Kennedy Center – Set To Get Another $40 MILLION – Has Over Half A BILLION In Assets


The Kennedy Center, under fire for receiving over $40,000,000 in recent Congressional finance packages, has over $661,000,000 in assets and has been paying its executives high seven and six-figure salaries as of 2019.

The outrage at the Kennedy Center’s stimulus gains comes in response to it receiving $40,400,000 to be used for “operations and maintenance” and “repair and restoration” in the second stimulus package and $25,000,000 in the first. This, despite the Center remaining closed.

Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center appears to be in no financial need of stimulus funds, which are ostensibly meant to aid American workers and families struggling from the impacts of COVID-19.

The center’s latest tax filings from 2019 show it retains $661,370,760 in total assets, with just $159,712,775 in the form of liabilities. In the same year, a total of $113,112,179 was doled out to “salaries, other compensation, and employee benefits.”

2019 Form 990.

The center’s primary source of revenue is donations from wealthy benefactors, as $206,224,574 of its total revenue of $326,464,245 were itemized as “contributions and grants.” That’s over 63 percent.

Its second-highest source of revenue, which is most likely to be impacted by COVID-19 is its “programs”, which account for just 33% of its total revenue.

The center’s executives and employees have raked in six-figure salaries, including Executive Director Gary Ginstling profiting $446,307 in reportable compensation and an additional $29,539 in “estimated” compensation and Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning Robert Van Leer making $332,077 in salary and an additional $34,438 in “estimated” compensation.

What’s more, President Deborah Rutter took a salary of $1,255,901 with an additional $34,438 reported in 2019.


Filings from previous years show similar finances and salaries.

In 2018, contributions and grants comprised nearly 46 percent of total revenue, undergirding the center’s $556,989,780 in assets. And in 2017, the center counted over half of its revenue from contributions and grants, and its total assets were valued at $502,844,759.

Similarly high six-figure salaries were reported both years, including a seven-figure salary for the center’s president in 2018.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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