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On the DC Beat: Ask Not What the Arts Can Do For You….


by Devon Mitchell 

For 50 years the Kennedy Center has served as the capital’s hub for cultural experience through the performing arts. The Kennedy Center for me has been my favorite part of D.C. for years, and now having it just across the river in eyesight to my current apartment is wonderful. Being the D.C. “local” that I totally am (that was sarcasm), I wanted to share the reasons why I love the Kennedy Center and why you have to stop the next time you’re in town.  

1) There are free shows! Every Friday the Millenium Stage in the Kennedy Center hosts artists to perform in live shows. I attended a spoken word performance by a woman reciting a poem she wrote about the three generations of Jewish women in her life in memorial of her grandmother who was a Holocaust survivor. Musical performances are also common on the Millenium Stage. Musical performances from all over the globe take place providing patrons with a cultural experience through the universal language of music.  

2) The Kennedy Center is committed to arts education. There has always been bipartisan support for the Kennedy Center in recognition of how important the arts are for a developed society. Now the Kennedy Center continues the tradition of placing importance on the arts by supporting school groups and providing resources for educators to mature and grow a future generation of artists.  

3) The location and architecture are breathtaking. A must on any trip to the Kennedy Center is heading up to the terrace to get a full 360-degree view of the Potomac River and Washington D.C. I could spend hours looking at the D.C. skyline from the terrace but would not want to forget about looking at the rest of the building. The Hall of Nations within the building reminds patrons of the importance of cultural exchanges, especially in the arts, and furthers dialogue on what we can learn from each other. The building itself is sleek, reminiscent of the post-modern style popular in the 60s and 70s. You truly wouldn’t want to miss out on the artistic features of the Kennedy Center.