The 2018 Kennedy Center Spring Gala celebrated the recipients of the third annual Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit with “An Evening with Mavis Staples” on Sunday, May 6, 2018. The effervescent and super talented Mavis Staples was joined throughout the evening by Neko Case, Bruce Hornsby, and Alison Krauss.
Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein, and Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter offered introductory remarks as well as introduced The honorees who were recognized for their enduring impact on the advancement of arts and culture.
This year’s recipients for the Distinguished Philanthropist Human Spirit Award were Eli and Edythe Broad for their commitment to making the arts accessible to as many people as possible. The Broads have invested more than $4 billion various Kennedy Center programs.
The recipient of the Citizen Artist Human Spirit Award was Gary Sinise for his work including the establishment of the Gary Sinise Foundation. After a video of the actor’s work with veterans, Sinise shared his passion for making a difference in the lives of others.His foundation, honors military members, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.
One of the most stirring moments of the evening was Alison Krauss singing “It is Well With My Soul,” accompanied by Bruce Hornsby. Krauss’ angelic voice wafted through the air creating a reverent atmosphere.Staples also performed the civil rights era song, t“Freedom Highway” along with Alison Krauss.
Of course, no Mavis Staples offering is complete without hearing Staple Singers hits. The songstress did not disappoint as she delivered “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There” and a few other classics. The songstress performed a soulful rendition “The Weight,” with Neko Chas. Showing her versatility, Staples gave her own take of The Talking Heads’ “Slippery People.”
The evening came to a close with all performers coming to the stage to sing”Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, another classic Staple Singers hit. It was a night well worth remembering and Mavis Staples shows no sings of slowing down, nor do we want her to.
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