The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the national cultural center of the United States and the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Under the guidance of Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages attract more than three million visitors to more than 2,000 performances each year, while Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach 40 million more around the world.
The Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, comedy, and theater, supports artists in the creation of new work, and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, the Center has produced more than 300 theatrical productions and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works, in addition to hosting numerous international festivals.
John F. Kennedy
“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”
Our ROLE at the
The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts (KCICA) was established in 2001 to support international programming at the Center, as well as to encourage global exchange in the arts. KCICA members are passionate performing arts enthusiasts and are among the Kennedy Center’s most philanthropic contributors.
The Kennedy Center frequently presents large-scale, highly acclaimed international festivals, further promoting intercultural dialogue and bringing international cultures to Washington. The KCICA plays an instrumental role in supporting these showcases.
Karel and Štepánka Komárek became the Co-Chairs of the KCICA in December 2017.
As a cornerstone of the Kennedy Center’s community programming, and a fixture of the Washington, D.C. cultural scene, Millennium Stage helps the Center create connections between artists and audiences. Millennium Stage has featured free daily performances at 6:00 p.m. for over 20 years. The Kennedy Center is the only U.S. institution that presents a free performance 365 days a year.
Nearly 5,000 artists representing a diverse range of nationalities, cultures, and artistic disciplines captivate more than 100,000 patrons at the Kennedy Center each year. More than two million unique viewers also enjoy Millennium Stage live performances or archived shows online. Millennium Stage performances are accessible to patrons of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and locations and offer accommodations to patrons with disabilities.
Opening September 7, 2019, the REACH is the Kennedy Center’s history-making expansion project. Envisioned as an extension of the Center’s original building, the REACH will break down barriers between artist and patron, providing access to the performing arts for all.
Soaring, interconnected pavilions will house three studios, punctuated with windows and viewing corridors to allow the public to witness the creative process at work. Two flexible event venues, three classrooms, and a dedicated learning lab will house everything from intimate performances, to summer arts camps, to film screenings. And outside, visitors will enjoy lush green spaces, specifically created for both leisurely strolls, and community programming – a true intersection between audience and art.
The REACH is more than just a campus – it is the Kennedy Center’s newest and boldest offering in what President John F. Kennedy described as our “contribution to the human spirit.”
The Karel Komárek Family Foundation supported the expansion of the Kennedy Center.
Over 3 million visitors a year
theaters and stages
“Artists inspire us, remind us of our roots, and reflect who we are as people. They help us expand our horizons. And most importantly, artists teach us to perceive reality in remarkably different ways. The cultural traditions of each nation need to be maintained to promote its identity and to be a continuing inspiration for future generations.”
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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
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The Kennedy Center Gold Medals in the Arts | Cape Town
Daniela Šteruská – MEDA
Daniela Šteruská is the author of the screenplay and producer of the theater performance MEDA. The play is a cross-section of the life of the arts patron and philanthropist Meda Mládková and was written based on the theme of Ondřej Kundry’s book “My Amazing Life”. The theatre play pays tribute to Ms. Meda’s art achievements and is a dignified celebration of her 100th birthday.
The Foundation supported the realization of the theater play by a foundation contribution to cover production costs.
Art & Jardins – Hauts-de-France
The Foundation supported the French organization Art & Jardins – Hauts-de-France in order to support the opening of the architectural competition and the subsequent construction of the Czech and Slovak Peace Garden project. The “Jardins de la Paix” project pays tribute to soldiers who died during the World War I in France. The authors of the Czech and Slovak Garden are Lenka Dřevjaná, Zuzana Němečková and Miroslava Staneková.
The Czech Philharmonic under the leadership of its new chief conductor Semyon Bychkov will be performing abroad on its so far most extensive international tour in the autumn of 2018. The first Czech orchestra will perform from October to November 2018 in London, in the United States and in Vienna. The repertoire includes works by Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Gustav Mahler or Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The Foundation supported the tour of the Czech Philharmonic by contributing to the promotion of Czech art and the work of Czech masters abroad.
Pianist Tomáš Kačo, born the fourth in a family of twelve children, has come a long way from very humble beginnings in Nový Jičín: he now holds a diploma from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. A milestone in his career, and a dream come true, was his solo concert at Carnegie Hall in New York in February 2018, entitled “Gypsy Soul”.
The Foundation supported Tomáš with a financial donation towards rent of the concert hall and a live recording of his soirée.
Opři se (We Got Your Back) – Tadeáš Žak
Tadeáš Žak is enrolled in academic high school in Kladno. He is also a talented singer, honing his craft with Linda Finková. In 2018, Tadeáš decided to study English at the Education First language school in San Diego, seeking to perfect his English as well as to find the right environment for song-writing, hoping to create a few songs that one day will be heard by people around the world.
The Foundation made a donation to Tadeáš towards the expenses of his language course and stay in the United States.
At some point during their studies at academic high school in Kadaň, Jakub Jan Fiala and Ondřej Kočan decided that their standard-issue course material did not fit their needs. They decided to change the sad state of affairs by authoring their own English-language textbook – Improve Yourself. In other words, they embarked on a long journey that would take them to the limits of what your average high school student might hope to accomplish. And they prevailed.
The Foundation awarded a grant to Jakub and Ondřej in 2018 that made it possible for them to further develop their project. In June 2018, they published their very own English textbook for autodidacts.
The Zip Zap Circus
The Zip Zap Circus is a “social circus” project founded in Cape Town (South Africa) in 1992. It seeks to inspire children and young people and help establish a new culture of peaceful coexistence in South Africa. The founders, Brent van Rensburg and Laurence Estève, have been working with a great diversity of child communities from every corner of the country and instilled in them a desire to dream, and the courage to fulfill those dreams.
In the spring of 2018, the Zip Zap Circus received a donation from the Foundation.
Prague Junior Note
This one-of-a-kind music competition for children looks back on more than twenty years of existence, during which more than 4,000 young musicians aged 5 to 15 have signed up to show their prowess. Since 2008, Prague Junior Note has been strictly a piano playing competition.
The high level of competition is guaranteed by an international jury headed by professor Ivan Klánský, a leading Czech pianist and pedagogue, a seasoned organizational team, and the inspiring premises of the Martinů concert hall at the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague. The competition brings great joy to listeners and teachers and above all is a huge source of inspiration for budding artists, boosting their motivation to continue with their daily practice and rehearsal.