PBS announced today a new collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to spotlight critical contributions to the arts that continue to inspire contemporary artists across art forms, genres and backgrounds. The enduring influence of artistic changemakers will be explored over the next three years in a new primetime performing arts series, Next At The Kennedy Center. The first five-episode season — premiering Friday, October 7, at 10:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app — was featured today at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour.
"For more than five decades, PBS has given audiences a free front row seat to the best of the arts. We are very excited to deepen our partnership with the Kennedy Center and showcase groundbreaking artists who have made a significant impact on our culture today,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.
”I am delighted to launch this new series with our friends at PBS that will bring exciting programs reflecting the rich diversity of the contemporary performing arts in America — from jazz and hip hop to dance and performances featuring our very own National Symphony Orchestra — into homes across the country direct from the stages of the National Cultural Center,” said Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center.
Captured to match the unique style of the artists, each episode of Next At The Kennedy Center will weave together performances filmed live at the Center with intimate backstage moments and first-person commentary. An early episode highlights The Roots, a four-time Grammy Award-winning band and the inaugural Artist-in-Residence of the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Program, whose artistic influences serve as a catalyst for the next generation of cultural leaders. Another episode celebrates the legacy of legendary jazz and music icon Charles Mingus, who would be turning 100 this year, with performances and interviews by the Mingus Big Band, Christian McBride, Charles McPherson, Jason Moran, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper, among others.
Additional details, including episode descriptions and a full list of the featured artists and guests, will be shared later.
Next At The Kennedy Center is a production of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Matthew Winer is the showrunner and executive producer for the Kennedy Center. Kristin Fosdick directs the series with her team in the Kennedy Center’s multimedia department. Douglas Chang is the executive in charge for PBS. Elizabeth O’Neil is associate director of content and strategy for PBS.
About the Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, attracting millions of visitors each year to more than 2,000 performances, events, and exhibits. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center is one of the nation’s busiest performing arts centers dedicated to providing world-class art, powerful education, and outstanding memorial experiences to the broadest possible constituency. Across all its offerings, the Kennedy Center is committed to increasing accessible, inclusive opportunities for all people to participate in, and learn through the arts, including more than 400 free performances each year and a variety of specially priced ticket programs for students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others. On September 7, 2019, the Kennedy Center inaugurated the REACH, its first-ever major expansion. Designed by Steven Holl Associates, the REACH provides visitors with new opportunities to interact and engage with the Center as the nation’s premier nexus of arts, learning, and culture.
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