The latest Kennedy Center honorees, in recognition for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, have been announced and they include a familiar face to Grey’s Anatomy fans, a TV legend, two singers, and a violinist!
Kennedy Center Honors Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Allen
The recipients are: Debbie Allen, actress/choreographer/director (Grey’s Anatomy/Fame); Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show; Diagnosis: Murder), folk singer/activist Joan Baez, country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks, and violinist Midori.
“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.
In describing this year’s recipients, Rubenstein said: “Debbie Allen moves seamlessly between artistic disciplines and is a cultural ambassador for all while having a monumental impact on dancers of color everywhere; folk icon Joan Baez breathed new life into the genre and powered rock music’s turn toward social and political consciousness; as one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Garth Brooks heightened country music’s profile like no other singer before him; with an international presence for over 35 years…
“Violinist Midori combines graceful precision and expression for performances building connections between art and the human experience, with a charm that has made him one of the most cherished performers in show business history, Dick Van Dyke has brought us beloved film, stage and TV characters adored by generations of fans for more than seven decades,” adds Rubenstein.
“This past year has taught us many things, including the need to be flexible and adaptable,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement. “They say necessity is the mother of all invention. The unusual circumstances inspired and opened up new ways for us to present a deeper experience, and hopefully understanding, of the art and lifetime work of our Honorees.
“[The year] 2020 has also shined a bright light on the impact of how art and culture speak to our collective human experience,” Rutter adds. “It can meet us at any moment and sustain us during the most challenging days. Each of the 43rd Kennedy Center Honorees and their work continues to speak to American culture and our national fortitude. We are thrilled to be able to fete these cultural icons in a time where the world and the nation needs the arts more than ever.”
The Kennedy Center Honors traditionally airs in December, however, due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been postponed. Now, the taping for the ceremony including live events is set for the week of May 17 to 22. The broadcast includes a ceremony in which recipients are bestowed with a medallion. The 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors is set to air as a two-hour special on Sunday, June 6 starting at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.