The Kennedy Center’s Social Impact team recently put together a list of eight initiatives that they plan to build, pursue, and implement throughout the organization. These solutions are not intended to be immediate. Due to their eminent influence, these initiatives are expected to take shape over the next three to five years.
Highlighted below are a few of these initiatives. You can see the full framework here.
Investing in the local creative community
The Kennedy Center continues to create an incubation of local leaders and arts-centered education systems through financial support, marketing visibility, and access to REACH. There’s The Kennedy Center Culture Caucus, which consists of a group of D.C. creatives. There’s also various school partnership programs they want to invest in to support arts education in schools and communities across the D.C./Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area. Another is the Millennium Stage, which has been offering free, daily programs for over 23 years.
Through REACH, The Kennedy Center will reignite on-campus activations and programming to prioritize physical and psychological health. They will also be critically focused on social/sociological health as well, which will provide an acute focus on anti-racist behavior. So far, these programs will be contingent on D.C.’s reopening as a result of the pandemic.
Arts Across America
The Kennedy Center will be expanding their Couch Concert series to include Arts Across America. This program is intended to uplift artists and showcase the unique artwork of different communities across the nation. These programs will be offered online for free and will be available via Facebook Live, YouTube, and the organization’s website.
This year, The Kennedy Center launched #BlackCultureMatters in order to celebrate Black culture and its influence on American culture. But it’s much more than that. It also recognizes the need to sustain the Black community. They will focus on connecting Black performances to partnerships with community-sustaining visionaries and heroes across the community. With #BlackCultureMatters and REACH, there will be designated programs and workshops that address four areas of anti-racist work: wealth, beauty, law, and housing.
The Kennedy Center has also committed themselves to evaluating their organization as a whole to ensure they are continuing to progress towards becoming an anti-racist instituion. They will develop tools to measure efficacy, create accountability, and explore how they can better communicate with newer constituency groups and historically marginalized communities.
I am proud to support The Kennedy Center in these efforts and hope other organizations follow suit to pave a better and more inclusive future for all.