In order to "sustain the Washington D.C. Kennedy Center's artistic tradition of linking African culture with American heritage," American Express has donated $2 million to the performing arts center.
American Express is now the nationwide Presenting Sponsor for the Kennedy Center's African Odyssey, a four-year festival of music, dance and theatre from Africa and the African Diaspora, which include the Caribbean, South America and the U.S. The festival is now on-stage at the Center, and the grant will carry it through the millennium.
The grant provides for debuting new artists, playwrights, choreographers, etc. and will support touring productions of the African Odyssey in ten cities.
Kenneth I. Chenault, president of American Express, said, " By presenting this unique festival in the nation's capital and touring it across the nation, we hope to enrich audiences and help raise awareness of the significant contributions that African Art has made around the world."
The Kennedy Center is a six-theatre complex honoring John F. Kennedy that has been in operation for 26 years. It has been a leading theatre in supporting new artists, creating new works, and arts education. --By Blair Glaser