The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces a free celebration of the 20th anniversary of Millennium Stage to thank the audiences, artists, donors, staff, ushers, fellows, and more who have made this one-of-a-kind venture a continued, resounding success. The March 19 event, utilizing both the north and south stages, will feature performances by Celtic rock band Scythian and New Orleans funk band Big Sam’s Funky Nation in a massive party overtaking the Center’s Grand Foyer.
Founded in 1997 by former Kennedy Center Board Chair James A. Johnson, the Millennium Stage remains the only venue in the world to offer a free performance every day of the year that is also streamed live on the web, fulfilling the Center’s mission of making the performing arts available to everyone. It has proven to be a perfect representation of the diverse and multifaceted performing arts offered by the Kennedy Center, with such past performers as Gladys Knight, Christoph Eschenbach, Aaron Goldman, Manzari Brothers, Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin, India.Arie, Circo Para Todos, Phil Wiggins, Smokey Robinson, and Kailash Kher & Kailasa.
In the past two decades, more than three million audience members from the D.C. area, across the U.S., and around the world have attended a Millennium Stage performance, with countless others experiencing these shows via the live stream. This special event is part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy Center’s yearlong programming initiative marking the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth and legacy, inspired by five ideals frequently attributed to America’s 35th President: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude. JFKC programming continues through the end of 2017.
The night will kick-off at 5:00 p.m. with a happy hour in the Grand Foyer, featuring half price beer and house wine. The first 1,000 guests at the happy hour will receive a special commemorative Millennium Stage 20th Anniversary t-shirt. Performances begin at 6:00 p.m. with Scythian, a band that plays roots music from Celtic, Eastern European, and Appalachian traditions with a thunderous energy that beckons crowds into a barn-dance, rock concert experience. Immediately following, at 7:00 p.m., the party will continue with Big Sam’s Funky Nation, a group of world-class musicians that are a driving force of urban funk, melding funk, rock & roll, Hip Hop, and jazz, gluing everything together with a brassy influence. For more information, visit tkc.co/mstage.