President and Mrs.
Obama Welcome 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees to the White House
December 03, 2012.
President and Mrs. Obama last night welcomed a late night television
host, an actor, a ballerina, a blues guitarist, and a rock band to the
White House for the annual reception saluting the Kennedy Center
Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend the 2012 Kennedy
Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
Washington, D.C., Dec. 2, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence
As he introduced David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, Natalia Makarova,
Buddy Guy, and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin to a crowd gathered
in the East Room, the President described the honorees as "some
extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage
Each year the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts celebrates
individuals who have made a lifetime contributions to American culture
through the performing artsówhether in dance, music, theater, opera,
motion pictures, or television -- and the primary criterion in the
selection process is excellence.
Prior to the event celebrating their achievement held at the Kennedy
Center in Washington, the President took a moment to highlight their
contributions to American culture, and the important role the arts play
in our national identity:
we've got Buddy Guy. We've got Dustin Hoffman. We've got David
Letterman, Natalia Makarova, Led Zeppelin each of us can remember a
moment when the people on this stage touched our lives. Maybe they
didnít lead us to become performers ourselves. But maybe they inspired
us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover
something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the
Itís that unique power that makes the arts so important. We may not
always think about the importance of music or dance or laughter to the
life of this nation, but who would want to imagine America without it?
Thatís why we celebrate artists like the ones here tonight. And thatís
why, in this season of joy and thanksgiving, they have earned our