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In May 2013, the Kennedy Center announced revisions to the Kennedy Center Honors selection process. The revisions include the addition of an advisory committee comprised of artists, former Honorees, and Kennedy Center board members as well as expanded solicitation of recommendations from the general public. Please read below how you can submit a recommendation for the Kennedy Center Honors.
The Kennedy Center Honors provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The primary criterion is excellence, and artistic achievement in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, and television is considered.
AN EXTRAORDINARY MIX OF RENOWNED ARTISTS GATHERED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SALUTE BUDDY GUY, DUSTIN HOFFMAN, DAVID LETTERMAN, NATALIA MAKAROVA, AND LED ZEPPELIN AT THE 35TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Eminent artists, friends and peers of Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin converged in Washington, D.C. December 2, 2012 to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes at the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors, with Caroline Kennedy as host for the 10th consecutive year. The program was taped for broadcast nationwide on CBS on December 26.
The annual event recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television. Keeping with tradition, the roster of performers and presenters remained secret prior to the gala and a short biographical film was featured during each honoree's tribute.
Performers and presenters included Alec Baldwin, Jeff Beck, Jack Black, Jason Bonham, Tracy Chapman, Gary Clark, Jr., Alina Cojocaru, Billy Connolly, Angel Corella, Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Foo Fighters, Morgan Freeman, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Beth Hart, Judith Jamison, Julie Kent, Kid Rock, Jimmy Kimmel, Lenny Kravitz, Laura Osnes, Veronika Part, Tiler Peck, Grace Ann Pierce, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Romano, Liev Schreiber, Jimmie Vaughan, Naomi Watts, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson.
President and Mrs. Barack Obama were seated with the honorees in the Presidential Box of the Opera House.
Host Caroline Kennedy opened the festivities by quoting poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, "Congratulate yourselves if you have done something strange and extravagant and broken the monotony of a decorous age." Kennedy then said, "Tonight we salute Honorees who, through their artistry and daring, have banished monotony and provided extravagant pleasure and joy to audiences the world over. On the signature wall behind me are the names of those who have gone before. To this splendid company we now add our Class of 2012."
The 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors is a production of the Kennedy Center. George Stevens, Jr. produced and co-wrote the Honors for the 35th year. The show received four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Special under Stevens and his producing partner Michael Stevens. The Kennedy Center Honors telecast has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to Broadcasting and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America. Nick Vanoff was co-creator of the Honors with George Stevens in 1978.Back to Top