President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who share similar interests in the arts, attended the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington on Thursday night.
The long-running series of awards recognizes individuals who have made “outstanding contributions to American culture through the performing arts.” Since 1996, it has been aired on CBS. Among those honored were singers Lionel Richie and Lady Gaga, actor Jeffrey Wright, choreographer Alvin Ailey, and pianist and composer George Gershwin.
The ceremony also featured the performance of excerpts from the new musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” which became a best-selling ticket in its first few weeks of previews at the Neil Simon Theatre earlier this year.
Biden, who attended the ceremony for the first time, made remarks before the show, praising the honorees and calling on the artists to “give a voice to the voiceless.”
Also in attendance was new first lady Melania Trump, who took a break from her trip to New York with President Donald Trump to attend the ceremony.