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The REACH Opening Festival

September 7-22, 2019

The Kennedy Center
Washington, DC

Connection and celebration...
exploration and dialogue...
wonder and surprise

Join us for 16 days of “creativity in action” at the REACH—where nearly 500 events across our newly expanded campus, indoors and outdoors, are FREE!

Free timed-entry passes are required for entry to the festival and are available now.

You can also obtain passes by phone at (202) 467-4600 or in person at the Box Office.

Download the REACH Fest app and create your own custom schedule!

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Robert Glasper

Glimpse into the creative process by experiencing a performance residency with Grammy® winner Robert Glasper and other visionary musicians—and play your part in sketching wacky imaginary creatures in Infinite Monster.


Center your spirit at a John Coltrane-Inspired Jazz and Meditation Service—and step into the future in our Virtual Reality Lounge.

Outdoor movie showing The Muppets

Be amazed as performance poet Jacqueline Suskin writes on-demand poems in less than a minute—and join a 40th anniversary outdoor movie screening of The Muppet Movie.


Experience the many sides of Hip Hop Culture at a Block Party curated by iconic rapper and producer Q-Tip, our Artistic Director of Hip Hop Culture—and ask filmmakers your most burning questions in our John F. Kennedy documentary series.


Feel the power of hundreds of choral voices in Beethoven’s Ninth with the National Symphony Orchestra—and join other aspiring young performers for a class by The Broadway Collective.

Inflatable blue pigeon sitting on the lawn by the REACH.

Take a selfie with Mo Willems’s (giant!) Pigeon—and get a peek at rising young playwright Dave Harris’s award-winning satire Everybody Black.

Second City improv troupe on stage

Try your improv skills with sketch comedy dynamos The Second City—and sip a cocktail while melting away to the ethereal synth-pop of electronica group Night Glitter.


Greet the dawn with yoga and live music at Daybreaker—and dance into the sunset overlooking the Potomac at D.C. Lovers Rock.

Experience two vibrant weeks of performances and activities celebrating the new expansion of our campus called the REACH. These innovative indoor and outdoor spaces put YOU at the center of the art—where you can chart your own course and connect what moves you.

Every day of the festival offers something for everyone, with daily spotlights on special themes or art forms sprinkled throughout. No matter when you visit, you’ll find plenty of unique performances, interactive activities, insightful conversations, and other events that speak to your interests and pique your curiosity. Explore everything from classical, jazz, and electronica music to comedy, dance, theater, film, Hip Hop, indigenous cultures, and family fun!

Discover how the Kennedy Center is forging new ways for artists from near and far, community groups, and YOU to come together to create and share joyous and meaningful moments, learn from each other, and win hearts and minds through the power of the arts. See you at the REACH!

PLEASE NOTE: All REACH Opening Festival are free; timed-entry passes are required for entry. See the day-by-day schedule of events here and obtain your free passes here. You can also obtain passes by phone at (202) 467-4600 or in person at the Box Office. Join the Opening Festival mailing list for the latest updates.