The Nation’s Stage: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

When the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in our nation’s capital on September 8, 1971, its mission was to be the “national center for the performing arts.” Forty years later the Center has succeeded in that mission and continues to celebrate it—countless times over—in every state and country around the world, and in the hearts and minds of millions of audience members, performers, and artists. In The Nation’s Stage, that history comes alive through a stirring historical and pictorial narrative.

Every year, millions of Americans and people from around the globe gather at the Center to enjoy the arts. This book, an introduction to the Center’s accomplishments and abilities and a commemorative artifact for those who have enjoyed those gifts over the years, is a historical narrative that allows past audiences to relive the most magical moments at the Center and gives those who’ve never been inside a backstage pass to all the glamour and wonder this national treasure has to offer.