Tuesday, January 8, 2008


The John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts

The John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts serves two purposes in Washington: to honor the memory of President Kennedy and to promote the arts--music, dance, theater, opera--in our nation.

The Kennedy Center was a long time in the making. Here's a timeline:

1933 -- First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt discusses ideas for the creation of jobs for unemployed actors during the Depression.
1935 -- Congress holds hearings regarding plans to establish a Department of Science, Art and Literature and whether to build a theater and arts building near the Capitol.
1938 -- A Congressional resolution calls for the building of a "National Cultural Center." Nothing happens, though.
1950 -- A bill is introduced in Congress to authorize funds for planning and building a cultural center as a memorial to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The bill requires that the center will prohibit discrimination of cast or audience.
1955 - 1958 -- The idea of a cultural center is fiercely debated in Congress with no resolution.
1958 -- Congress finally passes the bill and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs it into law.
1959 -- Fundraising for the center is slow and after three years, less than $14,000 in private funds have been raised. That same year, President John F. Kennedy appoints Roger Stevens to head up the development of the National Cultural Center. He, in turn, recruits First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower as co-chairs.
1963 -- President Kennedy is assassinated.
1964 -- The National Cultural Center is renamed The Kennedy Center. Ground is finally broken in December of that year and construction begins.
1971 -- The Kennedy Center opens with a premiere of Leonard Bernstein's MASS--a piece commissioned by Mrs. Kennedy.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 1/08
Timeline source: Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this photo with the light reflection and green glow!

D.C. Confidential said...

Sandollar: Thank you! I like how this one turned out, too! I have a couple more I took that night that were also pretty decent, but this one grab my eye the most.

Lara said...

wow, what lights, what atmosphere!

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

Excellent capture - I se eyou dod a lot of night photography which is quite difficult.

You capotuire the architcture and also the "artisitic ghosts" that reside there (between performances only, I hope).

Will visit, found you based on comments at Debi, etc. My best, John

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

You capture the architcture and also the "artisitic ghosts" that reside there (between performances only, I hope).

Typo a day keeps the shrink away.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

You have a real knack for night photography. The lights going up the steps are beautiful and soft and there's a peaceful feel to it. No harsh light and shaddow to make it look menacing. It certainly has a very luxurious feel to it. Interesting that it took so long to come into being. from an outsider point of view it seems to have picked up support because it was a tribute to Mr Kennedy as opposed to support because it is a cultural center. I hope it's well used. I can certainly imagine some very posh ladies and cars here!

D.C. Confidential said...

Lara: Thank you!

John: Hi! Welcome! I enjoy your comments on Debi's blog and am thrilled you've stopped in. Thank you for your feedback. I was trying to capture this building in a way I hadn't seen it before and these stairs seemed like the answer.

Lisa: It is astonishing that this country is so slow to embrace--and these days--support the arts in a manner befitting our democracy. The Kennedy's were great patrons of the arts and I think the center was meant not only to be a tribute to the romance that Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy embodied, but also to the support they were to the arts and artists. I'm going back on Feb. 28 to attend a Pink Martini concert with my sister. I'll take my camera and snap pictures of the fancy ladies and cars then!

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Me again:) I'll look forward to seeing the fancy ladies and cars!HAHA too funny, your on my blog as I am on yours.. your comment just came in. Small world. I came here to tell you I had updated my blog and linked you after your first "last samurai" comment.Thankyou for filling in the gap, I have a memory like a sieve sometimes....