The Kennedy Center

Open House Celebrating JFK at 100


Innovative Dance & Interactive Movement • Live Music, Soaring Voices & Spirited Jam Sessions Powerful Theater, Storytelling & Hip Hop • Street Arts, DJs & Skateboard Culture

Saturday, May 27, Noon–10 pm

Enjoy dozens of free performances and participatory activities for the entire family—it's our way of saying "THANK YOU, D.C.!"

Join our Facebook Event and follow us at #KCOpenHouse for Open House alerts and the latest information.

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Just as Jackie Kennedy "opened the doors" to the White House in 1962 with her history-making televised tour — part of her untiring efforts to make the President’s home and headquarters more accessible and inviting for creative artists, innovative thinkers, and the American public at large — we "open our doors" to YOU with this fun-filled cross-cultural celebration!

Encompassing dozens of free performances and activities throughout the day and into the night, the eagerly awaited return of our Open House is just one of the many ways we'd like to express our GRATITUDE to you, your family, and the entire Washington community for continuing to enjoy and support our living memorial to America's 35th President.

It's all part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy and this week's very special series of events leading up to May 29, 2017, which would have been the 100th birthday of our namesake. Join us!

Browse Events


Includes a participatory component — join in!


Great for families, though everyone is welcome!

JFK theme

Reflects themes related to John F. Kennedy — Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude

American Sign Language interpreted

American Sign Language interpreted

Open Captioned

Open Captioned event

* Seating is first-come, first-served in these venues. Please check signage in front of each venue for more information on line formation times, when doors open, late seating policy, etc.

Schedule and artists subject to change without notice. By participating, you acknowledge that all physical activity is at your own risk and agree to hold harmless the Kennedy Center and activity instructors. Waivers required for skate park and yoga.

Please note that the Kennedy Center staff may be photographing or filming various performances and activities throughout the day. In case of inclement weather, check this webpage for updates on outdoor events.

North Plaza (outdoors)

12-12:30 p.m. Participatory Families

Mista Cookie Jar & The Chocolate chips

Enjoy the uber-electrifying, contagious joy of this family band

1–1:30 p.m. Participatory Families

Dance & Bmore with CJay Philip

Their trademark "FazaFam" program: funky moves and beats for kids and families!

2–2:45 p.m. Participatory Families

Mista Cookie Jar & The Chocolate Chips

See 12 p.m.

3–3:45 p.m. Participatory

Dance & Bmore with CJay Philip

Song and dance with a powerful message

4–4:30 p.m. Participatory JFK theme

FLEXN: "In FLEX We Trust"

Interactive Flex dance discussion

Millennium Stage

5-6 p.m. Participatory

Beginner Boogie Woogie Dance Lessons with Gottaswing

Learn basic moves for the 6 p.m. show

6-7 p.m. Participatory

Chuck Berry Tribute with Daryl Davis

A boogie woogie, red-hot salute to the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll" by Berry's longtime pianist

7-8 p.m. Participatory

Intermediate Boogie Woogie Dance Lessons with Gottaswing

More sophisticated steps for the 8 p.m. show

8-9 p.m. Participatory

Chuck Berry Tribute with Daryl Davis

See 6 p.m. — new set list!

Front Plaza (outdoors)

3–3:30 p.m.


Pioneers of vertical dance — look up at the roof!

5:30–6 p.m.


See 3 p.m.

7–7:30 p.m. JFK theme

FLEXN: "In FLEX We Trust"

Flex style demo

9:15-9:45 p.m.


See 3 p.m.

Grand Foyer

11:50 a.m.–1 p.m. JFK theme

Company E: (IN)SECURITY or Jack and Nikki do the Cold War Tango

Multimedia dance performance — standing room only!

5:20–6:30 p.m. JFK theme

Company E: (IN)SECURITY or Jack and Nikki do the Cold War Tango

See 11:50 a.m.

Opera House*

1:30–2:30 p.m. Participatory Open Captioned

The Washington Ballet

Watch dancers prepare in an open ballet class

3:15–4 p.m. JFK theme

The Washington Ballet

Frontier, a new ballet inspired by JFK

Eisenhower Theater

2–3 p.m. JFK theme American Sign Language interpreted Open Captioned

FLEXN: "In FLEX We Trust"

FLEXN responds to the five JFK ideals with dance and discussion

Concert Hall*

2–2:30 p.m. JFK theme Open Captioned

National Memorial Day Choral Festival

300 singers with patriotic favorites and more

2:45–3:30 p.m. JFK theme Open Captioned

National Memorial Day Choral Festival

See 2 p.m.

Family Theater*

12–1 p.m.

Voces Veracruzanas

Colorful music and dance traditions from Mexico

3–4 p.m. Participatory Families JFK theme American Sign Language interpreted

All the Way Live!

Interactive family Hip Hop show; age 5 & up

5–6 p.m. Participatory Families JFK theme American Sign Language interpreted Open Captioned

All the Way Live!

See 3 p.m.

South Roof (outdoors)

Arts and wellness area, part of the Kennedy Center's Sound Health initiative! Take the Hall of Nations elevators.

10:15–11:15 a.m. Participatory American Sign Language interpreted

Sound Health: Community Yoga

All-levels vinyasa class before Open House begins

Limited space! First come, first served. Complete the signup form and liability waiver here or in person once you arrive.

1–2 p.m. Participatory Families

Tai Chi in Our Daily Life

A journey for better health, happiness, and harmony

2–3 p.m. Participatory Families

Peace Mission Korean Dance Group

Learn traditional and fusion movements of arirang (fan dance)

3-4 p.m. Participatory Families

Living the American Indian Experience Presents Këntkatàm ("Let's Dance")

Interactive lesson in Piscataway Conoy social dances and culture

4-5 p.m. Participatory Families

Tai Chi in Our Daily Life

See 1 p.m.

5-6 p.m. Participatory Families

Peace Mission Korean Dance Group

See 2 p.m.

6-7 p.m. Participatory Families

Living the American Indian Experience Presents Këntkatàm

See 3 p.m.

North Roof (outdoors)

Take the Hall of States elevators.

1–3 p.m. Participatory

D.C. Bluegrass Union

Bring your instrument and jam along with dozens of musicians

4-6 p.m. Participatory

Archie Edwards Blues Foundation

Musicians of all skill levels and music lovers are invited to learn Piedmont blues


Take elevators from either the Hall of States or Hall of Nations.

1:45–3:15 & 4–5:15 p.m. Participatory Families

NSO Instrument "Petting Zoo"

Kids enjoy hands-on fun with instruments in this project of the Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra

2:30–6 p.m. Participatory Families

WNO "Costume Trunk"

Play dress up with Washington National Opera and release your inner opera star!

Skateboarders of all abilities are invited to "find their line" in this specially commissioned space throughout the day. All spectators are welcome to enjoy the full roster of DJs and live bands, who will each bring a different flavor and energy to the experience with their music set! Professional skaters include Paulo Diaz, Jennifer Soto, Derek Rinaldi, and Chuck Treece.

Front Plaza (outdoors)

11:30–12:30 p.m.

DJ Vico Vibez

12:30–1 p.m.

Afi Soul

Acclaimed D.C.-based R&B/soul artist

1–1:45 p.m.


1:45–2:15 p.m.

The Messthetics

A new project by bassist/vocalist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty (both from Fugazi) and guitarist Anthony Pirog

2:15–3 p.m.

DJ Ayes Cold

3:30–4:15 p.m.

Donvonte McCoy and Third Floor

Modern jazz ensemble led by the D.C. trumpeter

4:15–4:45 p.m.


4:45–5 p.m.

John Reeves

Solo guitar performance featuring original music by the pro skater and artist

5–5:30 p.m.

Ron Allen and Quim Cardona

H-Street Skateboard video star from California with the MC/melodica master

6–7 p.m.

DJ Alec MacKaye

7:30–8 p.m.

MC Javier Starks

Local Hip Hop host with a positive message

8–9 p.m.

The JoGo Project

Fusion of jazz, funk, R&B, rock, pop, and Go-Go

Skate Park Use Rules

Skaters are advised to join at their own risk. All participants MUST sign a waiver and have a wristband. The waiver form and complete rules (on age guidelines, equipment, protection, restrictions, etc.) may be downloaded here:

Complete the waiver online

Download a PDF of the waiver form.

Other Attractions

Special JFK Art Exhibition

Visit the Opera House lobby for a special exhibition of an original Elaine de Kooning charcoal sketch of JFK, one of several the artist completed in the early 1960s as a study for his portrait. On loan from the collection of Jeffrey Alfred Legum.

D.C. Arts Market

Shop goods from local vendors, ranging from jewelry to skate gear, including Gorilla Fist, Fast Snail Greetings & Design, Native Swell, ACES&8’s Custom, and MasPaz with Chelove!

Costumed Characters

Be on the lookout for Mosby the Kennedy Center Cat and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Maestro Mouse roaming around — they make for great photos!

Plan Your Visit

Food and Refreshments




First Aid

First Aid





Gift Shop

Gift Shop

Stroller Parking

Stroller Parking

Accessibility Center

Accessibility Center

Theater Entrance Lines

Theater Entrance Lines

Main Level

Roof Terrace Level

Food & Refreshments

Throughout the Kennedy Center, you can enjoy festive food standards like hot dogs and jumbo pretzels. Satisfy your sweet tooth with ice cream and cookies. Quench your thirst with refreshing lemonade, a Classic Coca-Cola, or a cold beer. And check out local food trucks featuring rotisserie chicken, rice bowls, tapas, and more. Come out and enjoy all that the Kennedy Center has to offer!


The Kennedy Center welcomes patrons and visitors with disabilities. Courtesy wheelchairs, Braille and large print programs, and assistive listening devices are available at the Accessibility table located outside the Hall of Nations. Please see the schedule for a list of sign-interpreted and captioned events; please inquire at the Accessibility table about the availability of "floating" sign interpreters as well. Guests with disabilities are welcome to request a wristband for priority access to performance spaces at the Accessibility table. Wristbands do not guarantee admission and are not required to use accessible seating. Please visit the Accessibility table for more information or if you have any questions.

Download and print the event listings so you can plan your visit!

Download the brochure

Special Thanks to Our Volunteers—the Friends of the Kennedy Center!

Open House is the perfect occasion to recognize the first group to respond to the call for service in launching our nation's performing arts center. We take great pride in the Friends organization, which has served us since 1965 and continues to exemplify JFK's legacy of "contribution to the human spirit." It was the Friends who started Open House in 1985—and today the organization comprises more than 1800 individuals. Find out how you can serve.

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