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New Season at the Kennedy Center
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The Kennedy Center’s 2016-17 announcement, classical music edition

The Kennedy Center is embarked on a new and different trajectory – or so we’ve been told, since the arrival of Deborah Rutter as president in 2014. So when the season announcements for 2016-17 landed in my inbox, I clicked with some anticipation on the one titled “Kennedy Center names new artistic partners.” And there the names were: Q-Tip, Renee Fleming, and Yo-Yo Ma.

[Kennedy Center installs first hip-hop director as part of 2016-17 season.]

Let me be clear: I’m happy to see the Kennedy Center reaching outside its traditional comfort zone. And I’m delighted about Q-Tip and the new hip-hop arm of the center’s programming — though Rutter’s claim at the press conference that the focus would “bring this art form to DC audiences” seems slightly myopic, given that the art form has a much larger footprint in DC in general than anything the Kennedy Center has to offer.


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