Joe Biden (Photo by Danny Clinch/The New York Times)
Mr. Biden will be with the Kennedy Center on Thursday evening when its board of trustees hands out the award, which is being presented for the first time to seven artists: conductor and composer James Levine, singers Dee Hoty and Denyce Graves, actresses Audra McDonald and Rita Moreno, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, dancer Martha Graham and dance and theatre choreographer Robert Battle.
The Kennedy Center Honors has been present for 48 years and has been hosted for 26 years by Mr. Sondheim himself, who first host the Kennedy Center Honors with Elaine Stritch. He is now behind the camera.
“Receiving an Honor from the Kennedy Center is one of the highest honors an artist can achieve,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s an incredible honor and I’m proud to have played a small role in ensuring the tradition continues in perpetuity.”