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The REACH is a place where visitors, audiences, and artists can come together for collaboration, experimentation, and exploration in the spirit of President Kennedy’s vision for a new frontier for the arts. Many of the spaces have been named after historical and personal moments in his life as an expression of our role as his living memorial.

Learn more about the art & sculpture at the REACH ›

Welcome Pavilion facing Staircase. Photo By Richard Barnes

Welcome Pavilion

The Welcome Pavilion is the main entry to all other spaces at the REACH. Located on Level A, the Welcome Pavilion boasts massive clear and frosted glass windows, including one that is etched with a quote from President Kennedy. The expansive lobby is home to a reception desk, comfortable lounges designed by Steven Holl, the Gratitude Wall recognizing major contributions to the construction of the REACH, and the Hyannis Port coffee bar, which is named after the location of the Kennedy Family home on Cape Cod.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0006_PT-109 with Furniture_Photo by Richard Barnes


with thanks to Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello

Taking its name from the “Patrol Torpedo” boat that President Kennedy commanded during World War II, Room PT-109 is a flexible space for meetings or dinners with large windows that look out onto the outdoor Victura Deck and a large reflecting pool.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0009_Patrons at the Moonshot Studio_9.9.19_Photo by Nicholas Karlin_6x9

Moonshot Studio

with thanks to William E. Conway, Jr. and Joanne Barkett Conway

Named after President Kennedy’s call for America to think big and travel to the moon, the Moonshot Studio is a “maker space” where families, students, and community groups can come together for interactive workshops, meetings, or camps.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0011_Justice Forum from Front Angle_Photo by Richard Barnes

Justice Forum

with thanks to Michael F. and Noémi K. Neidorff and The Centene Charitable Foundation

A striking and intimate lecture hall with fixed seating named after one of the five ideals attributed to President Kennedy, the Justice Forum is perfect for pre- or post-performance lectures, film screenings, and artist discussions. It boasts distinctive acoustic “crinkle” concrete walls and a cherry wood ceiling.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0004_Skylight Pavilion facing Southeast_Photo by Richard Barnes

Skylight Pavilion

with thanks to Stephen and Christine Schwarzman

The stunningly beautiful Skylight Pavilion features vaulted ceilings over an expansive atrium space with multiple glass skylights and very large glass windows providing views of the Potomac River. A multitude of custom hanging lights twinkle like stars over the Pavilion’s atrium, augmented by theatrical lighting to transform the room for special events. The exterior wall facing the Center functions as a large projection screen for movies, simulcasts, and more.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0007_Peace Corps Gallery with Gilliam_Photo by Richard Barnes

Gallery Wall

with thanks to Fred Eychaner

This multi-story blank canvas will play host to large-scale short- and long-term art installations, on view to visitors on both levels of the REACH.

Peace Corps Gallery

Peace Corps Gallery

President Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961 with the goal of encouraging mutual understanding between Americans and people of other nations and cultures. The Peace Corps Gallery, located on Level B, serves as an art gallery, lobby, and gathering space outside of Studios J, F & K.

Students Taking Master Class in Studio F - Photo by Tracey Salazar

Studio J

with thanks to Iris Smith

Studio F

with thanks to Suzanne L. Niedland

These multi-purpose rooms take their name from the President’s first two initials. Studios J & F are equipped with ballet barres, mirrors, and a ballet-style sprung floor. They have floor-to-ceiling windows looking onto the Potomac River through which visitors outside on the Link pathway can observe rehearsals.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0002_Studio K with Furniture from Balcony Angle_Photo by Richard Barnes_5x7

Studio K

with thanks to Jacqueline Badger Mars

This multi-purpose room takes its name from the President’s last initial. Studio K is just larger than the Center’s Opera House stage and features a balcony to observe artists at work as well as performances. The space with acoustic “crinkle” concrete walls will be the home of the Club at the Kennedy Center and is suitable for cabaret and other performances, rehearsals, exhibits, demonstrations, and special events.

Skylight Stair (stairwell)

Skylight Stair

with thanks to Sakurako and William Fisher

Connecting the upper and lower levels near Studios J, F, and K, the Skylight Stair encapsulates Steven Holl's mastery of light, angles, and texture with this eye-catching stair feature.

Teacher and Students in Sardar Classroom - Photo by Richard Barnes

Sardar Classroom

with thanks to Arlene and Robert Kogod

Macaroni Classroom

Caroline Kennedy’s pet pony Macaroni was a gift from President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1962. Sardar, an Arabian horse, was given to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy as a present from Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan, in 1962. These state-of-the-art, multipurpose classroom spaces can host both children and adults in exciting hands-on educational activities.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0012_Hammersmith Lounge with Furniture Horizontal_Photo by Richard Barnes

Hammersmith Lounge

with thanks to Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A. J. Stolwijk

Hammersmith was the name of Jackie Bouvier’s childhood home that served as her wedding venue and the “Summer White House” during the Kennedy administration. Equipped with informal seating designed by Steven Holl, a skylight, and window views of the Potomac, the Hammersmith Lounge is a public space adjacent to Studios J, F & K and the Macaroni and Sardar Classrooms.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0005_River Pavilion at Night_9.13.19_Photo by Nick Karlin

River Pavilion

The Boeing Company
Exclusive Corporate Underwriter of the REACH

Located at the southernmost end of the Kennedy Center campus, the River Pavilion is home to the River Café with fantastic views of the Potomac River and the Center’s new pedestrian bridge. Featuring quotes from President Kennedy etched into frosted glass, this special space is open for a coffee or snack and hosts informal performances, comedy or open mic nights, and special events. A glass wall slides open to a courtyard with a reflecting pool and outdoor deck with seating adjacent to the Presidential Grove of 35 ginkgo trees.

Outdoor Spaces at the REACH

_ReachFestival_spaces_0010_Link and Upper Lawn_Photo by Richard Barnes

The Link

with thanks to Štěpánka and Karel Komárek

The Link is a covered pathway with fantastic views of the Potomac River, Roosevelt Island, and into Studios J & F that connects the River Plaza and the Grand Foyer to various spaces and buildings at the REACH.

_ReachFestival_spaces_0013_Bicyclist and Pedestrians on Pedestrian Bridge_Photo by Richard Barnes

The Bridge

with thanks to David Bohnett Foundation

For the first time, the Kennedy Center is connected to the city’s other memorials by a new pedestrian bridge spanning Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway down to the trail running along the Potomac River.

Victura Deck

Victura Deck

with thanks to Pritzker Traubert Foundation

A lover of the sea, President Kennedy’s iconic wooden sailboat, the Victura (Latin for “to conquer”), was purchased when he was 15. The Victura Deck is located just outside of the Moonshot Studio alongside a large reflecting pool.

Presidential Grove

Presidential Grove

with thanks to The People of the United Arab Emirates

At the south end of the campus sits a grove of 35 ginkgo trees planted in honor of our 35th president and namesake, John F. Kennedy, intended as a place for quiet contemplation.

Reflecting Pool, Skylight and Welcome Pavilion Photo by elmanstudio

Reflecting Pool

with thanks to The State of Qatar

With views of the Potomac River and Roosevelt Island and set adjacent to the River Pavilion, the large Reflecting Pool welcomes both splashing and stillness, joy and reflection.

Reach Festival Patrons Watching Amazing Grace on the Video Wall Photo by Nicholas Karlin

Video Wall Lawn

with thanks to Robert H. Smith Family Foundation

The Video Wall Lawn makes possible active, participatory engagement through simulcast or broadcast performances and films with expansive lawn seating for visitors.

REACH Plaza and Gardens

The REACH Plaza and Gardens

The large paved plaza and two expansive lawns surrounding the three pavilions offer outdoor gathering spaces for participating in a community activity, watching a movie or simulcast on the Video Wall, picnicking, or relaxing before a performance. The lawns and landscaping serve as a massive “green roof” for the REACH, the largest in Washington, DC at approximately 69,000 square feet.

The Kennedy Center is grateful to Natalie and Herb Kohler and Kohler Co. for their generous donation of all kitchen and restroom fixtures. Kohler’s artistically inspired finishes enhance the beauty and modern aesthetic of all the REACH’s facilities.

David M. Rubenstein
Cornerstone of the REACH