The Kennedy Center Closes Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Kennedy Center is closing in Washington, D.C. due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief post is preserving this news and passing it on for others in the D.C. area. 

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest of times, and to the latest.” 

Henry David Thoreau

When I saw Dear Evan Hanson at the Kennedy Center 

Yesterday I got an email that the Kennedy Center is closing for the rest of the month. I had a ticket to see Audra McDonald in concert. I will write more about that in another brief post. I just wanted to capture this and add it to the blog. While sad, safety and health comes first, and in that context I understand and support this action by the Kennedy Center. I am looking forward to it re-opening when it is safe to do. 

Our response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear David,

The Kennedy Center’s highest priority is the health and well-being of all our patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff. In conformance with the specific public health recommendations issued by D.C. Health and Mayor Bowser, and due to the increasing threat of COVID-19, all public performances and events scheduled at the Kennedy Center through March 31 will be canceled effective Friday, March 13, including the Kennedy Center Spring Gala.   

Until further notice, the Kennedy Center campus and its facilities will be closed to visitors, however, administrative staff will be on hand to continue basic business operations. The restaurant, café, and other food service will also be closed due to canceled performances. Kennedy Center programmers are exploring options for rescheduling artists and productions for a future date where possible.   

Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter stated: “While this is an extraordinarily difficult decision to suspend all performances and activity throughout the month of March, it is the right thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our patrons, artists, and staff. Kennedy Center leadership has taken swift action and will do our part to help in the serious containment efforts called for by our city’s and country’s top government officials and medical experts.”


The Kennedy Center is committed to providing the utmost flexibility for our patrons in light of these circumstances. Ticketholders for performances scheduled to take place between March 13 and March 31 have the following options:

  • Exchange your tickets for a future date or alternate show (where possible)
  • Donate your tickets, and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value
  • Exchange your tickets for a Kennedy Center gift certificate, or
  • Receive a full refund for the value of the ticket and associated fees

Kennedy Center Box Office agents will be ready to accommodate your needs. However, due to anticipated volume, we ask for your patience as we address each and every case. For assistance, please contact the Box Office by filling out this online form, emailing, or calling (202) 416-8540 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

For the most up-to-date information regarding the Kennedy Center’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Kennedy Center website.

Thank you for your patronage.