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Kennedy Center lights up in blue and yellow to show support for Ukraine


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was lit up in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, Thursday night in support of the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

The center plans to keep the Ukrainian colors up indefinitely, a spokesman told The Hill.

“The Kennedy Center is committed to using its platform in a number of ways to demonstrate our solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” the spokesman said.

The Ukrainian flag will be projected onto the outside walls of the center’s Skylight Pavilion until Mar. 15, and Ukraine’s anthem and Ukrainian performers will feature in upcoming performances held in the building.

The Washington National Opera plans to perform Ukraine’s national anthem in solidarity with the nation before its first performance of the season at the Kennedy Center, “Written in Stone.”

The National Symphony Orchestra did the same, performing Ukraine’s anthem before its performance Thursday, and it plans to do so before each concert it plays this weekend.

The Kennedy Center will also host a free show performed by Ukrainian performers on March 12.

A number of other performing arts venues have also expressed support for Ukraine since Russia launched an invasion in the country last week, with some canceling planned appearances by Russian performers.

The Metropolitan Opera in New York said Monday that it would no longer engage with artists or institutions that support Russian President Vladimir Putin or are supported by him.

The Munich Philharmonic announced Tuesday that it had fired its Russian chief conductor Valery Gergiev Tuesday because of his support for Putin.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter had previously asked Gergiev to “clearly and unequivocally distance himself from the brutal war of aggression that Putin is waging against Ukraine and now especially against our twin city of Kyiv.”

A week earlier, Gergiev was ousted from the Vienna Philharmonic’s U.S. tour, beginning in New York’s Carnegie Hall, which he was slated to lead.

Photos posted on social media showed the Kennedy Center lit up in yellow and blue.

—Updated Friday at 11:47 a.m.

Tags Kennedy Center Russia-Ukraine conflict Vladimir Putin
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