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42ND ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, DC

  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 2700 F Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20566 United States (map)
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Deets: “The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Earth, Wind & Fire’s hooks and grooves are the foundation of a seminal style that continues to shape our musical landscape; Sally Field has brought us unforgettable characters, both joyous and poignant, for more than five decades; Linda Ronstadt is the defining voice of a generation, spanning genres, languages, and continents; Sesame Street continues to revolutionize how children and adults learn about our world; and Michael Tilson Thomas goes far beyond keeping score: he has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century.”

“In this class of honorees, we are witnessing a uniquely American story: one that is representative of so many cultural touchstones and musical moments that make our nation great,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “When I look at this class, I see the hopes, aspirations, and achievements not just of these honorees, but of the many generations they have influenced and continue to influence. We’re not just looking back; these honorees are urging us to look forward as well.”

The 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors marks the first time a television program will receive the award. The co-founders of Sesame Street, Joan Ganz Cooney and Dr. Lloyd Morrisett, will accept the Kennedy Center Honors on behalf of the show, Muppets creator Jim Henson, seminal Muppets artists Caroll Spinney and Frank Oz, and the thousands of creatives who have built the program’s 50-year legacy.

On Sunday, December 8, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment, the 2019 Honorees will be saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated in the Box Tier of the iconic Kennedy Center Opera House, the Honorees will accept the recognition and gratitude of their peers through performances and tributes.

The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 7, the night before the Gala, at a State Department dinner. The Founding Chair of the State Department dinner is Elizabeth Stevens.

The Honors recipients recognized for their contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—are confirmed by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.

Hint for the Average Socialite: For ticket inquiries, please contact Honors@kennedy-center.org

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Earlier Event: November 29
ZOOLIGHTS, DC