"A Cultural Revolution at the Potomac River," this was the headline the Washington Post gave to a new concert series at the Kennedy Center six months ago. Since then (March), the audience has been able to watch free performances every night at 6pm in the lobby of the fancy cultural center. There is nothing new about promotional give-aways, but the generosity of the Kennedy Center is unparalleled. On the other hand, its goals go beyond simple promotion. Lawmakers, who work two miles East of the Kennedy Center on Capitol Hill, are invited to give their own spin to the concerts. They select artists from their own states to perform at the lobby of the Kennedy Center which hosts the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Opera, presenting about 3,000 artistic events every year. Flattering politicians is more important than ever, as Congress is threatening to drastically cut financial support for the arts. The free concerts are called "Millennium Stage," and Georg Hirsch has an evaluation of the first six months.
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