Tony nominee Debbie Allen (Sweet Charity) and Tony winner Dick Van Dyke (Bye Bye Birdie) are among the five artists who will receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements. The other honorees include singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez, country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks, and violinist Midori.
The 2020 Kennedy Center Honors, which traditionally is held in early December, was postponed until May due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A medallion ceremony for the honorees and a limited audience will be hosted by the Kennedy Center during the week of May 17. The Center’s entire campus will also come alive with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. Featuring multiple events for physically-distant audiences in locations across the Kennedy Center’s campus, programs will encompass both performances and speaking tributes for the honorees.
“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,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “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.”
Produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment, the Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on CBS for the 43rd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special, airing June 6.
Actor Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, R&B collective Earth, Wind & Fire, children’s series Sesame Street, and conductor and musical visionary Michael Tilson Thomas were the 2019 honorees.