It has been revealed that the brilliant Joan Baez is among the list of recipients for the forthcoming 43rd annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Baez joins the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Garth Brooks, artist and actor Debbie Allen, and violinist Midori as part of the 2020 list. While under normal circumstances the event would be held in December, the organisation has announced its intentions to hold a small, in-person in May 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While making the announcement, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said: “The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world.”
Rubenstein added in a statement: “Folk icon Joan Baez breathed new life into the genre and powered rock music’s turn toward social and political consciousness.”
The Kennedy Center’s planned socially distanced events have been scheduled to take place between May 17–22 and will include short performances and tributes for the Honorees.
“It has been my life’s joy to make art,” Baez said. “It’s also been my life’s joy to make, as the late Congressman John Lewis called it, ‘good trouble.’ What luck to have been born with the ability to do both; each one giving strength and credibility to the other. I am indebted to many for a privileged life here. I’ve tried to share my good fortune with others anywhere and everywhere in the world.
“Sometimes there have been risks, but they are only a part of the meaning of it all. I extend my deepest thanks to the Kennedy Center for recognising me, my art, and the good trouble I’ve made.”