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The Kennedy Center

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

President John F. Kennedy spoke of a vital connection between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. If our progress as the nation’s cultural center over the past year is any indication, we can be proud that our public life has ample room for celebrating the human spirit, diversity, inclusiveness, new ideas, and artistic tradition.

This Annual Report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018 offers highlights of our progress on all of these fronts — a story of impact we could not tell if it weren’t for the support of the Kennedy Center’s many donors, partners, volunteers, audiences, and artists. Our 2017-2018 season featured new art and artists — including Gianandrea Noseda in his inaugural season as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, and the first full Hip Hop Culture season under the direction of Artistic Director Q-Tip — as well as returning favorites from across genres. Beyond the stage and in communities nationwide, the Kennedy Center harnessed the power of the arts to inspire audiences, educate students, and uplift artists and cultural leaders.

As we look back on the past year, we also look to the future: to later this year, when we open the REACH; to 2021, when we celebrate the Center’s 50th anniversary; and to the next 50 years and beyond. In 2018 we launched a refreshed brand that will take us boldly into the future while keeping us focused on the world-class art, powerful education, and memorial role that are — and always will be — the pillars of our work.

Whether you are a donor, a ticket buyer, a visitor, a student, an educator, a volunteer, or an artistic partner, you help make all that we do possible. We are deeply grateful for your commitment and look forward to sharing many more meaningful experiences in the year to come.

David M. Rubenstein

Deborah F. Rutter