The Kennedy Center Honors are distributed annually by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as individuals are recognized for their outstanding achievement and contributions to the industry. Each year, the Kennedy center selects five individuals to honor with a tribute and medallion presentation ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The custom awards have been given out since 1978.
The Selection Process
A committee made up of artists and past recipients submit a list of recommendations to the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees, who consider performing artists of the highest caliber. While the criteria for the actual selection process is not revealed, the annual recipients generally represent a range of subcategories and do not appear to be weighted in any particular genre. When the recipients have been determined, the Board of Trustees makes the announcement in the fall and schedules a week-long celebration in December.
Recipients of the Kennedy Center honors include singers, songwriters, film and stage actors, music composers, dancers, musicians, writers, directors and producers. Past honorees include men and women from many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. During their tribute, the honorees sit in a special box at the Kennedy Center, along with dignitaries and, typically, the President of the United States. They wear special medallions during the tribute ceremony and enjoy performances by other top artists.
Recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors include some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry as well as in the performing arts.
Other performing arts winners of note include Edward Villella, Suzanne Ferrell and Judith Jamison (dance and choreography), Lionel Hampton and Leon Fleisher (pianists) and Mstislav Rostropovich (conductor and cellist).
The American Dance Awards competition offers dancers and choreographers the opportunity to test themselves against some of the best talent in the US and Canada. For those interested in dance, the competition offers an opportunity to celebrate the best dance has to offer today and what's coming up around the bend.