Idina Menzel to Headline Kennedy Center Gala | Playbill

Benefits and Galas Idina Menzel to Headline Kennedy Center Gala The Wicked and Frozen star will perform during the April 3 gala, Celebrating the Human Spirit.
Idina Menzel Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tony Award winner Idina Menzel will headline the Kennedy Center’s April 3 gala, Celebrating the Human Spirit, which will honor actor Forest Whitaker, along with philanthropists Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan.

The Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit recognizes recipients who have had an enduring impact on the advancement of arts, contributing to a culture of giving through philanthropy and through service. The award is given in two categories, the Distinguished Philanthropist Award and the Citizen Artist Award. The Ryans will receive the Distinguished Philanthropist Awards, with Whitaker to receive the Citizen Artist Award.

The evening features an intimate dinner and awards presentation, followed by the gala performance from Menzel and dancing.

“The Kennedy Center celebrates great art and artists on stage every day,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “Inspired by the words and values of President Kennedy, with the Human Spirit Awards we acknowledge the leaders off stage who are catalysts in bringing great art to life. The Ryans and Forest Whitaker have made so many contributions to the arts through their actions and words, and they set an inspirational example to which we all can aspire. It is our great privilege to honor them at the Kennedy Center Gala.”

A limited number of performance-only tickets go on sale February 19. Visit

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