The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Ford’s Theatre—two major venues in the Washington, D.C. area—will require that all audience members, artists, staff, ushers, and volunteers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Beginning September 1, patrons must show a government-issued photo ID and proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to attend all indoor performances and events at both D.C. venues. Masking will continue to be required inside regardless of vaccination status, except while eating and drinking in authorized areas.
“Our audiences have stuck by us with great solidarity over these last many months,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “As we welcome them back to the Kennedy Center and enjoy live performances once again, it is also our duty to ensure our patrons’ health and security, as well as the safety of our performers and staff. Working together we can get back to what we love—the arts—but we must reopen cautiously and responsibly. These new measures will reduce risk and help all arts venues maintain the forward momentum we are feeling right now.”
“We have longed for the day we can safely gather again to create art, and to draw in our audiences with visceral, thought-provoking, and dazzling moments of live performance,” added Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “These requirements for vaccination and masking are an added assurance of our commitment to the safety and wellness of our theatre patrons—necessary temporary measures to protect our community from contracting and spreading COVID-19.”
Audience members may display proof of vaccine on a smartphone or by showing a physical copy of the vaccination card or official vaccination record.
Vaccination requirements do not apply to daytime visitors at the Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site nor for Kennedy Center visitors in limited public areas including the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, Grand Foyer, the REACH, or outdoor spaces.
The Kennedy Center plans to reevaluate its vaccine and masking policy on a monthly basis. The Ford’s Theatre vaccination policy is currently valid through October 31.