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Cook, Mitchell, McDonald et al. to Play Kennedy Center Gala, 4/3

On Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 8:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House, the Kennedy Center will present its 19th annual Kennedy Center Spring Gala. Titled Michael Kaiser at the Kennedy Center: A Celebration of Ten Years, the event will be hosted by Smokey Robinson and will feature a selection of performers who have worked with Kaiser over the years, including Joshua Bell, Barbara Cook, Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marcelo Gomes and Paloma Herrera of American Ballet Theatre, members of New York City Ballet, and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. The evening will be co-chaired by Adrienne Arsht, Betsy DeVos, Alma Gildenhorn, Helen Henderson, Ann Jordan, Alma Powell, Catherine B. Reynolds, and Vicki Sant.

Michael M. Kaiser has been President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 2001. He has expanded the educational and artistic programming for the nation's center for the performing arts and has overseen a major renovation effort of most of the Center's theaters. Signature artistic programs during his tenure have included an unprecedented celebration of the works of Stephen Sondheim; major festivals of the arts of China, Japan, India, and the 22 countries in the Arab World; long-term relationships with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera, New York City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; festivals of gospel, country, and a cappella music; a celebration of August Wilson's ten plays presented in sequential order; as well as a major revival production of Ragtime that transferred to Broadway. He advises performing arts organizations around the world, working with arts leaders in nearly 70 countries. Upon joining the Kennedy Center in 2001, Kaiser created the Kennedy Center Arts Management Institute, renamed the DeVos Institute of Arts Management in 2009, which aims to train the current and next generation of arts leaders. He founded Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative in February 2009, and embarked on a 50-state tour to spread his arts expertise across the United States.

The black-tie evening begins with a reception on the River Terrace at 5 p.m. followed by an elegant dinner on the Roof Terrace level at 6 p.m. The Gala performance begins at 8:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. The evening concludes with ‘Til Midnight, a cocktails and dancing party, in the Roof Terrace Restaurant.

As one of Washington's premier benefit engagements, the annual Kennedy Center Spring Gala provides critical funding to support the Center's performances, education, and outreach initiatives. From commissioning and presenting productions for students to sponsoring seminars and workshops for teachers and arts managers, the Kennedy Center provides numerous opportunities to enrich the appreciation of the performing arts in our local community and across the country-all while presenting world-class performances throughout the year.

To inquire about VIP packages and the gala events surrounding this performance, please e-mail or call (202) 416-8338 for additional information.

Concert-only tickets are $35-$150 and can be purchased at the Kennedy Center Box Office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington, D.C. metropolitan calling area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit

The Kennedy Center Spring Gala Premier Sponsor is The Boeing Company, whose contributions play a crucial leadership role in supporting the presentation of the Kennedy Center's artistic and educational programs throughout the year.

For more information about the Kennedy Center, please visit


Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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