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Dick DeVos, the Kennedy Center and commitment to American Values

The Kennedy Center founded in 1971 is a cultural and performing arts center that hosts music, dance and theater performances and is supported by charitable contributions. The Kennedy Center is located in Washington D.C. President John F. Kennedy was an advocate of the arts and supported the opening of the center. Kennedy wouldn’t live to see the resurrection of the center, but its contributions to American culture over the years stand as a testament to the legacy of Kennedy’s many great ideas and deeds. The Kennedy Center began a fundraising campaign in 2013 with a goal of $125 million to fund an expansion project. Included within the expansion project is a river front pavilion, a bride connecting the pavilion to the center, and additions to the center itself including: three new pavilions, educational and rehearsal spaces, offices and dining space. The Kennedy Center reached well past its fundraising goal with a total of $135.9million in contributions. Among the contributors is Dick DeVos, husband of the newly appointed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and president of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation. Education and the Arts are among the primary focuses of the foundation. The DeVos are also interested in conservation efforts. For example, their foundation has contributed to a scientific study aimed at identifying the pollution sources of Lake Macatawa in Michigan. Dick Devos is also the author of a 1988 book titled “Rediscovering American Values”. Within the book he captures the stories of people throughout American society and through them reaffirms the belief that by working hard and taking personal responsibility one can overcome obstacles and achieve success.

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