The newest addition to the Kennedy Center marks the first expansion in the center’s history and kicked off with a free 16-day festival to welcome visitors.
The new center, known as The Reach, overlooks the Potomac River and features sunlit pavilions with over 130,000 square feet of space for artists and performances.
The opening festival will feature more than 1,000 artists and over 500 free events.
Artists and visitors from all over came to see the new center.
Mil, a local artist and visitor said it’s the inclusiveness that she’s most excited about, commending the Kennedy Center’s efforts to connect with the community.
“We need the arts, we need a cultural center in every community and everybody needs to support that,” she said.
The Kennedy Center’s Chairman, David Rubenstein, said $250 million was raised through philanthropic efforts to build the center. The goal is to give local young adults a space to engage and be creative.
“All of you have given a gift to the students who will come here, the young children that will learn about arts here and all of you have given a gift to make the Kennedy Center the finest performing arts center in the world,” Rubenstein said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser also praised the District’s artists, pointing out 8% of the District’s local economy comes from the arts, stressing her commitment to take the arts even further.
“My administration is very focused and will work with you hand in hand on how the Kennedy Center and The Reach Center touches all 8 wards of Washington, D.C.”
The Reach Opening Festival will run through Sept. 22.