By Francisco Salazar
The Kennedy Center is set to celebrate the 50th anniversary with two projects, the opening of “Art and Ideals: President John F. Kennedy” – a new permanent exhibit exploring Kennedy’s presidency and commitment to the arts and a reprise of Bernstein’s “MASS,” which premiered at the center’s opening exactly 51 years before the upcoming performance.
The projects will close an extraordinary year that saw the center reopen its doors after the pandemic lockdown for a landmark 50th anniversary season.
Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter noted, “As we mark 50 years, it has been important to take time not only to celebrate our legacy, but also to look forward to the next half-century and examine and evolve our role as the national cultural center and living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. From inspired performances that represent the breadth and diversity of the arts in America to deeply impactful national education programs and innovative social impact work, it is my most fervent hope that this anniversary year reinforces our commitment to the ideals of our namesake and his vision of the arts as being ‘close to the center of a nation’s purpose.’”
For the concluding event of the Kennedy Center’s extended 50th anniversary season, Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS” will return for three performances starring Will Liverman. The baritone will be joined by the Heritage Signature Chorale, the Children’s Chorus of Washington, and the National Symphony Orchestra, all under the baton of James Gaffigan. The evening will also feature original choreography by acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor for Dance Education Hope Boykin and will be directed by Alison Moritz.
Performances are set to be held on Sept. 15 through Sept. 18, 2022.