The Kennedy Center


JFK Centennial Celebration

Monday, May 29, 2017 4:00 PM

JFK Centennial Celebration

One hundred years after the birth of our namesake, be part of a special evening of readings, performances, and rare video footage featuring a star-studded roster of talent from the worlds of music, theater, dance, TV/film, and more.

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JFK Centennial Celebration
A special Memorial Day performance
marking our namesake's 100th birthday
to culminate JFK Centennial Week 

"I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for the victories or defeats in battle or politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”--John F. Kennedy

One hundred years after the birth of one of our nation’s most visionary and inspiring presidents, the “living memorial” created in his honor pays loving tribute to the galvanizing spirit of President John F. Kennedy. In this special program, artists and audience members--from those whose lives he touched to younger people yet to discover his legacy--will come together to celebrate his words and pioneering vision. Be part of an evening of readings and musical performances featuring some of America's finest artists, as well as glimpses of rare video footage. Taken together, they will remind us of the enduring power of one man’s imagination and courage, and his unwavering belief in justice and peace for all people.

Join us for a Kennedy Center celebration of Memorial Day with a complimentary hot dog, chips, and soft drink served on the River Terrace (weather permitting) before the performance. Plus, enjoy $7 parking all day and intermission bars at half price!  

Don’t miss special readings of JFK speeches by...
  • Journalist and chief political correspondent for CNN Dana Bash
  • Tony® and Golden Globe®–winning actor and producer Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman, Romeo + Juliet)
  • Internationally renowned soprano and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large Renée Fleming
  • Tony®-winning Hamilton star Christopher Jackson
  • Innovative multidisciplinary performer Taylor Mac, who brings his acclaimed one-man show A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Abridged) to the Kennedy Center in 2018
  • News anchor for WUSA 9 and Co-Chair of the Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board Andrea Roane
  • Celebrated actor and Golden Globe® winner Martin Sheen (The West Wing, Grace and Frankie)
  • Stage-and-screen actor Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story, HBO’s The Normal Heart, and star of the Kennedy Center’s 2013 production of The Guardsman)
Plus performances by...
  • New York City Ballet Principal Dancers Joaquín De Luz and Tiler Peck (also star of the Kennedy Center’s 2014 production of Little Dancer) in selections from George Balanchine’s legendary ballet Stars and Stripes
  • Grammy®-nominated jazz pianist, composer, and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran performing Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite
  • Jenni Barber and Claybourne Elder from the current Broadway production of Sunday in the Park with George, performing “Move On” from the hit Tony®-winning musical
And other artists to be announced.


Watch and Listen

JFK Centennial Celebration

“Legacy” A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy