With more than 1,000 artists and more than 500 free events in three new sunlit pavilions and more than 130,000 square feet of new landscaped green space at the nation’s cultural capital, the REACH opens its doors in exactly one month’s time with 16 full days of creativity in action, providing artists and audiences with the opportunity to experience art as never before. Marking the first expansion at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its 48-year history, the REACH Kenney Center welcomes the public with an inclusive, multi-genre, multidisciplinary Opening Festival on September 7–22.
The REACH represents the future of the arts, celebrating their essential role in American life and their unique ability to break down barriers, bringing people and communities together. Designed by preeminent architect Steven Holl as a home for non-traditional programming with an emphasis on active participation and access, the open, informal spaces of the new expansion draw visitors directly into the creative process and inspire new connections and collaborations between creators of multiple genres and disciplines.
The REACH Kennedy Center Opening Festival features themed days with programs ranging from masterclasses and workshops to participatory performances, interactive installations, hands-on learning activities, DJ sets and dance parties. Local and national headliners include Arrested Development, De La Soul, Kronos Quartet,Roomful of Teeth, The Second City, Thievery Corporation, Debbie Allen, Yalitza Aparicio, Bootsy Collins, Renée Fleming, Judah Friedlander, Robert Glasper,Angélique Kidjo, Alan Menken, Tiler Peck, Carrie Mae Weems, Mo Willems, and Dan Zanes, many of whom will connect with audiences not only through performance but also through residencies and workshops for the creative spirit in us all.
All REACH Opening Festival events are free; timed-entry passes are required for entry. Patrons can obtain free passes here, by phone at (202) 467-4600, or in person at the Box Office.
The following paragraphs offer a general overview of the Opening Festival, with details of selected highlights. To access the full interactive schedule, click here and use the filters provided to see complete programming. A fully customizable scheduling app can be also downloaded at the App Store and Google Play.