George Stevens made the Kennedy Center Honors
The two men, along with Stevens’s son Michael, were standing backstage last December just before the second half of the Kennedy Center Honors program. In years past, Rubenstein gave brief remarks and, as producers of the show, George and Michael took a silent bow. But this night was different, Stevens said: “I’d just like coque iphone xs caseology to thank everyone for the last 37 years.”
Despite their private differences, Rubenstein was determined to give Stevens, then 82, a dignified public send off. “Of course,” he said. “You’re going to need a microphone.” That’s when he noticed a mike already affixed to Stevens’s left lapel.
Seconds later, Rubenstein went onstage and launched into an effusive introduction. “The show tonight is an example of extraordinary talent that George and Michael have brought to this,” he told the audience. “I just want to thank them for creating a crown jewel coque iphone xr arrow for the Kennedy Center.” Father and son walked out to a standing ovation. Then George Stevens explained how he had come up with the idea for the Honors, coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d15150 calvin and hobbes samsung galaxy s7 case praised the artists who received them, and thanked his son.
What happened next was the topic of fevered gossip for weeks afterward. “A little while back,” Stevens continued, “David Rubenstein came to talk with us. He advised us that he felt that the Honors was in need of a fresh concept, and it was time to look for new producers and we respect that and that this would coque weed iphone 11 823iphone114471 be our last Honors.”
A spotlight stayed locked on Rubenstein, who found out later that Stevens’s speech had coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge b25208 lebron james b0215 samsung galaxy a6 2018 case been written in advance and placed in the teleprompter. The farewell ended with another standing ovation and dropped jaws.
Those in the audience who had coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d14484 bucky barnes winter soldier samsung galaxy note 8 case no inkling of the departure were stunned. Those privy to the exhaustive behind the scenes negotiations were astonished that Stevens, who had clashed with coque iphone xr caoutchouc Kennedy Center officials for years, had singled out the billionaire chairman as the person behind his ouster.
[George Stevens Jr. announces the 37th Kennedy Honors was his last]
Even Stevens’s close friends were baffled by his speech. Some say he was angry and lashed out. Others think his son goaded him into it.
Most, however, think that Stevens genuinely believed that his long string of A list admirers would rally to his defense and force the Kennedy Center to take him back. Instead, the speech killed any betty boop art iphone 5 5s coque cover goodwill he had left in this town.
A year later, coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d33148 marcelo burlon dogo samsung galaxy s6 edge plus case Stevens is still confused by the uproar and thinks he was very gracious to Rubenstein. But he’s not interested in discussing the speech or the reactions to it.
“Yes, I wanted to continue producing the Kennedy Center Honors,” he said. “David Rubenstein felt it was time to look for other producers. That’s his decision. We live with it. Nobody’s unhappy. It is what it is.”
If only that were true. The truth is that in the end, George Stevens Jr. lost almost everything that mattered to him.
The 2014 Honors group portrait: Top row from left, Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein, coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d15816 castiel angel of the lord samsung galaxy s6 case Tom Hanks, Sting, Al Green, Michael Stevens and George Stevens Jr. Bottom row from left, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Patricia McBride, Lily Tomlin and Teresa Heinz coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d33814 mass effect femshep samsung galaxy s8 plus case Kerry. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)
The czar of the Honors
Washington is obsessed with power, and Stevens was as obsessed as anyone, friends said. He created a power base with the Honors, expanded that power and refused to give up even a fraction of it for the 37 years that he produced the show. He charmed, he bullied, he maneuvered and coque iphone 11 motif mandala 823iphone112927 he survived. It was a remarkable run in a city full coque custodia cover fundas hoesjes j3 j5 j6 s20 s10 s9 s8 s7 s6 s5 plus edge d32482 logic rattpack rapper samsung galaxy s8 case of deeply ambitious people.
The Honors weekend has been very, very good for the Kennedy Center: What started as an awards show has grown into a huge fundraiser, complete with a two hour broadcast on CBS and an audience that includes the president and first lady, politicians, corporate leaders and many coque wiko huawei of the world’s biggest stars.
“I can’t underscore how important the Honors is to the Kennedy Center,” said Deborah Rutter, the center’s president. “It’s a very big night. It’s a way that a lot of the world knows us, first and foremost.”
Everybody credits Stevens with giving birth to the franchise. The only child of Academy Award winning film director George Stevens, George Jr. had a brief career in Hollywood before coming to Washington to work for Edward R. Information Agency. In 1967, Stevens founded the American Film Institute, which moved into the Kennedy Center in 1971. After an AFI tribute in 1977, he told then collage dan and phil iphone 5 5s se coque cover Kennedy Center Chairman Roger Stevens (no relation) that the center should recognize great American artists.
And that, essentially, was that. With a handshake and a deal with CBS, Stevens produced the coque iphone xr boss first Honors in 1978. In the early years, the show had a hard time selling tickets. But Stevens, who effectively handpicked the honorees, artfully fused his connections on both coasts and grew it into the center’s signature event.
The Honors now represent a critical portion of the center’s annual fundraising, with a minimum donation (currently $10,000) just for the opportunity to purchase tickets. In 2014, the center made $6.5million from Honors ticket sales and sponsorships, spokeswoman Eileen Andrews said. The evening also brings in an estimated $12million to $15million in related donations, former staff members said, although Andrews is quick to say it’s impossible to know precisely what motivates supporters.
The Honors have also been very, very good for Stevens. Officially, CBS pays the Kennedy Center a licensing fee to deliver a finished product; in 2014, the figure was rob gronkowski new england patriots iphone 5 5s se coque cover just shy of $6million. The center, in turn, gave the money to Stevens’s production company. After expenses, Stevens earned millions from the show over the years.
The Honors also gave him enormous leverage in the cosseted world of Washington’s elite, where he bestowed favors tickets, invitations, introductions to his Hollywood pals coque anime iphone xr like alms. Stevens and his wife, Liz, controlled not only seating for the Honors show itself but also guest lists for the State Department dinner Saturday volbeat heavy metal new logo iphone 5 5s se coque cover night (where the Honors are awarded), the White House reception and post performance dinner. A few years ago, said a former staff member, center officials sent him to observe preparations for the State Department dinner. “I wish you would just leave,” an exasperated Liz Stevens told him as she arranged place cards.
The Stevenses moved in a tight circle of Washington power brokers and Hollywood blue bloods, ignoring those they considered nouveau riche. Their annual brunch, held on the afternoon coque protectrice iphone 11 823iphone112233 of the Honors show, was strictly invitation only, a social Maginot Line that separated the arrived from the arrivistes. That, friends said, would come back to haunt Stevens, who forgot that the snubbed never forget. And he miscalculated the bottom line of fundraising: To the institution, the age of the money doesn’t coque iphone xs max protection integral matter, just the amount…