The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the selection of six Honorees who will receive the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients to be honored at the 38th annual national celebration of the arts are: American rock band the Eagles, singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.
“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “Quite simply, our Honorees represent the voices, soundtracks, and stories of our personal lives and memories. The music of the Eagles has endured as the quintessential American rock and roll sound for generations; Carole King’s heartfelt lyrics and tunes are woven throughout the tapestry of American music; George Lucas’ films have enriched our world with stories of epic adventure; Rita Moreno’s iconic spitfire roles are embedded in the heart of American culture; Seiji Ozawa’s artistic leadership as a conductor has set a new standard for orchestras around the world; and Cicely Tyson’s range of strong female roles on stage and screen have broken boundaries for women of color.”
“When I look at this year’s outstanding slate of Honorees, I am struck by a powerful common theme—artists as history-makers, artists who defy both convention and category,” commented Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “Each Honoree and their career-spanning achievements exemplify a rare quality of artistic bravery. They have pushed the limits of their gifts as musicians, actors, and storytellers to inspire generations of Americans and those around the world. Their individual paths to excellence are inspirational and their contributions to the fabric of American culture are equally permanent and timeless.”
The annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural and society calendar, and its broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season. On Sunday, December 6th, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment, the 2015 Honorees will be saluted by today’s leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Mrs. Obama, the Honorees will accept the thanks of their peers through performances and tributes.
White Cherry Entertainment is well known for producing the perennial award-winning Tony Awards for the last 13 consecutive years, and also for producing the Emmy Awards, NFL Opening Kickoff and Super Bowl Halftime Shows, the Democratic National Convention, Presidential Inaugural Galas, and many others. To date, White Cherry Entertainment has won eight Emmy Awards, while Kirshner and Weiss have individually received an additional four Emmy Awards, six Directors Guild Awards, a Peabody Award, and more than 30 Emmy nominations.
The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a supper dance in the Grand Foyer. This year’s Honors Gala is chaired by Wayne and Catherine Reynolds. Honorary Chairs are Buffy Cafritz and Ann Jordan.
“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization.”
The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 5th, the night before the gala, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry. The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 38th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).
For the first time ever, the Kennedy Center will launch a contest on social media (#SendMeToHonors) beginning July 15th, in which one winner will receive two tickets to attend the 2015 Honors Gala on December 6th. Additional details will be announced soon.
Boeing is the Exclusive Underwriter of the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors Gala.
Delta Air Lines, the official airline of the Kennedy Center Honors, will provide transportation for the performers and television crew coming to Washington for the Honors Gala.
The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—are selected by the Executive Committee of the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
The Honoree selection process includes solicitation of recommendations from the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, the artistic community, and the general public. This year’s selected Honorees were chosen based on the recommendation of the Center’s Special Honors Advisory Committee, which is chaired by trustee Cappy McGarr, and comprised of trustee member Elaine Wynn along with past Honors recipients and distinguished artists Yo-Yo Ma, Chita Rivera, Julie Andrews, and Herbie Hancock; and Harolyn Blackwell and Damian Woetzel.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.