtis, Charlotte. "Clamor Continues for Seats at Kennedy Center Opening", The New York Times, September 3, 1971.
  4. ^ a b c d e "$3-Million in Gifts Adorn Center", The New York Times, September 6, 1971.
  5. ^ a b c Schonberg, Harold C.. "Kennedy Hall Gets Acoustics Workout", The New York Times, September 2, 1971.
  6. ^ a b c Weeks, Christopher (1994). AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C., Third Edition. Johns Hopkins University Press. 

Nan C. Robertson (born July 11, 1926 in Chicago[1]) is an American journalist and author. ...

Further reading

  • Becker, Ralph E., Miracle on the Potomac: the Kennedy Center From the Beginning, Silver Spring, Maryland: Bartleby Press, 1990
  • Gill, Brendan, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1981
  • Morris, Barbara Bladen, The Kennedy Center: An Insider's Guide to Washington's Liveliest Memorial, McLean, Virginia: EPM Publications, 1994

Gnomes 30th Anniversary Edition from Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ...

External links

  • Kennedy Center's official website

 
 

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