The Kennedy Center

A Message From Kennedy Center Board Chair David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter

It is our pleasure to share with you the Kennedy Center’s Annual Report for the fiscal year ending on October 1, 2017. The 2016–2017 season was a year full of artistic feats, trailblazing performers, and institutional firsts. It was also the year of John F. Kennedy’s centennial, a milestone which spurred the Center to reflect upon and actively celebrate the legacy of our namesake through performances, conversations, and the power of community. Ideals often ascribed to President Kennedy — Freedom, Courage, Justice, Service, and Gratitude — infused much of the Center’s programming last season and encouraged dialogue with artists and audiences alike. Experiencing the arts together — and through the lens of our past, present, and future — has left us with a powerful sense of hope and optimism about the role of the Arts in this country

In the pages that follow, you will notice a new narrative emerging from the nation’s performing arts center: one with a strong emphasis on access and inclusion, in addition to our celebration of artistic excellence. The Center serves as a catalyst among American arts organizations, eager to explore new directions and inspire audiences locally and worldwide. Whether through our NSO In Your Neighborhood initiatives, our expansion of Hip Hop programming, or the carefully curated programs intended to reflect the rich diversity of our culture, we are committed to reaching new audiences through innovative programs.

Through numerous free events, our national impact in arts education, and the diverse array of pro-grams, art forms, and guest artists on our stages, we pride ourselves in reflecting and making a difference in our community and world today. The Kennedy Center is an institution and gathering place where all are welcome. Our expanded pro-gramming palette and the ongoing development of our new building expansion, called The REACH, are indicators of a growing, thriving organization. We have named this new extension of our campus The REACH for the words that inspire us: Renew, Experience, Activate, Create, and Honor.

As we look ahead to the 2017–2018 season, we are enthusiastic about so many projects on the horizon: our digital storytelling which will give access to the rare moments that happen only at the Kennedy Center; our new NSO Music Director Gianandrea Noseda; upgrades to the patron experience; and our continued planning for the exciting programming that will take place in The REACH beginning in 2019.

This is the place to be. Whether you are a ticket-buyer, a donor, a visitor, a student, educator, or an artistic partner, we welcome you back again and again. Thank you for your ongoing support of the performing arts and the Kennedy Center.

David M. Rubenstein

Deborah F. Rutter

Read the Annual Report

View the report