The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the selection of five Honorees who will receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements.
Traditionally held in early December each year, the 2020 Kennedy Center Honors was postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients to be honored at the 43rd annual national celebration of the arts are: multi-disciplinary artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.
Reflective of this unique time in history, the event will take place on the Center’s entire campus with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. An Honoree medallion ceremony for the Honorees and a limited audience will be hosted by the Kennedy Center during the week of May 17–22.
Virtual events will be held throughout the week beginning May 17, and the viability of additional in-person events will be considered as COVID-19 safety protocols evolve over the upcoming months. (All is subject to change.)
“2020 has… shined a bright light on the impact of how art and culture speaks to our collective human experience,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “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 Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 43rd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on June 6, 9 p.m. ET.