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Will Smith

Arts Days: September 25, 1968: Will Power
Will Smith’s many talents, from rapping to acting and producing, have enabled his rise as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. As part of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Smith and childhood pal Jeff Townes hit big with the song “Parents Just Don’t Understand” in the 1980s. They even won the very first Grammy® awarded to a rap act.

The folks at NBC liked Smith’s appealing persona enough to build a TV show around him; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran from 1990–96 and cemented Smith’s reputation as a natural comic. The show served as Smith’s platform to transform himself from hip-hop artist to accredited actor with starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Men in Black and Independence Day.
America, Hip-Hop, Music, Popular Culture, Movies & Movie Stars, Young Artists

Kelly Clarkson

Arts Days: September 04, 2002: Idol Maker
Something like 50 million people were watching the night Kelly Clarkson was chosen the winner of the first season of American Idol. This wildly successful, interactive singing competition counts on viewers calling or texting in votes for their favorite singers to help determine who will make it to the next round.

The popular show helped launch Clarkson’s career, just as it has with other winners in subsequent years. The show’s judges—originally Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul—helped shape viewers’ voting with their blunt feedback on the performances, which can range from pathetic to magnificent.
Television, Popular Culture, Young Artists, Music, America

American Bandstand

Arts Days: August 05, 1957: So You Think You Can Dance?
With a studio set designed for dancing and live music performances, American Bandstand was once every teenager’s must-see TV show.

Every afternoon, host Dick Clark introduced top pop musical guests and conducted audience interviews to get their thoughts on the latest music. To go along with the music, the show featured a cast of “regulars,” a group of attractive local teens who danced their socks off and demonstrated the latest dance moves to the delight of idolizing fans at home.

On this day in 1957, the show’s first national broadcast aired Jerry Lee Lewis playing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and teenagers all across the country could be found dancing up a storm.
Rock & Roll, Television, Popular Culture, Young Artists

“The Howdy Doody Show”

Arts Days: December 27, 1947: Say Kids, What Time Is It?
The freckle-faced marionette Howdy Doody was the star puppet in this early children’s TV show, the very first regular network series to be broadcast in color. Set in the imaginary town of Doodyville, the show also featured human characters like Clarabell the Clown, who communicated with beeps of a horn on his belt and did not speak a word until the final episode of the show.

Then there were the characters that started as puppets but were later performed by people, like Princess Summerfall Winterspring, played by Judy Tyler. Buffalo Bob Smith provided the voice for Howdy, and he would also speak directly to the kids in the on-set “peanut gallery,” and he sang the show’s theme song in every episode.
Comedy, Innovators & Pioneers, Television, Puppets, Popular Culture, Young Artists

James Dean

Arts Days: December 13, 1950: Rebel Without a Coke
An undiscovered actor named James Dean wound up playing a fun-loving teenager in an early Pepsi commercial. He’s the fellow who whacks the player piano, prompting it to magically play a dance tune. As luck would have it, the handsome Dean caught the eye of folks casting a show called Hill Number One, landing him the part of John the Baptist.

More Hollywood roles followed, then a couple of parts on Broadway. All of these early assignments set the stage for feature roles in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, films with which Dean is most closely identified. Seen in his short life as both a heartthrob and an actor who showed great promise, James Dean also came to embody the restless, but idealistic American teenager.
Movies & Movie Stars, Television, Popular Culture, Young Artists, Jobs in the Arts

Shirley Temple

Arts Days: July 02, 1934: Hollywood’s Little Princess
Many agree that the best known and best loved child star of all time was Shirley Temple, a talented little girl who had audiences eating out of her hand at the box office back in the 1930s and 40s.

During the course of her contract with Fox, Temple starred in 24 films, from Poor Little Rich Girl to The Little Princess. In just about all of them, she sings, dances, winks, and smiles, melting the cold hearts of the crooks and corporate executives she encounters in the storylines. Her character is often called upon to solve problems, bring people together, or otherwise act as a sort of good fairy.

There have been plenty of child actors since Shirley Temple’s onscreen reign, but few who can match her sparkle.
Movies & Movie Stars, Young Artists

High School Musical

Arts Days: January 20, 2006: Musical Theater’s Comeback
Sad but true, in a movie age of stunning special effects and computer animation, the days of musical theater seemed to take a back seat.

That is until the jump start sparked by Disney's original television film High School Musical, a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that tells the story of Troy and Gabriella–two high school juniors from rival cliques that audition together for the high school musical.

The film premiered on this day in 2006 and since then has become a phenomenal sensation around the world.
Movies & Movie Stars, Musicals, Television, Popular Culture, Young Artists

On Location bus at the Kennedy Center

Video Series: On Location
From 2008-2010, the Kennedy Center hit the road in a "media studio on wheels" as part of the On Location program to help nineteen schools capture stories about the arts in their community
America, Geography, Jobs in the Arts, Young Artists

Nobody's Perfect

Video Series: Nobody's Perfect: Page to Stage
Explore the creation of the Kennedy Center's Theater for Young Audiences and VSA Arts production of Nobody's Perfect, including how American Sign Language was incorporated into a lively musical (ASL captioning is included in every episode in this series).
Jobs in the Arts, Language, Literature, Theater, Young Artists, Backstage, Musicals, Accessibility

Camille Thurman

2700 F St.: Camille Thurman: The Origin of the Blues
What is the Blues? Saxophonist, vocalist, and composer Camille Thurman and her quartet present a fun session exploring the genre. Students can learn about the blues in terms of history and geography, the influence of society and culture, and presence in today’s music. Students will also get to hear Camille Thurman, whose vocal abilities have been compared to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter, and who has been equally lauded for her lush, rich, and warm sound on the tenor saxophone.
Young Artists, Blues, Jazz, Music

Chanticleer

2700 F St.: Chanticleer: Performance/Demonstration
Called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, the San Francisco based Grammy® award-winning ensemble Chanticleer is known for its seamless blend of twelve male voices ranging from soprano to bass. Known as “an orchestra of voices,” the group excels in original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and popular genres, and a strong commitment to contemporary compositions. The winner of the 2010 Chorus America Education Outreach Award, Chanticleer’s education programs engage over 5,000 young people annually. At the Kennedy Center, students have the opportunity to engage with the group through a lecture concert.
Young Artists, Music

The Little Prince

2700 F St.: The Little Prince: Washington National Opera Open Rehearsal
A young boy sets out on a quest across the cosmos to find new companionship after leaving his tiny home planet, where he spent his days protecting his only friend, a rose, from miniature volcanoes and ravenous baobab trees. Along the way, he meets fascinating intergalactic inhabitants, including a delusional king, a rich businessman, and a wearied lamplighter. Eventually, he meets a pilot on Earth who has crash-landed in the Sahara. The two become unlikely friends, learning lessons from the desert’s many creatures until the prince realizes just how special his rose really is.
Opera, Backstage, Young Artists, Literature

Sphinx Virtuosi

2700 F St.: Sphinx Virtuosi: Performance/Demonstration
This amazing, conductorless chamber orchestra is known for showcasing a tremendous variety of styles. The ensemble has caused a major, positive shift in the landscape of chamber artists, with programs delighting young and new audiences as much as seasoned listeners.
Music, Musical Instruments, Young Artists

Time For Three

2700 F St.: Time For Three
Not many groups could pull off such an eclectic mix of music. But the group Time for Three (Tf3) has never let being unusual slow them down. In their case, the result is an exciting, passionate playlist that breaks the barriers of classical music. That might just be why Time for Three is called “America’s favorite classical garage band.”
Jazz, Music, Young Artists

Pinderhughes

2700 F St.: Samora and Elena Pinderhughes
Samora and Elena Pinderhughes are a brother-sister jazz duo who grew up playing music together. Both together and separately, their music is influential in the world of contemporary jazz.
Jazz, Music, Young Artists

Harlem Quartet

2700 F St.: Harlem Quartet: Performance/Demonstration
What do you think about when you picture a string quartet? Well, Harlem Quartet wants to shake that image up.
Music, Musical Instruments, America, Young Artists

Freeze Frame

2700 F St.: Freeze Frame... Stop The Madness: Debbie Allen Dance Academy
A performance based on true stories and told in a fusion of drama, music, dance, video, and art.
America, Choreographers, Controversial, Dance, Dance Legends, Young Artists, JFKC

Fresh Noise

Cuesheet: Fresh Noise: A Mashup of Youth Voices
Meet Ella, a young girl on a Hip-Hop journey of discovery. Her adventure takes her to other communities where she experiences music, movement, and poetry.
Hip-Hop, Poetry, Young Artists

Enso String Quartet

Cuesheet: Enso String Quartet: Performance & Demonstration
Known for their high-energy performances and musical versatility, the Enso String Quartet has proven they are much more than your average chamber music group. Get to know them as they perform a wide range of musical styles, and discuss how music is created and why it affects us as listeners.
Music, Musical Instruments, Orchestra, Young Artists

Grace Kelly Quintet

Cuesheet: Grace Kelly Quintet: Performance & Demonstration
Join young jazz saxophonist, singer, and composer Grace Kelly for a high-energy concert that guides students in how to listen to jazz.
Jazz, Music, Composers, Young Artists

Time for Three

Cuesheet: Time for Three: A Performance and Demonstration (2014)
Meet Time for Three, the young string ensemble who knows no musical boundaries. They play it all from classical to hip-hop and everything in-between.
Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

Time For Three

Cuesheet: Time for Three: A Performance and Demonstration
Meet Time for Three, the young string ensemble who knows no musical boundaries. They play it all from classical to hip-hop and everything in-between.
Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

Matthew Whitaker

Cuesheet: Matthew Whitaker: A Performance and Demonstration
At age 14, jazz, gospel, and R&B keyboardist Matthew Whitaker, who happens to be blind, is quickly becoming one of the most promising young talents in jazz music today.
Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

Stefon Harris and Sonic Creed

Cuesheet: Stefon Harris & Sonic Creed: A Performance and Demonstration
Get to know jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris and his electric groove-base band, Sonic Creed, as they explore the different techniques musicians use to personalize their music and create their own unique sound.
Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

Time for Three

Cuesheet: Time for Three: A Performance and Demonstration (2015)
Meet Time for Three, the young string ensemble who knows no musical boundaries. They play it all from classical to hip-hop and everything in-between.
Musical Instruments, Music, Young Artists

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