The Kennedy Center

Special Events, Awards, Banquets, and Galas

  • Kennedy Center Honors

    The annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural year. In a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, the Honorees will be saluted by great performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and the First Lady, the Honorees will accept the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes.

  • Mark Twain Prize

    The Mark Twain Prize is America's foremost award for humor, presented annually by the Kennedy Center to an individual who has made an indelible imprint on the American comedic landscape. Each year, the recipient is feted by an all-star cast of peers, treating the audience to personal anecdotes and priceless punch lines. The presentation of the Prize is followed by an exclusive reception with the cast.

  • Marian Anderson

    A career grant for American singers in mid-career in honor of Marian Anderson and her musical and humanitarian accomplishments. The recital will be in the Terrace Theater.

  • NSO Ball

    The National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Ball kicks off the NSO season with a spectacular concert. The performance, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and Steven Reineke and featuring Broadway star Sutton Foster and percussion sensation Martin Grubinger, is followed by an elegant dinner and dancing on the South Plaza, and is widely attended by prominent business and social leaders in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

  • the kennedy center building  decorated for the opera ball

    This spectacular and always stunning annual event is the highlight of the WNO event calendar. Washington's social elite, government officials, and opera patrons gather together to celebrate WNO's season. Pre-Ball dinners and receptions are typically hosted in various embassies and ambassadors' homes, making this elaborate event truly a night to remember. The evening culminates with all guests gathering for dessert and dancing.

  • Kennedy Center Gala

    One of Washington's premier benefit engagements, the Kennedy Center Gala is a highly anticipated tradition. The event begins with a lovely reception on the River Terrace, followed by an elegant dinner on the Center's Roof Terrace level and a spectacular performance in the Concert Hall, and culminates with music and dancing on the Roof Terrace.