Advertisements

JFK and the Arts, 50 Years Later

JFK50thanniversary

“I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.”JFK, May 29, 1917-Nov 22, 1963. There will be a memorial at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, where Kennedy was shot 50 years ago.

JFK50yearslater2President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago today, an event that will be memorialized around the country — a solemn ceremony in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, where he was killed; at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, where he grew up, and in the White House, where he served as the 35th president of the United States.  President Barack Obama will meet privately with members of the Peace Corps, which was established during the Kennedy Administration.
In New York, the Public Theater will debut “Regular Singing,” the fourth and final play by Richard Nelson about the Apple Family that take place “in real time” during seminal moments in modern American culture. “Regular Singing” is set on November 22, 2013 – today – the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death.

JackieKennedyandLeonardBernsteinJFK was a great supporter of the arts — some argue he was the last such president we’ve had. When he was killed Leonard Bernstein led the New York Philharmonic in Mahler’s Second Symphony, known as the “Resurrection,” and said “American artists have for three years looked to the White House with unaccustomed confidence and warmth,” Bernstein said that day. “We loved him for the honor in which he held art, in which he held every creative impulse of the human mind, whether it was expressed in words, or notes, or paints, or mathematical symbols.”

 JFKartquoteBelow are some quotes by JFK about the arts, collected by the Kennedy Center of Arts in Washington:

“There is a connection, hard to explain logically but easy to feel, between achievement in public life and progress in the arts. The Age of Pericles was also the Age of Phidias. The Age of Lorenzo de Medici was also the Age of Leonardo da Vinci, the Age of Elizabeth was also the Age of Shakespeare, and the new frontier for which I campaign in public life, can also be a new frontier for American art.”
Letter to Miss Theodate Johnson, Publisher, Musical America, September 13, 1960

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.”
On behalf of the National Cultural Center which would come to bear his name November 29, 1962

“To further the appreciation of culture among all the people. To increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillments of art — this is one of the fascinating challenges of these days.”
“The Arts in America,” Look, December 18, 1962

“This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.”
State of the Union Message, January 14, 1963

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well.”
At Amherst College, October 26, 1963

“I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.”
At Amherst College, October 26, 1963

Scene from Regular Singing by Richard Nelson, set in (and debuting) on November 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Scene from Regular Singing by Richard Nelson, set in (and debuting) on November 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Advertisements

About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: