The Kennedy Center

Series/Festivals

Current & Future

  • A Centennial Celebration of John F Kennedy

    JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy

    May 2016 – December 2017

    In the year leading up to the centenary of John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 2017, the Kennedy Center is revitalizing the very mission of the institution created to honor him. The 2016–2017 season features performances and events that celebrate the ideals he championed—Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude.

  • Taylor Mac

    Leonard Bernstein at 100

    September 2017 – May 2018

    Beginning September, 2017, the Kennedy Center will be the centerpiece for the launch of a yearlong international centennial celebration of iconic American composer, conductor, pianist, educator, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). We invite you to join us to honor his legacy by experiencing some of his most cherished works.

  • Holidays at the Kennedy Center

    Your Home for the Holidays

    November & December 2017

    Whether you're a Washingtonian or visiting from far away, you'll feel at home with these performances full of holiday cheer!

  • Taylor Mac

    Direct Current

    March 6 – 16, 2018

    Modern masterpieces, cutting-edge composition, dance, drag, film, jazz, electronica, ecology, and activism all converge in a 10-day celebration of contemporary culture with works new to Washington audiences on every program.

  • Q-Tip

    Hip Hop Culture

    Ongoing

    The Hip Hop Culture program at the Kennedy Center recognizes Hip Hop's contributions to global culture and its power to build and transform communities through art and action. Through this programmatic platform, the Center aims to create a dynamic home for Hip Hop and celebrate its role as a catalyst for innovation, exploration and transformation.

  • Renee Fleming VOICES

    Renée Fleming VOICES

    Ongoing

    The Renée Fleming VOICES series explores the remarkable range and expression of the human voice through a diverse number of talented singers, composers, and other vocal artists.

  • Mason Bates

    Mason Bates, KC Jukebox

    Ongoing

    The genre-bending DJ and composer extraordinaire returns to the Kennedy Center to present a range of innovative music experiences, including the second season of his KC Jukebox immersive concert series and more.

  • Declassified: Fridays at 9

    DECLASSIFIED: Fridays at 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra

    Ongoing

    The secret is out! Select NSO Fridays are taking on a whole new vibe with this innovative mix of classic and modern sounds, special guest artists, dynamic multimedia, audience interaction, and exciting activities before and after the show—all at great price.

  • Sound Health

    Sound Health

    Ongoing

    Sound Health, designed to explore the connections between music, health, and wellness, is a new partnership between The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Institutes of Health, and renowned soprano Renée Fleming.

Past

  • Taylor Mac

    Terrace Theater Re-Opening

    October 3 – November 5, 2017

    A month-long suite of performances to celebrate the fully reconstructed Terrace Theater.

  • Page to Stage Festival

    September 2 – 4, 2017

    The Kennedy Center annually hosts more than 50 Washington-area theater companies in a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals. This three-day event gives audiences a look at new works being prepared for Washington premieres in the upcoming season.

  • District of Comedy Festival

    District of Comedy Festival

    July 20 – 22, 2017

    The Kennedy Center presents its second annual all-star showcase of celebrated comedians headlining venues all around the building, along with a collaboration with Chicago's legendary comedy theater The Second City. Looking to create your own Festival Package? Click here!

  • An Open House performer

    Kennedy Center Open House: Celebrating JFK at 100

    Saturday, May 27, Noon–10 pm

    In celebration of our namesake's 100th birthday, and a nod to Jackie Kennedy's famous 1962 televised tour of the White House to make it more accessible and inviting to all, we open our doors to YOU with a daylong celebration featuring dozens of FREE performances and activities for the entire family!

  • Spotlight on Directors

    Spotlight on Directors

    2016 – 2017 Season

    This March and April, we're shining a spotlight on theater by several top directors from around the globe.

  • The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

    Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

    April 16 – 22, 2017

    Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists.

  • Shift. A festival of North American orchestras

    SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras

    March 27 - April 2, 2017

    SHIFT celebrates the vitality, identity, and extraordinary artistry of orchestras and chamber orchestras by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation's capital.

  •  Chris Thile

    American Acoustic with Chris Thile

    June 22 – 25 2016

    The Kennedy Center presents a special series curated by mandolinist, composer, and vocalist Chris Thile that explores the idea that tradition is innovation that lasts.

  • Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture

    Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture

    May 17 – June 5, 2016

    Highlighting Irish culture and its relationship to America, this major festival includes dozens of performances from some of Ireland's best contemporary musicians, dancers, theater companies, and more.

  • Mary Lou Williams at the piano

    Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival

    May 13 & 14, 2016

    The 2016 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival highlights the legacy of jazz pianist, composer, educator and bandleader Mary Lou Williams with two consecutive nights of performances featuring some of today's most exciting and respected jazz musicians.

  • The Ring Cyles's The Rhinegold show

    Washington National Opera's Ring Cycle

    Spring 2016

    Richard Wagner's extraordinary four-opera saga of gods and men, giants and dwarves, comes to WNO in three complete cycles. Additional events, ranging from expert-led lectures and engaging symposia to convenient dining options, offer many exciting ways to explore and celebrate this epic masterpiece.

  • The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

    Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

    April 11 – 16, 2016

    Through state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work, and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists.

  • Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center 2016

    Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center 2016

    February 5 – 8, 2016

    Join this first annual weekend of free and ticketed events leading up to the Chinese New Year on February 8, which begins the "Year of the Monkey" in 2016.

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