Kennedy Center Cancels Fall Programming

By Francisco Salazar

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the cancellation of all announced programmed performances and events through the end of 2020 due to ongoing effects of COVID-19.

The company announced that the decision was made in accordance with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s current guidelines for re-opening. However, the Kennedy Center noted that its leadership, programming, and education teams are exploring digital and, in consultation with health and safety experts, physical methods of enacting the mission of the nation’s cultural center and engaging with artists and audiences throughout the fall.

New programming will be announced in July and will feature new events curated to take advantage of the Center’s diverse indoor and outdoor to create physically distant programming.

In a press release, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said, “Our lives as we have known them have been upended by COVID-19, but the world continues to spin forward and we need artists now more than ever to help light the way. I am deeply proud of our staff and artists who have been forging new digital stages for audiences in the nation’s capital and across the country, and I am equally excited by the work being done to safely allow us to experience the arts once again in person as well. For our patrons with tickets to fall performances, we do ask for your patience and flexibility as we readjust season schedules.”

The press release also announced that National Symphony Orchestra will be launching a special effort to support the NSO as it celebrates its 90th season in 2020-2021 and that the Kennedy Center will lose an estimated $45.7 million in ticket sales and other earned income.