Special Events and Festivals

The Kennedy Center Honors

An annual televised celebration recognizing the talents and lifetime achievements of deserving artists.

The Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor and The Mark Twain Prize

An annual televised celebration recognizing those who create humor from their uniquely American experiences.

The Multicultural Children's Book Festival

An annual gathering of authors, illustrators, and storytellers whose works represent the lives, cultures, and stories of African, African-American, Asian, Caribbean, Latino, and native American peoples.

The Holidays at the Kennedy Center

An annual program of heartwarming performances perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Summer in the City

Summer looks especially bright with the Kennedy Center's Summer in the City events, free performances for everyone at the Center and around Washington.

The Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival

An annual day of continuous, free entertainment for the whole family on ten stages, throughout the building and grounds.

An American Cantata - 2000 Voices

The Kennedy Center commissioned Maury Yeston to compose "An American Cantata - 2000 Voices" - a choral symphony in three movements for the National Symphony Orchestra and 2000 singers, conducted by Leonard Slatkin and premiered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on July 1, 2000.

Ireland: Arts from Ireland

A celebration of the impact of Irish arts on the world and the cultural growth that will continue in the new century.

African Odyssey

A cultural exploration of the arts and artists of African and the African Diaspora.

The Kennedy Center Gala

An annual fundraiser for the artistic, educational, and outreach programs nationwide for the Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Arts of Japan

Each spring, as the cherry blossoms bring the season’s first burst of color to Washington, the Kennedy Center celebrates the arts and culture of Japan with leading Japanese and Japanese-American artists in performances presented in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.