Kennedy Center to kick off 50th anniversary season in September

April 6 (UPI) -- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will kick off its 50th anniversary season in September.

The center said in a press release Tuesday that it will reopen and resume performances in mid-September.


Events will include an opening concert curated and hosted by Michael Tilson Thomas and two 50th anniversary weekends featuring free activities for the public.

In addition, the season will feature a new cultural leadership initiative, four artist residencies, seven commissioned works for the National Symphony Orchestra, new plays and other events.

"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 present Deborah F. Rutter said.

"At the heart of our planning and preparation, even as we continue to navigate health and financial challenges, is the desire to present a season and a fresh patron experience that taps into our 50 years of history as the National Cultural Center. We will awaken those stories and ensure that all are invited to participate and tell us their own," she added. "But we also want to continue shining a light on the future of the performing arts with works and initiatives that speak to the promise of America's greatest asset -- the human spirit and diversity of our artists."


The Kennedy Center will announce spring and summer activities and the full 2021-2022 seasons for theater, dance, ballet, jazz, Fortas Chamber Music, NSO and WNO in the coming weeks and months.

50th anniversary events include:

Sept. 10 - National Symphony Orchestra Concert of Remembrance, a concert marking the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and ongoing losses from COVID-19

Sept. 11-12, 18-19 - 50th Anniversary Weekends, featuring free activities for the public

Sept. 14 - 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, a musical celebration hosted by Michael Tilson Thomas and featuring the NSO

Sept. 15-17 - Leonard Bernstein's Mass, a theatrical experience directed by WNO artistic director Francesca Zambello and featuring the NSO

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