Kennedy Center re-ups prez

Kaiser returns for another six years

WASHINGTON — Kennedy Center president Michael M. Kaiser received a ringing endorsement from the center’s board this week — a six-year extension of his contract through Dec. 31, 2011.

The extension was announced by Stephen A. Schwarzman, the center’s chairman. “Michael is unquestionably one of the top arts managers in the world,” Schwarzman said, adding he “could not imagine serving as chairman” without his partnership with Kaiser. The honcho’s contract would have expired in January 2006.

Kaiser welcomed the board’s endorsement for what he terms “the best job in the world.” The center is enjoying robust artistic and financial health under Kaiser’s stewardship, with bold initiatives including a planned $650 million expansion of the facility.

During the past four years, donations to the center have increased by almost a third, to more than $47 million last year. Kaiser’s programming initiatives include last season’s festival of plays by Tennessee Williams and a celebration of Stephen Sondheim musicals two years ago.

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