Dick Devos, a Philanthropist Who Cares Deeply About the Critical Role of Arts in Our Society

Arts are crucial parts of public education, ranging from visual arts, theatre, music, and dance. The art gives us a unique way to express and capture our emotions and passions. Arts allow us to explore new ideas and culture and bring joy in every aspect of our life.


It has been proven, not only arts education broaden students understanding of the world around them, but also enhance their understanding on traditional academics. Arts integrate learning and life for all students, and it forms an integral part of whole-person development. We must continue to find platforms for arts and partnership, for not only what it teaches our children’s but also for what for the role it plays in teaching us all about the world we live in.


John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts is one of the greatest platforms of arts. The centre was opened in 1971, and it is the busiest art facility across United State. The facility features a wealth of arts and performance, which include dance, jazz, folk music, ballet, orchestral, theatre, in addition to multi-media performance that cater for all ages. In a year, the Centre hosts more than 2000 performance and about 3 million visitors. Most of the visitors are schoolchildren in community outreach and education programs. The Centre represents an excellent way to which we can support artist and creation of art.


In 2013, the Centre announced an expansion plan of about $100 million. The plan includes construction of three new pavilions and a pedestrian bridge that will link Potomac River waterfront to the Centre. Moreover, the project includes dedicated classroom space, rehearsal space, and multipurpose rooms. The pavilions are to be built with Carrara marble and translucent Okalux light diffusing insulated glass. The fact that the project will be funded through donations sends a strong message of shared passions for arts in our community and the country.


Recently it was announced the goal for planned expansion had brown past its fundraising goal and upped its target by another $50 million. However, philanthropist such as Dick Devos, who earlier donated $22.5 million to the Centre to continue with its noble work of teaching arts have made more donations, and they are committed to seeing the project come to completion by 2018. I am thrilled to see people who have a keen interest in Kennedy Centre. It is blessing to have Americans such as Devos who cares deeply about the critical role of arts in our society.