The Kennedy Center is synonymous with world-class performances, but many visitors don’t realize it is also the national memorial to America’s 35th president.
The arts center’s president, Deborah Rutter, wants to change that.
“Here’s this beloved president, and his memorial is a performing arts center, so what does that mean about the role of artists in our society?” Rutter said. “How do we authentically honor this man at this incredibly important time?”
These questions launched the John F. Kennedy Centennial, a year-long celebration of Kennedy’s 100th birthday that aims to raise the center’s visibility as his living memorial by bringing his words — etched into its marble facade — to life on its stages.