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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.
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Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride,
Sting and Lily Tomlin
Received 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors
Eminent artists, friends and peers of this year's five honorees gathered in Washington, D.C. December 7, 2014 to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes at the 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
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. In 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 Jared Angle, Christine Baranski, Laura Benanti, Jeffrey Cirio, Misty Copeland, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jane Fonda, Lady Gaga, Whoopi Goldberg, Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson, Garrison Keillor, David Letterman, Lauren Lovette, Jane Lynch, Bruno Mars, Reba McEntire, Kate McKinnon, Sam Moore, Jessie Mueller, Kelli O'Hara, Tiler Peck, Pentatonix, Martin Short, Esperanza Spalding, Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Meryl Streep and Usher.
The Boeing Company was the exclusive underwriter of the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors Gala Luncheon and post-gala supper dance in the Grand Foyer.
Delta Air Lines, the official airline of the Kennedy Center Honors, provided transportation for the performers and television crew that will be coming to Washington for the Honors Gala.
The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts — whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television — are selected by the Executive Committee of the Center's Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
The Honoree selection process includes solicitation of recommendations from the general public and an advisory committee comprised of artists, past Honorees and Kennedy Center board members. Previous Honors recipients and members of the Honors artist committee making recommendations included Edward Albee, Marc Anthony, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Harry Belafonte, Harolyn Blackwell, Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Jose Feliciano, Sutton Foster, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Hugh Jackman, Quincy Jones, Lang Lang, John Lithgow, Lourdes Lopez, Patti Lupone, Audra McDonald, Terrence McNally, Anna Netrebko, Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, Sidney Poitier, Arturo Sandoval, Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep.
Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter expressed the Center's continued gratitude to the many individuals involved in the success of the Honors program. "In addition to recognizing some of the world's most treasured artists, the Kennedy Center Honors supports a wide variety of artistic programming, as well as the Center's educational and national outreach efforts."