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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

Here’s just a sample of all the participating artists in more than 400 free events planned:

Alan Menken • Renée Fleming • The Second City • Arrested Development • Robert Glasper • Syncopated Ladies • Debbie Allen • Thievery Corporation • Angélique Kidjo •  Mo Willems • J.Period • A Tribe Called Red • Jason Moran and The Bandwagon • Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter • Tiler Peck • Flying Lotus • Bootsy Collins with The Chuck Brown Band • Judah Friedlander • Squonk Opera • TT The Artist • Mason Bates • Valerie June • Jacqueline Suskin • Pharoahe Monch • Rachel Feinstein • Yalitza Aparicio • Brandee Younger • The Archives • and many more

Learn more in our Artistic Highlights

Join us for 16 full days and nights of creativity in action!

All events are free, and reservations for timed passes will be required for entry. Check back for more details in the coming months.

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Robert Glasper

Glimpse into the creative process of Grammy® winner Robert Glasper and other visionary musicians at work—and play your part in sketching wacky imaginary creatures in Infinite Monsters.


Center your spirit at a Music and Meditation Service inspired by legendary jazz artist John Coltrane—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.


Break a sweat at a Hip Hop block party curated by iconic rapper 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.


Hold hands to light up the heart-shaped sculpture Heartfelt created by one of our Citizen Artist Fellows—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.

Save the date for two vibrant weeks of FREE 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 to creative experiences beyond imagination.

Discover how the Kennedy Center is forging new ways for artists, 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. It all begins with opening your mind to the REACH Opening Festival, and everyone is invited!

All REACH Opening Festival events are free, and reservations for timed passes will be required for entry. Online reservations will open in August.
Join the Opening Festival mailing list for programming updates and reservation information.