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Who will receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors?

Who will receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors?
Recipients for the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors will be announced shortly after Labor Day. Which famous entertainers are most likely to be included in this annual celebration of the arts? The five chosen will be celebrated at the White House and with a special concert at the Kennedy Center in early December. The honorees are always an eclectic group covering a variety of disciplines, including film, television, popular music, theatre, dance, and/or the fine arts. Last year, various advocacy groups pointed out that only two Hispanics -- Placido Domingo (2000) and Chita Rivera (2002) -- numbered among the 185 people feted to date. The Kennedy Centers Honors is expanding the selection process by welcoming suggestions from the public. Rivera is part of a new committee that will winnow down the list of potential recipients from 20 to 10. Joining her are 2011 honoree Yo Yo Ma; opera singer Harolyn Blackwell and ...
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Will adding public vote make Kennedy Centers Honors more diverse?

Will adding public vote make Kennedy Centers Honors more diverse?
The Kennedy Centers Honors is expanding the selection process by welcoming suggestions from the public. Last year, various advocacy groups pointed out that only two Hispanics -- Placido Domingo (2000) and Chita Rivera (2002) -- numbered among the 185 people feted to date.  Rivera is to be part of a new committee that will winnow down the list of potential recipients from 20 to 10. Joining her are 2011 honoree Yo Yo Ma; opera singer Harolyn Blackwell and ballet dancer Damian Woetzel who sit on the Artist Committee; and board members Cappy McGarr and Elaine Wynn. The Artist Committee, which comes up with the original list of 20, is to be expanded as well to ensure the broadest of representation. And the public can petition the committee with their choices.  However, even with these new mechanisms in place, the five honorees still will be determined by the executive committee of the Kennedy Center board of trustees. They
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American Composers Declare Independence from Europe

When I was growing up, New York 's best (now long-defunct) classical radio station, Wncn, played only American composers' music each Fourth of July. With the classical world dominated by Europeans, this was a welcome and educational corrective. In the history of American music, independence wasn't achieved until the 20th century; 19th century composers such as John Knowles Paine and George Whitefield Chadwick studied in Europe and blatantly imitated European models. Listening to their music "blind," few would guess they were Americans. There was Revolutionary War-era vocal writer William Billings, but his originality was more a lack of proper technique. Continuing Wncn's tradition, here's a look at true American classical. music. 

There is a bit of chauvinism in this article, as "American" here refers not to all the Americas (North, Central, and South) but rather the colloquial usage in the United States to mean that country's residents (hence, the Mexican Carlos Chavez,
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Meryl Streep, Yo-Yo Ma, Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Sonny Rollins: Kennedy Center Honors 2011

Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep (right), singer Barbara Cook, singer and songwriter Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins will receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' 2011 Kennedy Center Honors. The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 4, on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage. The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 3, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. An edited version of the ceremony will be broadcast on CBS for the 34th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 27, at 9:00 p.m. (Et/Pt). The event will be produced by George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens. From the Kennedy Center Honors' press release: "The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures,
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