With all due respect, this positive progress report on Women in Comedy is a tribute to Joan Rivers. She persevered to pave the path for generations of funny women. Rivers auditioned seven times over three years, before making her Tonight Show debut in 1965.
The men and women who run the shows, move the sets, carry the props, light the lights, manage the sound, dress the performers and on and on are among my favorite colleagues in every arts job I have held and the Kennedy Center is no exception.
I've written about Mike Stoller a few times before, always with his longtime partner Jerry Leiber of 60 years, one of the great songwriting teams in music history. When I say "legendary," and one of the great songwriting teams in music history, that is not hyperbole.
I hope the Search Committee finds a remarkable person to run the Kennedy Center, someone who can take the institution to new places and can educate and entertain our audience in ways I could not even imagine.
The Smithsonian's Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture and Latino Center, in collaboration with units around the Institution, is engaged in several initiatives by, for and about the diverse resident Latino population.