The Kennedy Center’s class of 2019 is in and it is making history.
“Sesame Street” is the first TV series to receive the honour. Sally Field, Linda Ronstadt, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and Earth, Wind and Fire are also among the honourees.
The prestigious honour recognizes Field, Ronstadt and Earth, Wind and Fire for their lifetime achievements in the arts and Thomas for his contributions to the fine arts.
Meanwhile, “Sesame Street” will be honoured as they celebrate their 50th anniversary and will also make history as the first television program to receive the performing arts award.
“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates icons who, through their artistry, have left an indelible stamp on our collective cultural consciousness,” Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein said in a statement. “Earth, Wind & Fire’s hooks and grooves are the foundation of a seminal style that continues to shape our musical landscape; Sally Field has brought us unforgettable characters, both joyous and poignant, for more than five decades; Linda Ronstadt is the defining voice of a generation, spanning genres, languages and continents; ‘Sesame Street’ continues to revolutionize how children and adults learn about our world, and Michael Tilson Thomas goes far beyond keeping score – he has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century.”
“In this class of honourees, we are witnessing a uniquely American story: one that is representative of so many cultural touchstones and musical moments that make our nation great,” Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter added. “When I look at this distinctive group, I see the hopes, aspirations, and achievements not just of these artists, but of the many generations they have influenced and continue to influence. We’re not just looking back; these honourees are urging us to look forward as well.”
This year’s recipients will be honoured on Dec. 8 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.