Organizers of the Kennedy Center Honors, the annual tradition recognizing lifetime achievements in arts and culture, on Thursday announced the 2019 honorees, who will be celebrated at a star-studded tribute in December:
The award for “Sesame Street” represents the first time a television program will receive the honor, according to the Kennedy Center. The children’s TV show, which marked its 50th anniversary this year, has long promoted representation and inclusion by featuring a diverse cast and tackling social issues, and by making them accessible to young audiences.
Last year, the Kennedy Center also broke with tradition by honoring a single work. In addition to the usual lifetime achievement honorees, it granted a special award to “Hamilton” star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and his collaborators ― director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.
While presidents and first ladies have traditionally attended the long-running awards presentation, sitting in the Kennedy Center’s presidential box, President Donald Trump has declined to attend both ceremonies that have been held during his presidency so far. Many of the recent honorees have been outspoken critics of Trump and his administration.
The White House did not immediately respond to a question asking whether he would attend this year.
This year’s Kennedy Center Honors will be held on Dec. 8 in Washington, and will air on CBS on Dec. 15 at 8 p.m.