My Washington: Michael Kaiser

by Editorial

Michael Kaiser, President, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, shares some of his favorite things about Washington.

Michael M. Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of Ilan Mizrahi.

Some of Michael Kaiser’s favorite places and things to do in Washington

GINEVRA DE’BENCI, I can never tire of viewing this extraordinary painting by Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery of Art. It is certainly one of the great art treasures of Washington, D.C., and frankly, of the entire world.
SPORTS CLUB/LA, 1170 22nd Street NW I spend an hour every morning here and have lost over 60 pounds on their treadmills and weight machines. I have gained a more profound respect for my own body and its limitations.
MARCEL’S, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW The food is wonderful and interesting, the wine list one of the best in Washington and the service both impeccable and warm. I have never had a bad meal at Marcel’s – and they offer limousine service to the Kennedy Center!
THE PHILIPPS COLLECTION, 1600 21st Street NW Is there a more perfect spot for reflection and inspiration? In a city with astonishing visual arts institutions, the Phillips ranks number one in my book.
THE NEWSEUM, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW A wonderful, enlightening addition to the museum world in Washington, the Newseum belongs in the nation’s capital. It is a favorite place to visit for every one of my out of town guests.
KENNEDY CENTER ROOF, The perfect spot to watch July 4th fireworks with the Potomac River and major monuments providing a magnificent backdrop.
THE TIDAL BASIN AT CHERRY BLOSSOM TIME, Every year I take a walk, by myself, through the Tidal Basin and marvel at how amazingly beautiful this city can be.
THE HALLS OF CONGRESS,  I have been fortunate to have many meetings and events in locations throughout the U.S. Capitol.  It never fails to impress me, no matter which space I am in.

Four questions with Michael Kaiser

  1. What upcoming production are you most excited about right now? The Kennedy Center production of “Follies,” with an all-star cast that includes Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Ron Raines, Elaine Paige, Linda Lavin and Danny Burstein.
  2. What might your most far-out dream for the Center be? Figuring out how to bring 20-year- olds into the arts.
  3. Name a performing arts personality you wish you had known but never did. Rudolph Nureyev
  4. How would you like your time in Washington to be remembered? We put the word “national” into national cultural center.

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