Your Impact

With your generous donation, Get on the Bus will continue to grow, enabling children to attend world-class performances and help to cultivate future artist leaders.

You can help inspire even more students by making a donation today to Get on the Bus!

Get on the Bus

The Kennedy Center developed the Get on the Bus program in 2001 in partnership with the Center’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) and under the leadership of CAB founding member and co-chair emeritus Alma Powell. Get on the Bus seeks to improve access to performances and events for schools that serve under-resourced communities. The program provides students in financially-challenged Title 1 schools in Maryland, Virginia, and DC free tickets and transportation to Kennedy Center performances.

The mission of Get on the Bus is to support student learning in, through, and about the arts as an integral component of a comprehensive primary and secondary education. The CAB assists, supports, and advises the fulfillment of this mission.

Program Impact

Get on the Bus serves about 2,500 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students and teachers annually, in 2018 serving students from 10 counties in Maryland and Virginia and six of the eight DC Wards. Get on the Bus provides unique experiences for students who may have never been to the Kennedy Center or seen a live performance due to financial barriers. Exposure to live performances and a variety of art forms expands students’ horizons beyond their local communities.

Testimonials from School Leaders:

"I wanted my music students to first have an opportunity to have an authentic musical experience in a professional setting. I also wanted them to see musicians who looked like them and gave them something to aspire to. For many, it was their first time being in a venue such as this. I wanted them to see a real theater. I wanted them to be exposed to theater decorum with ushers and other patrons."

Teacher from Jefferson-Houston School

"My students left this performance and spoke about it for days. I had parents write letters about how magical this performance was for their child and how their child spoke about everything they learned from the show and the tour... My students even sat on the steps and sang a song – or shall I say performed at the Kennedy Center. That alone will be a day they will all remember."

Teacher from Sudley Elementary School