JFK Center for the Performing ArtsThe Kennedy Center opened to the public in September 1971. But its roots date back to 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed bipartisan legislation creating a National Cultural Center. To honor Eisenhower's vision for such a facility, one of the Kennedy Center's theaters is named for him. President John F. Kennedy was a lifelong supporter and advocate of the arts, and frequently steered the public discourse toward what he called "our contribution to the human spirit." Kennedy took the lead in raising funds for the new National Cultural Center, holding special White House luncheons and receptions, appointing his wife Jacqueline and Mrs. Eisenhower as honorary co-chairwomen, and in other ways placing the prestige of his office firmly behind the endeavor.
About Meryl's involvementMeryl Streep is an Honorary Committee Member of The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, which supports the development and presentation of the most promising new works by playwrights and regional nonprofit theaters nationwide. She has also participated in two Kennedy Center Honors, paying tribute to Helen Hayes in 1982 and to Mike Nichols in 2003 before becoming a Honoree herself in 2011.
On May 03, 2010, The Public Theater presented a one-night reading of Ariel Dorfman's "Speak Truth to Power: Voices From Beyond the Dark". The reading was presented by Dorfman, Kerry Kennedy, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and The Public. The star-studded cast included Marcia Gay Harden, Elias Koteas, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Aidan Quinn, Gloria Reuben, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, and Debra Winger. Proceeds from the reading would benefit the relief efforts of Habitat for Humanity in Chile.
Links & ResearchJFK Center for the Performing Arts official website
Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark summary courtesy Simply Streep