Kennedy was an ardent supporter and advocate for the arts and believed that those of whom are gifted in the arts, are culturally relevant and play a vital role in society. Nina Totenberg of NPR recalls a time in America where there were no dance companies, theaters, or operas.
Art and culture are inseparable. In order for both to be successful, one generation after another, it has to be manifested in some form or another—through symbols, language, art, dance, and religion. This serves a way to communicate a common bond—a relationship that brings people and their community together. Understanding the sociocultural importance of art and when it’s shared, it is rewarding to every member of that community.
“The Kennedy’s truly believed that the people who make art, the people who write books, the people who have great scientific thoughts, have a prominent role to play in society, and they honored them by focusing on them and putting a spotlight on them” Kennedy Center’s President Michael Kaisner
The commemorative event was five years in the making and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The event will host every artistic make up of artists– jazz and classic musicians, performances by the American Ballet Theatre, tap dance, and featured performances by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, American Cellist and composer Yo-Yo Ma, and others. Including a performance specifically for the younger audiences and their families based on two poetry collections selected by Caroline Kennedy.
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress signed into law, The National Cultural Center Act, which authorized the establishment of a National Cultural Center. The Natural Arts and Cultural Development Act of 1964 established the National Council on the Arts, in which the Council members advises the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and make a recommendation on grant applications, guidelines for funding and initiatives on governance. In 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency, established to ensure support for individual artists and art organizations by bringing the arts to all Americans.
The Presidency of John F. Kennedy, a 50th Anniversary Celebration, continues through February 6, 2011. For more information, please visit The Kennedy Center website.
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