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Kennedy Center Honors announces honorees, new date

Honoree Debbie Allen — ABC/Mike Rosenthal

(WASHINGTON D.C.) — The 2020 Kennedy Center Honors, which would have normally aired in December, has been postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization announced on Wednesday.

This 2020 honorees at the 43rd annual national celebration of the arts include beloved Dick Van Dyke, choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez, country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks and violinist Midori.

In keeping with COVID-19 protocols, the event will feature “small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes” featuring “multiple events for physically-distant audiences in locations across the Kennedy Center’s campus.”

Each event will include performances and speaking tributes for the honorees.  Virtual events will also be held throughout the week beginning May 17, with additional in-person events still under consideration.

“This past year has taught us many things including the need to be flexible and adaptable,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in statement on Wednesday.  “They say necessity is the mother of all invention.  The unusual circumstances inspired and opened up new ways for us to present a deeper experience, and hopefully understanding, of the art and lifetime work of our Honorees.”

“Each of the 43rd Kennedy Center Honorees and their work continues to speak to American culture and our national fortitude,” adds Rutter. “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.”

By George Costantino
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