Kennedy Center Honors, Mark Twain Prize pushed to 2021
© Getty Images

The Kennedy Center Honors and Mark Twain Prize will be postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kennedy Center announced Tuesday.

The Honors, originally scheduled for Dec. 6, will be held on March 7, airing on CBS at a later, to-be-determined date, while the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will be pushed back from fall 2020 to June 20 and later broadcast on PBS, according to a statement from the Kennedy Center. The National Symphony Orchestra Opening Night Gala, which was set for Sept. 26, has been canceled.

“Our lives as we have known them have been upended by COVID-19, but the world continues to spin forward and we need artists now more than ever to help light the way,” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am deeply proud of our staff and artists who have been forging new digital stages for audiences in the nation’s capital and across the country, and I am equally excited by the work being done to safely allow us to experience the arts once again in person as well," she added. "For our patrons with tickets to fall performances, we do ask for your patience and flexibility as we readjust season schedules.”

The Kennedy Center expects to lose $45.7 million in ticket sales and other revenues during the season and is examining other cost-saving opportunities to avoid eliminating staff and artistic positions, it said.

“The plan to present new, modified activity through the end of 2020 will allow the Center to continue to maintain some level of artistic and administrative staff until the anticipated full reopening,” it added.

The performing arts center in Washington, D.C., closed due to the pandemic on March 13 but has continued to stream and post performances on its YouTube page.

Conservatives objected after the Kennedy Center received $25 million in funding from the massive coronavirus relief package passed in March, though President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE defended the aid

"The Kennedy Center, they do a beautiful job, an incredible job," Trump said at the time.