TV Premiere: “In Performance at the White House”

Jan 08, 2016

Friday, Jan. 8, 2016
8 p.m. CT
PBS (check local listings)

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In late 2015, we headed to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's signing of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. The act called for the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as separate, independent agencies, the culmination of a movement calling for the federal government to invest in culture.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

President and Mrs. Obama hosted an all-star music tribute celebrating the cultural resonance of art and literature in unique American musical forms. The evening included performances by Buddy Guy, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Audra McDonald, Keb' Mo', Smokey Robinson, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, Brian Stokes Mitchell, James Taylor, and Usher, with special readings and remarks from Carol Burnett. The event also marked the first hip-hop performance in the "In Performance at the White House" broadcast series. The song selections for the evening drew from American-originated musical genres, including hip-hop, blues, and the American Songbook.

The hour-long program, part of the Emmy Award-nominated "In Performance at the White House" series, will premiere on PBS on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 at 8 p.m. CT. Check your local listings.

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Sarah McCracken
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LBJ Presidential Library
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