Kennedy Center to Trump: But we did just what you asked…

Kennedy Center to Trump: But we did just what you asked…


norman lebrecht

December 23, 2020

Statement just in from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on the President’s refusal of a $40 million grant:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts funding in the recent bill passed by Congress is an annual federal appropriation for the Center to support capital repairs and operations and maintenance in its congressionally mandated role as the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and federal building. It was not a part of the Covid relief package. These funds are exactly what the President requested for the Center in his fiscal year 2021 budget submission provided to Congress this past February. The Kennedy Center is grateful to Congress for its continued support of the memorial and national cultural center.



  • Brian says:

    Oh, so now that it’s no longer a performing arts center or an employer of artists and support staff, we are to think of it as a very expensive memorial center to the late President Kennedy? No thanks. I prefer to remember him in my heart.

    • JS says:

      Brian-The Kennedy Center has been the official memorial to JFK since 1971 and has received this same line of funding for nearly 50 years

      • T says:

        Well, it seems they have received plenty of funding to make it on their own. At some point, we have to push the baby bird out of the nest

    • Rogerio says:

      I agree.
      I propose the Kennedy Center be torn down. Since it is near the water, a pier should be constructed and to it should be moored the third and final Zumwalt Class Destroyer (the funding for which is included in the next defense budget – 22.5Billion total program cost and 4.5Billion per ship – the cost of about 17 normal destroyers). It would be a monument to american intelligence. For all the world to admire.
      And I bet the Navy would be happy to make the donation.

      • Armchair Bard says:

        Toppermost stuff, Rogerio. But look at the votes it’s got: you need to flag satire, however savage, on SD.

        Anon recently found that out with his/her sly piece on the peerless Rob Cowan: “I suspect any of Radio 3’s main roster [stop, no] would give him a run for his money [stop, no, help] in the mainstream he specialises in, and most of them have specialist sidelines he doesn’t have [stop, no, help, au secours!]. And then there are the R3 specialists [oh my *****ing paws & whiskers: *specialists*??] in early music, modern music, jazz, folk and so on [expires].”

        • William Safford says:

          The dilemma is that many people post messages to this board that aren’t satire, but are wacko-bird ravings in earnest. Or they’re trolling. Satire can be lost in the mix.

      • PaulD says:

        I think it should be repurposed for much-needed low-cost housing. Call it The George Floyd Estates.

      • Memory Lane says:

        Always remember what would be of you without the marines dying on your beaches. When you have finished remembering, start again.

      • Marge O. says:

        The us empire rubber stamped, the annual $740,000,000,000 war mongering industry yet the tax and debt slaves (us “citizens”) if they make <75K USD, get a pittance 600$?!?! Of course, it's taxed. 'Exceptionally' bad.

        • William Safford says:

          And then the Orange Enemy of the People vetoed the bill.

          Did he do so because of the outlandish size of the military budget?

          Did he do so because of concern for the lives of people killed by American forces?

          No–he did so because he wants military bases to remain named after white supremacist Confederate traitors.

          He did so because he wants an unrelated rider attached to the bill to attack companies such as Facebook whom he feels treats him poorly.

          Those are his priorities.


          • Jay Macchino says:

            How about honoring a woman who sacrificed her life for the Kennedy KLAN.

            Remember Mary Jo Kopechne?

            The center is beautifully situated against water already. All they need are dunking booths and a bar.

            PS. You’re too obsessed with President Trump. You also have nothing of substance to say about the past performances of either Harris or Biden. You clearly don’t believe in either Democrat. Well, nobody else does either with no significant accomplishments so give Norman’s ego a break.

          • William Safford says:

            The Orange Enemy of the People and his supplicants are a threat to democracy itself. The good news is that he’s not competent enough to be as serious a threat as someone more adept at pulling the levers of power. But he remains a threat all the same.

            The Orange One already has the blood of hundreds of thousands of deaths on his hands. He does not seem to lose any sleep over it, nor does it interfere with his vacationing or his golf games.

            Oh, people remember Kopechne. Many people believe that her death is the basal reason why Senator Ted Kennedy never became President.

            Biden and Harris’s records speak for themselves, in ways that make them shine where the Orange One festers.

            The Orange One has spread his santorum all over the country and the world. He has damaged institutions of democracy. He has separated children from their parents, possibly permanently. He has ruined relations with our allies. He has screwed up our economy. He has sown division. He has brought white supremacy and white supremacists out from hiding, and legitimized and empowered them and their movement. And so much more.

            Even worse, his minions continue to support him. He could not have achieved all the infamy that he has, without the support of evil people.

            Are you one of them? Do you support him and his bigotry and his fascist leanings?

            Biden and Harris have an enormous task ahead of them to undo all the damage done by the Orange One, starting January 20, 2021. I wish them all the best.

          • Marge O. says:

            Schmiden is a war monger too and another us-ian fraud. The “DNA” of the US empire was war – imperialism. Doesn’t matter who or what is the selection (farcical “election” owned by corporatists). The structural aspects of the US are intact. The religion of the us empire was the us empire- Bellah.

          • Marge O. says:

            How does removing names from us-ian war things and having lotsa “diversity” structurally change the trajectory of a failed state? They ALL want what america was offering, they “voted” with their feet. (Morris Berman–Why america FAILED.)

    • Marge O. says:

      More us-ian nonsense. A clown empire, 400yrs+ of endless war, imperialism, and fraud.

      • Freud says:

        Marge O. was a huge mistake.

      • E Rand says:

        Wait til you get the Chinese superpower. You’ll be begging for US hegemony again.

        • Marge O. says:

          Trump WAS america. He reflected american “values” beautifully. He’s NO accident. Morris Berman and many other reputable social scientists historians discusses this ad nauseum

          • William Safford says:

            “Trump WAS america. He reflected american “values” beautifully. He’s NO accident.”

            He does not represent all of America. (What politician ever does?)

            Alas, there is a grain of truth in what you wrote. The Orange Enemy of the People does represent a significant fraction of the U.S. polity. And he is the culmination of at least four decades of Republican misrule and Republican denigration of government as an institution.

            Forty years ago, Reagan made “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” something negative.

            Four years ago, the U.S. elected the most incompetent President in our history, to fulfill this mandate.

      • Anon says:

        What an ugly comment.

    • Jeff Koerber says:

      You have no fucking idea what you are talking about, “Brian.” It has always been a memorial, and like any building must be maintained. Or do you expect, like most conservatives, to get everything for free?

  • Bill says:

    Anyone who expects logic in any of Donald Trump’s actions is on a fools errand

    • V.Lind says:

      One more month…not even any more. Tick tick, tick, Donald…

      • Bone says:

        And then you’ll be safe again! Trust your new old white man who promises everything and has delivered on every promise during his 50 years of govt employment!

        • Marge O. says:

          Most us-ians think that “removing” whomever” in the oral office, things will be rainbows and daisies. The problem with america, WAS america. 400yrs+ of hu$tling, huckstering, and war mongering.

      • Marge O. says:

        Removing Trumpio doesn’t change the “DNA” of the us empire. Trumpio was no anomaly. As it turns out, Americans are not very bright, so they think that once they cut out the ‘cancer’, all will be fine. There have been a few articles pointing out this mistake, but getting a dumb populace to see this is not very likely.

        • Freud says:

          Marge O. was a huge mistake.

        • William Safford says:

          Your rhetoric aside, Marge O., I agree with your point that cutting out the “cancer” of the Orange Enemy of the People is only the beginning, not the end point.

          The seditious actions of those Republicans and supporters of the Orange One, who want to subvert the lawful election of President-Elect Biden, show just how strong the anti-democratic forces have become in the U.S.

          This is a danger to our Republic.

          • Marge O. says:

            Two arms on the same monster. The US empire had one party==the war party/imperialism and extreme capitalism

    • O. T. says:

      The decision to not fund a memorial to a white male is precisely what Democrats demanded and rioted for. Countless statues have been defaced and torn down without any legal consequence.

      Besides merely canceling funding to a white man’s privilege, the structure should be set upon by the same college educated tribes that went after the other monuments and be left in ruins or at least be a CHOPS respite as emulated in Portland.

      It only makes sense to the leftist legions of decency.

      • William Safford says:

        “The decisions to not remove memorials to white supremacist male traitors is precisely what many citizens demanded and demonstrated for.”


        Also, there is that small detail of police who murder nonwhite people….

    • William Safford says:

      I understand your point, but I disagree.

      I think there is a logic to the actions of the Orange Enemy of the People:

      -He wants attention.

      -He is in it for himself.

      Anything else is subsidiary at best.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    The idea for a national center for the arts in the US dates to 1933 and Eleanor Roosevelt. Through several permutations, Eisenhower signed the National Culural Center Act into law in 1958, creating what is now the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

    All of this pre-dates it final naming in 1963, as a memorial to John F. Kennedy, following his assasination.

    To consider the concept of a national performing arts center solely as a tribute to President Kennedy is incorrect, however appropriate for a president who actively promoted the arts in the US during his term.

  • Che triste! says:

    Perhaps you will recall that Kennedy was a democrat.

    • Joel Lazar says:

      And that the current *president is a barbarian.

    • E Rand says:

      Yes, but a dem in 1960. His positions would be considered HARD-right now by the demoncrap/socialist party. Now matter how far the Overton window shifts, the dems aren’t satisfied.

      • Bill says:

        People throughout the nation’s history, regardless of party, would have concluded Trump is a moron. Even the slightest effort at governing well would have won him reelection. Even most Republicans of my acquaintance voted against him.

        • E Rand says:

          Now THATS a lie. Trump had historic support from not only his own party, but the most black and hispanic (and asian) support for any republican since 1960. Surely we can’t all be wrong? Surely we, who live outside of the MSM propaganda plantation, may see or understand something you do not?

        • Marge O. says:

          You have 2 arms on the same monster. empire and empire lite–Gore Vidal. There is NO difference b/w “democrats” and “republicans”–you have a 1 party empire of war, imperialism, and corporate domination/capitalism. Does not matter who’s in the us-ian clown tent. Enjoy the sinking ship, eat a hot dog, and wave that #37 flag with fannnntastic “health” “care” system…..LOL

      • Larry D says:

        “Demoncrap” is such a clever pun—for a twelve year old. Mommy Rand must be proud.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        To the modern Left anybody right of centre to them is the far right. Actually it is they who have moved, nobody else. Not just in the USA.

        • Luigi Crockett says:

          Oh, come on, Sue Sonata — Trump demolished the Republican Party. The Republican party lords are on record for stating that their party is lost and must either reconfigure itself with principles or be a forgotten remnant.
          As everyone knows and saw, the Republicans in office these past four years did only what was best for their own re-elections by pleasing Trump, ignoring entirely the needs of the people they represent.

      • William Safford says:

        Not really. Kennedy was a moderate in most ways, then and today, just as Democratic Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Obama were, and how Biden is likely to be.

        If you want to talk about hard-right Democrats, you can talk about the arch-conservative white supremacist Dixiecrat southern Democrats, who fled the Democratic Party and took over the Republican Party after the passage of the civil rights laws in the 1960s.

        If you want to talk about hard-right in general, let’s talk about today’s Republicans. (See above.)

        The Democratic Party today, if it were in western Europe, would be center-right.

        To its shame, today’s Republican Party is equivalent to France’s National Front, with its roots in Vichy France.

        • E Rand says:

          Take a gander at Kennedy’s position on guns if you want to see someone the demoncrap party would immediately reject as white-supremacist right wing bible-clinger.

          • William Safford says:

            There was one gun that ended President Kennedy’s life.

            The United States has a gun death cult that is a serious threat to democracy.

          • William says:

            Guns are good then!

            All of the Kennedy’s #metoo “skirts” have been embracing guns ever since.

        • E Rand says:

          p.s. The whole democrats switched to Republican Party lie has been debunked so many times and by so many better minds than my own, I’ll leave it to the intellectually curious on this site to look it up.

      • mikhado says:

        “demoncrap” such a witty and clever play on words, I don’t know how you do it :/

        • DR says:

          Don’t worry, it’s not an original invention. E Rand stole it from right-wing pundits. Professional broadcasters on their side use slurs against the dreaded “Left” with regularity. The orange clown made it cool and acceptable for a certain segment of our populace to act like schoolyard bullies.

          • E Rand says:

            Gee..I wonder how demoncrap compares to “magat” or “tRump” or other brilliant bon mots from the left. You people are so self unaware it takes my breath away.

          • T says:

            “Orange Clown,” so witty.

          • William Safford says:

            ““Orange Clown,” so witty.”

            I use “Orange Enemy of the People.”

            I take his insult against the First Amendment, a free press, and reporters who work diligently as the free press, and turn the insult around on him.

  • Rich C. says:

    Let Barbra Streisand, Joy Behar, George Soros, Rachel Maddow come up with the 40M. It’s pocket change to them. Of course it’s always “do as I say, not what I do” to them.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    And the board of the Kennedy Center actually believed him????
    Believed tRUMP, the proven liar, cheater, and swindler????
    Now THAT’S what I call naive.

  • Ed in Texas says:

    The Washington Post has a report on several budget items our president for 28 more days asked for, but which he is now objecting to. (This may be blocked by a pay wall.)

  • Frank says:

    Change the name from Kennedy to Trump– they’d get the money like a shot.

  • Michael says:

    I can’t believe the vitriol, ignorance and lack of perspective from some of the writers, below! How can anyone reading the Slipped Disc be against one of the great cultural institutions on the continent??? The huge breadth of offerings over the past 50 years surely has addressed all the needs and wants of the various communities targeted by the Kennedy Center. How can Americans NOT want to support such a visionary effort and place with a paltry sum under a hundred million. Trump paid more on legal fees during the last 4 years. And the hundred million wouldn’t even buy you one lousy screwed up 737MAX. How much do communities around the country spend on sports arenas? How about a sense of proportion?