Theodore A. Hoppe


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Do the Kennedy Center Honors rise to the level of a British Knighthood or the French National Order of the Legion of Honour?

The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual honor given to those in the performing arts in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures and television, for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. The Honors have been presented annually since 1978 in Washington, D.C., during gala weekend-long events that culminate in a performance honoring the Honorees at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

There is a list of the people it has honored and its history are included here:

Its website states
"The Kennedy Center Honors provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts."
After viewing the list please share your thoughts as to who you would like to see honored.

You can also comment on who should NOT have received this award.

  • Jul 21 2013: Did Gandhi ever get any awards?
  • Jul 20 2013: I watched a documentary that had people (mainly journalists) who has refused knighthood based on the fact that they saw it as a conflict of interests.
  • Jul 8 2013: Forgive me in advance.....please

    Awards, Trophies, Certificates, being Knighted...............are for Kindergartners-of-life. Those who make contributions to American or Global culture and are not recognized for it, VASTY outnumber those very few who are recognized by society by way of various institutions.

    See the illusion....
  • Jul 8 2013: The Kennedy Center Honors provide recognition to living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts........ by those standards, I dont think anyone should win. :)

    And if you don't think that's amusing you have not had them long enough like the knighthood to know better :)
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      Jul 8 2013: Well, considering that Paul McCartney has received both honors you will have to explain yourself further.
      Is this a slight to "American culture?"
      • Jul 9 2013: Theodore, is not a slight on American culture, it's a slight on the whole principle, and the way the US seems to think it needs and equivalent.

        And if you'd seen some that had got knighthoods for their "valiant" works, you'd realize that any value probably dissipated in the dark ages.
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    Jul 8 2013: The Kennedy Center Honors are give to individuals, or in some cases a couple or group, that has influenced American culture. They do not need to be Americans.
    The nominating process has recently changed due in part from pressures from the Latino community to be more inclusive.

    This article from 2010 examines the previous selection process:

    "Just what are the criteria for one of the few awards that come with a pat on the back from the president?

    It turns out that the selection process by the center's trustees is largely an informal affair, long on efforts at creating balance, recognizing achievement and acknowledging public appeal; and short on any balloting or written rules.

    There is a nominating process that draws recommendations from roughly 100 artists, who all get a letter from George Stevens Jr., who, as producer of the event, has managed the awards since he created them in 1978.

    "The primary criterion is excellence," the letter states.

    Actually, excellence is the only criterion spelled out in the letter, though it clarifies that the excellence should be in artistic achievement in the fields of dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television."
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    Jul 8 2013: How did Led Zep get nominated, I'm a foreigner so, can some one enlighten me?
  • Jul 8 2013: Do we really have anything else that rises to the same level?
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    Jul 7 2013: I nominated Garrison Keller for the award. He has a body of work that seems deserving.
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      Jul 7 2013: I hate his politics, but love his show. Amazing the volume and the quality.