Ms.

Deborah F. Rutter

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Area
Public Affairs, Business, and Administration
Specialty
Educational and Academic Leadership
Member Since
2018

Deborah F. Rutter is President of The Kennedy Center and considered one of the most influential arts administrators in the nation. As president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Ms. Rutter is the artistic and administrative director of the world's busiest performing arts center, managing all facets of the facility, including expansive theater, contemporary dance, ballet, chamber music, and jazz seasons as well as its affiliates the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera and offerings in Hip Hop and contemporary music, and comedy. The Center encompasses one of the nation's largest arts education programs, reaching millions of people of all ages each year, and includes VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, and this year the addition of Turnaround Arts, in partnership with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Rutter became president of the Kennedy Center on September 1, 2014, the third person to serve in this capacity, following Michael M. Kaiser (2001-2014) and Lawrence Wilker (1991-2001). Rutter will oversee the Kennedy Center Expansion, which broke ground during her first year on December 4, 2014, and is intended to be a place where visitors can more actively engage with artists, while creating new and open rehearsal, dedicated education, and flexible indoor and outdoor event and performance spaces. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

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