Dec 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Bidens resume tradition by attending Kennedy Center Honors

Biden and the Kennedy Center Honorees

President Biden and the Kennedy Center honorees. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden attended Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors, resuming a tradition of presidential participation not carried out by the previous administration.

Driving the news: This year's honorees include "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels, operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz, actress Bette Midler, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and the songwriter Berry Gordy, one of the founders of Motown.

What he's saying: In his reception speech at the White House before the event, Biden recalled a quote by Michelangelo, "I saw the angel in the marble and I carved it so I can set him free."

  • "That's the gift you all give us," Biden told the honorees, "is that sixth sense, to imagine something no one else can. To carve, to paint, to write, to dance, to sing, to dream. So you set the vision free, that's what you do."

In Photos:

Biden addresses guests and this year's honorees in the East Room of the White House
Biden addresses guests and this year's honorees in the East Room of the White House. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Bette Middler at the Kennedy Center Honors reception
Actress and singer Bette Midler at the reception for Kennedy Center honorees in the East Room at the White House. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Berry Gordy and Joni Mitchell
Berry Gordy and Joni Mitchell, Kennedy Center honorees, at the White House reception. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Singer Justino Díaz
Singer Justino Díaz at the Kennedy Center honors reception. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Biden greets Lorne Michaels
Biden greets SNL creator Lorne Michaels. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Go deeper