The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced winners of its 16th-annual awards. They are: Johnny Carson; Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem; Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist; singer Marion Williams; and conductor Georg Solti.
The honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through work in television, dance, music, theater, opera, and motion pictures. The primary criterion in the honors selection process is excellence in a particular field, but the awards are not designated by art form or category. This year, the Kennedy Center Honors will be given out on Dec. 4 at the board of trustees dinner at the State Department. President and Mrs. Clinton will receive the honorees on Dec. 5, prior to the Honors Gala performance, which will be recorded for later broadcast.