WASHINGTON, D.C. — President and Mrs. Obama will host an all-star music tribute celebrating the cultural resonance of art and literature in unique American musical forms. “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House,” will mark the first hip-hop performance in the “In Performance at the White House” broadcast series.
Taping October 14, the PBS special will include 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.
These performances will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act that was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 29, 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.
The song selections for the evening will draw 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, is the fifty-fifth production in the series’ thirty-seven year history. “A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House” will premiere Friday, January 8, 2016 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), as part of PBS Arts.