I attended the forum celebrating the relationship between the Kennedy White House and American composer Leonard Bernstein. It was very interesting! I had forgotten that plans for the National Cultural Center (which became the Kennedy Center) started under Eisenhower. Also, did you know that Yo-Yo Ma performed for President Kennedy when he was just 7 years old? This performance took place at a fundraiser for the National Cultural Center in '62. In fact, Yo-Yo Ma, age 7, had already met Pablo Casals who introduced him to Kennedy. Also present at the arts fundraising event were: Harry Belafonte, Robert Frost, Marian Anderson, and Leonard Bernstein as emcee. This could be a way to work in Pablo Casals' photograph into the larger arts initiative. For those of you who are interested, I'm posting a few links here about Bernstein. The forum consisted of a talk given by a music professor and a concert. The talk will be posted on our forums page soon.
Leonard Bernstein : Oral History for the Kennedy Library
You'll notice in Bernstein's introduction for Yo-yo Ma, he talks about "foreign artists coming to join "us," a comment that would not sit well with us today. It's definitely a speech of the times, but heartfelt just the same.