The Kennedy Centers Honors is expanding the selection process by welcoming suggestions from the public. Last year, various advocacy groups pointed out that only two Hispanics — Placido Domingo (2000) and Chita Rivera (2002) — numbered among the 185 people feted to date.
Rivera is to be part of a new committee that will winnow down the list of potential recipients from 20 to 10. Joining her are 2011 honoree Yo Yo Ma; opera singer Harolyn Blackwell and ballet dancer Damian Woetzel who sit on the Artist Committee; and board members Cappy McGarr and Elaine Wynn.
The Artist Committee, which comes up with the original list of 20, is to be expanded as well to ensure the broadest of representation. And the public can petition the committee with their choices.
However, even with these new mechanisms in place, the five honorees still will be determined by the executive committee of the Kennedy Center board of trustees. They will act on the recommendations of the Center chair, president and the producers of the kudocast who willl cull from this list of 10 possibilities.