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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

Atrium Storytelling Stage

12:30-12:50 p.m. & 3-3:20 p.m.
Mary Louise Defender Wilson (North Dakota) [OC][ASL]

NEA Heritage Award-winning Dakotah/ Hidatsa storyteller, elder, and traditionalist, Wilson effortlessly relates stories involving mythical heroes, animals, birds, plants, and the heavens.

1-1:20 p.m. & 3:30-3:50 p.m.
Glenn Ohrlin (Arkansas) [OC][ASL]

Cowboy and rodeo veteran Ohrlin has spent a lifetime absorbing cowboy lore and traditions, performing cowboy songs, range ballads, stories, and poems.

2:30-2:50 p.m. & 5-5:20 p.m.
Valerie Tutson (Rhode Island) [OC][ASL]

Tutson tells stories and songs she learned in her travels to South Africa, her experiences in West Africa, stories from African American history, and more.

1: 30-1:50 p.m. & 4-4:20 p.m.
Rosalie Sorrels (Idaho) [OC][ASL]

This master storyteller and singer began her career as a folklorist in the 1950s and has an encyclopedic knowledge, ranging from the English ballads to Mormon songs to the work of contemporary songwriters.

2-2:20 p.m. & 4:30-4:50 p.m.
John Walker (Nebraska) [OC][ASL]

A country and blues guitarist, Walker performs songs that reflect his upbringing with foot-stomping rhythms, smooth melodies, and expressive lyrics accompanied by a unique finger-picking style.

Terrace Theater

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

12:15-1 p.m. & 1:30-2:15 p.m.
Jake Shimabukuro (Hawaii)

Recognized as one of the world's top ukulele musicians, Jake Shimabukuro plays jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and rock. In his hands, that little four-stringed instrument has never sounded so big!

3:45-4:30 p.m. & 5:15-6 p.m.
Joshua Nelson (New Jersey) [OC]

The "Prince of Kosher Gospel," whose voice bears a remarkable resemblance to that of the late Mahalia Jackson, has performed with artists as diverse as Cab Calloway, Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Albertina Walker, Bobby Jones & New Life, and The Klezmatics.

Theater Lab Dance Hall

12:15-1 p.m. & 1:30-2:15 p.m.
Oklahoma Stomp (Oklahoma)

This Western Swing band made up of nine talented boys ranging in age from 12 to 16 carries on the tradition of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, with dance instruction from Flying Feet.

3:45-4:30 p.m. & 5-5:45 p.m.
Aramis y su Orquesta Ashe (Washington, D.C.)

This 12-piece ensemble will have audiences on their feet with their interpretation of timba, or modern Cuban Salsa, fusing native African and Cuban rhythms. With singers, musicians, as well as dancers, the band interacts with the audience, bringing the full effect of Cuban flavor.

Artists and programming subject to change.