Kennedy Center, Kennedy Center Reach

The D.C. Kennedy Center Celebrates New Expansion with Major Festival

One of the most important artistic centers in the country just got even bigger. And it's having a party to match.

The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. has opened a new $250 million expansion called The Reach, which – in their words – is "an immersive learning center, a public incubator, and a set of dynamic, collaborative spaces where art happens so close audiences can reach out and touch it." What that appears to mean is that it will feature a lot of interactive art (think: DJ sets, workshops, dance classes and more), in cool new spaces like an outdoor stage and video wall, a green roof, an arts café, a bridge to the National Mall, plus 11 flexible performance spaces.

The Reach Festival, The Reach Festival Kennedy Center, The Kennedy Center Events

A movie screening of "The Muppet Movie" and yoga are among the events at the Reach Festival

To celebrate this milestone, the Kennedy Center is hosting a free, 16-day festival from now until September 22 that is chock full of speakers, food tastings and workshops by major industry leaders (think: songwriting secrets from Disney genius Alan Menken). Unfortunately – as happens with amazing free things – a number of events are already sold out, but there are still plenty with availability. View the full schedule here.

Not only can you feed your artistic side at the festival, you can also feed your stomach with tastings by top local chefs. New restaurant ABC Pony Café in Navy Yard will be providing an all-day pop-up of their dishes, which will fuse Asian, Italian and American cuisines like a "mixed melon “Naanzanella” with cantaloupe, watermelon, and crispy scallion pancakes; a wild grain bowl, shrimp rolls with herbed mayo on brioche, and fusilli alla bolognese," according to Eater. There will also be a number of free tastings from local chefs, who will be demo-ing dishes before serving them.

If you miss the festival, however, don't despair; there are plenty of exhibitions and concerts happening afterward that promise to be worthwhile. Including an exhibition of portraits by former President George W. Bush "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors."

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