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Idina Menzel to Perform at the Kennedy Center Gala

The event will honor philanthropists Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan of Chicago, and actor and humanitarian Forest Whitaker.

Idina Menzel will headline the Kennedy Center's upcoming gala.
(© David Gordon)

The Kennedy Center Gala Celebrating the Human Spirit will take place on April 3, honoring philanthropists Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan of Chicago; and actor, producer, and humanitarian Forest Whitaker, the recipients of the 2019 Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit.

The evening will feature an intimate dinner and awards presentation, a gala performance by Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel, and an after-party. Carol Melton and Jodie W. McLean are the cochairs of the 2019 Kennedy Center Gala.

Menzel will headline the evening, offering a performance that features Broadway standards, popular music, and some of the film songs for which she is best known. Just as the Kennedy Center Gala is a philanthropic event in support of arts and arts education programs, Menzel is involved in philanthropy as well, having cofounded the A BroaderWay Foundation, an organization dedicated to offering girls from underserved communities an outlet for self-expression and creativity through arts-centered programs.

The Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit recognizes recipients who have had an enduring impact on the advancement of arts, contributing to a culture of giving through philanthropy and service. The award is given in two categories, the Distinguished Philanthropist Award and the Citizen Artist Award.