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Prelude 2008: Arts Across America

Open House Arts Festival

24th Annual!
Saturday, September 13 from 12 noon to 11 p.m.

A free day of performances all throughout the Kennedy Center

It's a new season of Performing Arts for Everyone! The Kennedy Center is kicking off its 37th birthday with a celebration of American innovators and artists carrying on and developing traditions. Continuing the theme of Prelude 2008: Arts Across America, which highlights the diversity of the United States, Open House features artists from across the country and the D.C. area in more than 30 performances, demonstrations, and events.

Performance Schedule

Great for children in kindergarten and up and their families
Open Captioned event
American Sign Language interpreted
View a map of the Kennedy Center

Concert Hall

12:15-1 p.m.
National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.)

Conducted by Emil de Cou, the NSO performs popular favorites including Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday, “Seventy-six Trombones” from The Music Man, Korngold’s Overture to The Seahawk, and excerpts from Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams.

1:45-2:45 p.m.
Raul Midón (New Mexico) [OC]

Writer, vocalist, and guitarist, Midón combines the soulfulness of Stevie Wonder, the world music exploration of Paul Simon, and the individuality of Bill Withers.

6-7:30 p.m.
Step Show featuring Step Afrika! [OC]

Highlighting the best of the African-American fraternity and sorority tradition of “stepping,” and led by internationally acclaimed ensemble Step Afrika!, this show features nationally recognized step teams from across the U.S.

Eisenhower Theater

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Nevada Ballet Theatre (Nevada)

A classically based thirty-six member company, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s repertoire includes works from classic choreographers as well as contemporary ones. For Open House, the company performs James Canfield’s Equinoxe and George Balanchine’s Who Cares?.

2:15-3:15 p.m.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Colorado/New Mexico)

With its fusion of classical good sense and western ingenuity, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet blends the best of both worlds to create a dance company that is truly unique. For Open House, ASFB performs Twyla Tharp’s Sinatra Suite, the pas de deux from Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain, and Jorma Elo’s 1st Flash.

4-5 p.m.
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet (Washington, D.C.)

The Kennedy Center’s own ballet company, founded by legendary ballerina and Balanchine protégé Suzanne Farrell, performs Balanchine’s Apollo, “Contrapuntal Blues” pas de deux from Clarinade, and Tzigane.

6-7:30 p.m.
Ballet Triple Bill

In an unprecedented Open House event, three ballet companies perform together. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents Jorma Elo’s 1st Flash, Nevada Ballet Theatre performs James Canfield’s Equinoxe, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet performs George Balanchine’s Apollo.

Family Theater

(Tickets are required for performances in the Family Theater. Tickets will be passed out in front of the Family Theater 30 minutes prior to the start of each performance.)

12:15-1 p.m. & 3:45-4:30 p.m.
Jamie Adkins (California) [K]

A former member of Pickle Family Circus and Cirque Éloize, this comedian and circus artist brings his newest creation, Circus INcognitus, showcasing his talents as an eccentric clown, juggler, balancing artist, and poet.

1:45-2:30 p.m. & 5:15-6 p.m.
Donald Knaack’s Junk Jams (Vermont) [K]

With wildly inventive instruments made from recycled materials, percussionist Donald Knaack performs his own compositions dubbed Junk MusicTM. Impossible to categorize, the eye-opening, provocative and entirely new sounds of Junk Music delight audiences worldwide.

Millennium Stage North

12-6 p.m.
Washington Arts Exchange

Check out local organizations that contribute to D.C.'s vibrant cultural scene.

Millennium Stage South

1-1:45 p.m.
Dragon Art Studio (Oregon) [K]

NEA Heritage Award-winners Yuquin Wang and Zhengli Xu present the mastery of rod puppetry - a tradition from China featuring dramatic and acrobatic staging of folktales, legends, and opera.

2:45-3:30 p.m.
Richmond Boys Choir (Virginia) [K][ASL]

Now in its 12th season, the choir began as a collaborative project of Theatre IV and the Boys and Girls Club of Richmond. As "Ambassadors of Song," they represent Richmond's diverse cultures through music.

4-4:45 p.m.
Washington National Opera Young Artists (Washington, D.C.)

Rising opera singers perform selections from Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, Verdi's La Traviata, Menotti's The Telephone, and Bizet's Carmen and The Pearl Fishers.

5:15-6 p.m.
PROJECT (Washington)

Featuring beatbox flutist Greg Pattillo, bassist Peter Seymour, and cellist Eric Stephenson, PROJECT combines hip hop, jazz, classical and world music in exciting new ways, as heard on their debut album Winter in June.

Artists and programming subject to change.