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The Kennedy Center



Any Given Child

Any Given Child assists communities in developing and implementing a plan to ensure equal access to arts education for all students in grades K-8. Although the initiative provides a structure for work to be accomplished, the Kennedy Center understands that every community is unique, and tailors the consultation and facilitation to each site. Sites also become part of a national network of communities who are also working toward the same goal and can share knowledge and experience.

Partners in Education

Partners in Education is a national network of arts organizations and school districts that work together to provide professional learning in the arts for teachers. The program is based on the belief that teachers' professional learning is an essential component of any effort designed to increase the artistic literacy of young people.

Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Network (LEAD)

Cultural and arts administrators participate in a national conversation around disability, accessibility, and inclusion of people with disabilities and older adults. Participants focus on: exploring practical methods for implementing accessibility in cultural environments, communicating information, and sharing resources and knowledge.

Turnaround Arts

Turnaround Arts transforms Priority- and Focus-designated schools through the strategic use of the arts. We envision a world in which all students engage in a well-rounded education and exude confidence, critical thinking, and creativity as a result.



Connect online to outstanding teaching and learning web resources. Standards-based teaching materials empower teachers and parents to teach in, through, and about the arts. Interactive resources for students capture their interest and imagination.

Research & Evaluation

tablet with research graphs

The Research and Evaluation team gathers data and conducts KC Education studies in order to improve programs, gather evidence of what works, and inform decisions about local and national arts education offerings.



Bring an outstanding speaker to your community to generate interest in the arts and education.

Arts Integration Conference

The Arts Integration Conference explores the "how" of arts integration, rooted in the Kennedy Center's decades of experience in professional learning for teachers, and provides many strategies that can make arts integration a part of every teacher's approach to teaching. This conference is appropriate for teachers, principals, school district administrators, and partnering arts organization staff and teaching artists.

New Visions/New Voices

This week-long biennial program for playwrights and theaters stimulates and supports the creation of new plays and musicals for young audiences and families. While at the Kennedy Center, selected playwrights, directors, music directors, composers, and actors work collaboratively in the weeklong intensive to further develop new works. After revisions, rewrites, and rehearsals of the new plays and musicals, the works are presented as rehearsed readings during a conference for theater professionals, educators and others interested in the field.

VSA Intersections

This conference provides attendees with innovative and thought provoking sessions addressing an array of topics and emergent issues relevant to providing students with disabilities access to and engagement in arts education programming.

Career Development

Pre-Professional Learning

Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead

Emerging jazz artists in their mid-teens and twenties may apply for a week-long music residency program that brings young, outstanding musicians together with experienced artist-instructors to help them polish their performance, composing, and arranging skills. The residency culminates in concerts on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, which are broadcast live over the Internet.

The Conservatory Project

Each year outstanding college and university performers from music conservatories and music and opera programs are showcased at the Kennedy Center.

Contemporary Dance Series

The Kennedy Center Contemporary Dance Series offers advanced dance students interested in a performance career the unique opportunity to learn from a variety of nationally and internationally recognized contemporary dance companies and artists performing this season at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

Theater students in colleges and universities may participate in this program. Regional and national festivals provide opportunities for participants to see one another's work and offer activities including workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. Outstanding students and faculty from regional festivals are considered for scholarships and awards, and participate in master classes with national and international theater artists during the national festival.

National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Summer Music Institute

Talented high school and college students may apply to participate in this four-week orchestral and chamber music training program. Students (ages 14-21) from across the nation are selected by audition to participate in such things as private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by NSO members, and conducting and master classes.

National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellowship Program

Talented high school instrumentalists are selected to audition to study with NSO musicians and conductors. Throughout the school year, these young musicians attend performances and master classes, observe rehearsals, perform in ensembles, and study music history, conducting, and other aspects of music.

VSA Playwright Discovery Program

Engaging students in middle and high school, this program explores telling stories that delve into the disability experience through the art and craft of play and script writing and creation of digital film/media.

VSA Emerging Young Artists Program

Designed to give visibility and voice to the work of young visual artists (ages 16 to 25) with disabilities, this program consists of an annual juried competition, professional development and national touring exhibition.


College and graduate students and recent graduates interested in beginning careers in arts management or arts education may apply for the Kennedy Center's Internship Program. Approximately 60 students are selected each year to participate in three-to-four-month-long, full-time internships in a variety of departments at the Center.

VSA Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiative

This program provides students with disabilities internship opportunities that develop practical skills and experiences as they pursue arts-based careers. The Experiential Education Initiative places individuals living with intellectual disabilities in internships at the Kennedy Center, and the National Rosemary Kennedy Internship program encourages theaters, museums, and cultural organizations across the country to provide a variety of internship experiences for students with disabilities.

Washington National Opera (WNO) Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

The Young Artist Program is a resident-training program for artists on the verge of international careers. Over two years, the program offers promising young singers, coaches/accompanists/conductors and stage directors intensive training, study, career guidance, and performance opportunities in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

WNO Opera Institute

High school singers and pianists from across the nation are selected for this intensive three-week summer program in the nation's capital where they experience opera in a professional and nurturing environment. Singers study individually and in group situations. The institute culminates in performances of selected opera scenes at the Kennedy Center and American University.

Professional Learning

Seminars for Teaching Artists

Host a Kennedy Center Professional Learning Seminar in your community. Seminars help teaching artists develop their knowledge and skills to plan and lead effective artist residencies for students and workshops for teachers, as well as to develop educational materials.

Workshops for Teachers

Nearly 50 outstanding presenters provide engaging, participatory, and professional learning in ways to integrate the arts across the curriculum and to teach in and about the arts.


Kennedy Center Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards

Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim frequently attributes his success to the teachers in his life. Through this program inspirational teachers from across the United States are acknowledged for their profound influence on young people. These awards are presented each year on Sondheim's birthday (March 22) to a select group of teachers, kindergarten through college, who are nominated via the Kennedy Center website.

Kennedy Center National Schools Boards Association Award

Nominate your school board for a national award that recognizes school boards that demonstrate support for and commitment to high-quality arts education in the school district. School districts that have included four major artistic disciplines – visual arts, music, theater, and dance – in their programs are eligible. The award, along with a $10,000 cash prize, is presented annually at the National School Boards Association conference.

NSO Young Soloists National College and Local High School Competitions

Classical instrumentalists may apply for the opportunity to compete in a free public concert in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The winners receive cash awards and have the opportunity to perform with the NSO.

VSA International Young Soloists Award

This award annually recognizes outstanding emerging musicians with disabilities who have exhibited exceptional talent as vocalists and instrumentalists. Within the U.S., musicians must be 25 years of age or under, while musicians outside the U.S. must be 30 years of age or under. Award recipients receive a monetary award and the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center.


The Arts Beyond the School Day: Extending the Power

This special report provides information about opportunities for arts education within the after-school arena and a protocol for evaluating quality after-school programs in the arts.

Creating Capacity: A Framework for Providing Professional Development Opportunities for Teaching Artists

The publication focuses on philosophy, rationale, and guiding questions that can inform the design of professional development to enhance teaching artists' knowledge, skills, and understandings to work effectively in educational settings.

Giving Cues: Recommended Guidelines for Writing and Designing Performance Materials for Young People

The publication provides findings from a three-year study about effective ways to prepare students to see performances so they become increasingly discerning audience members. Examples are provided along with checklists to guide writers in selecting appropriate and engaging content.

Partners in Education: Fostering Partnerships Among Arts Organizations, Schools, and Communities.

Gain an understanding of the Kennedy Center's philosophy and practice regarding its local and national professional learning programs for teachers.