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First Lady Melania Trump attended a dedication ceremony  for the REACH, part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this evening.  As Honorary Chair of the Kennedy Center, the First Lady delivered opening remarks inside the new Welcome Pavilion.   Mrs. Trump acknowledged the Kennedy Center leadership, Kennedy Center Board of Trustees, and the generous donors who made the initiative possible.  Following the remarks, Mrs. Trump joined the guests for a performance in one of the new studios.

“This is a momentous occasion for the arts,” said First Lady Melania Trump.  “The Kennedy Center has always been a powerful tool to bring people together.  This new addition will be so valuable to Washington D.C. and is so important to our community and to our nation as a whole.  I want to thank the Kennedy Center leadership and the generous supporters for inviting me to join them this evening and for the incredible work they are doing for our future generations.”

The REACH is the new expansion of the Kennedy Center and is set to open to the public this Saturday, September 7, 2019.

The event was closed to the press.


Thank you David for your kind introduction.  Good evening.  It is a pleasure to join you tonight to celebrate this very special occasion.

For nearly 50 years, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has been connecting people through entertainment and human expression.  So many historical figures have walked through its halls and performed on its stages.  The performing arts truly have the unique power to move us.  They have a special and deeply emotional impact on each of us as individuals, while also binding people together as a community through the power of the shared experience.

It is my honor to be part of the Grand Opening of the REACH.  Thank you to Mr. David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Kennedy Center and Cornerstone of the REACH; Ms. Deborah Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center; Mr. Michael Neidorff, Chariman of the Building the Future Campaign; the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees; and Steven Holl Architects, for all that you did to make this beautiful location possible.  I know it will be yet another of the treasures in our Nation’s capital.

We know that this great addition would not be here today if it were not for the generous donations made by each of you.  Thank you for your support and commitment to promoting the arts. I look forward to the incredible work that will come from this living theater.

In my time as First Lady, I have had the privilege of learning about many programs across our country focused on our future – especially for our children.    The REACH really is an investment in the future of the arts and humanities for our next generation.  From its architecture to its programs, I am confident that the Kennedy Center’s the REACH will be an amazing campus for people to gather and experience all the possibilities that music and the performing arts have to offer through both the indoor and outdoor spaces, studios and classrooms.

Thank you again for your support and thank you to the Kennedy Center for the important impact you are having on the future of the performing arts for our children.  God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.