News Story

Georgetown, Kennedy Center Establish Seminar Series

October 17, 2018 — Georgetown University is proud to announce the establishment of a new partnership that will open up opportunities for students at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Georgetown College, the Georgetown Humanities Initiative, and the Designing the Future(s) Initiative have worked with the Kennedy Center to create the Georgetown-Kennedy Center Seminar Series, which includes free tickets for students to Kennedy Center events, post-performance conversations with creative artists and faculty, and a competitive fellowship program. The series will fall within the Kennedy Center’s 2018-2019 theme The Human Journey, to which Georgetown Distinguished Artist in Residence Jason Moran has contributed.

“We are delighted that Georgetown College and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative will be part of this collaboration,” Georgetown College Dean Chris Celenza said. “This represents an ideal opportunity for our students and faculty to engage meaningfully with the arts and humanities.”


Georgetown students will have the opportunity to attend three performances at the Kennedy Center this fall free of charge. Each performance is paired with an on-campus conversation with one of the creative talents behind the performance, which participating students will be required to attend but will also be open to the public.

“Georgetown is not only in Washington, D.C. — it is of Washington, D.C. Our students and faculty are part of the cultural conversation here,” Celenza said. “Partnering with one of the world’s leading cultural institutions in the Kennedy Center reflects our continued dedication to ensuring a Georgetown education is not limited by the walls of the classroom.”

The three performances are Long Way Down on November 1, Silent Night on November 14, and Barber Shop Chronicles on November 28. Post-performance conversations will be held on campus the same week of the performance and curated by Professor Derek Goldman of the Department of Performing Arts.


A select cohort of three to six students will be chosen as Seminar Scholars this fall, attending at least two of the performances and discussions, participating in mentored writing and reflection projects, and serving as a voice for the Georgetown-Kennedy Center partnership on campus.

“This program is a perfect example of the kind of interdisciplinary and boundary-crossing experiences that we seek to develop for our students,” Vice Provost for Education Randy Bass said. “We’re grateful to the Kennedy Center for their partnership and look forward to this pilot being only the first of many educational innovations around the arts that we undertake together.”

Students selected as Seminar Scholars will receive a $250 stipend for their participation. Interested students should apply by sending a statement of interest and resume to the Red House by October 24.


In conjunction with the National Gallery of Art and the National Geographic Society, the Kennedy Center has chosen The Human Journey as its programming theme for the October 2018-July 2019 season. Performances and exhibits at all three institutions will focus on stories of migration — by choice, force, or fear. From the Kennedy Center’s website:

“This movement of people has historically brought cultures from around the globe together, shrinking our planet and bringing the cultural identities that shape us into sharper focus. Inspired by powerful storytelling, The Human Journey seeks to promote deeper understanding of the migration of people and the resilience of humankind to overcome conflict, adversity, prejudice, and injustices, often emboldened by a spirit of exploration and hope.”

Composer Jason Moran, who serves as the Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center and the Distinguished Artist in Residence at Georgetown, has also contributed three pieces to The Human Journey.

— Patrick Curran

Designing the Future(s) Initiative
Humanities Initiative
Performing Arts