The six artists who were presented the Medal are a diverse representation of outstanding artists in South Africa. The ceremony took place on Saturday, April 14 at the Zeitz Museum of Modern Art in Cape Town, South Africa.
“The culture of South Africa is known for its rich and unique blend of ethnic and cultural diversity. South Africa is also known for its stellar art scene. Stephanie and I are honored to represent the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the national cultural center of the United States and living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and recognize some of South African greatest artists.” says Karel Komárek.
The Kennedy Center Gold Medal in the Arts is an award given annually to performers and arts leaders in the international community. This year they have been presented to: Basil J.R. Jones and Adrian P. Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, actor John Kani, the “First Lady of African Song” Sibongile Khumalo, exuberant storyteller Gcina Mhlophe and McCoy Mrubata, an accomplished saxophonist, collaborator, and bandleader.
The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts proudly bestows the Gold Medal in the Arts in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the arts each year at its international summit. The Committee awards inspiring individuals, whose lifetime achievements have created, nurtured, supported, and championed the world’s greatest arts and artists.
About the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts
The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts (KCICA) was established in 2001 to support international programming at the Center, as well as to encourage global exchange in the arts. KCICA members are passionate performing arts enthusiasts and are among the Kennedy Center’s most philanthropic contributors.
The Kennedy Center frequently presents large-scale, highly acclaimed international festivals, further promoting intercultural dialogue and bringing international cultures to Washington. The KCICA plays an instrumental role in supporting these showcases.
Karel and Stephanie Komárek became the Co-Chairs of the KCICA in December 2017.
About the Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the national cultural center of the United States and the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The nine theaters and stages attract more than three million visitors to more than 2,000 performances each year, while Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts reach 40 million more around the world.
The Center produces and presents performances of music, dance, comedy, and theater, supports artists in the creation of new work, and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, the Center has produced more than 300 theatrical productions and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works, in addition to hosting numerous international festivals.