The Project: What's Going on...Now

In May of 1971, Marvin Gaye released What’s Going On. A year later, he performed it at the newly-opened Kennedy Center. 

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this event, the Kennedy Center is leading a national conversation around the issues and ideas on the record. We’re asking young people to think critically about these themes and respond in their own artistic voice.

In May 2012, we’ll bring the conversation home to the Kennedy Center in a concert featuring John Legend, the National Symphony Orchestra, and other special guests—maybe even YOU!

Be a part of this celebration by sharing your perspectives through images, poetry, video, music—wherever you find your creative voice. If your work is chosen to appear on, you could be selected for a trip for two to attend the concert in May at the Kennedy Center.

The Kennedy Center is committed to providing a range of arts experiences to people of all ages, through performances, events and learning opportunities—on site, around the country, and online.


ARTSEDGE is the Kennedy Center’s digital learning production team, advancing the Center’s mission  to provide arts learning through a range of digital projects and resources. Through our Web site, iTunes, public radio and other platforms, our free resources support critical learning in the arts and creativity.

ARTSEDGE works in three key areas: development of arts literacies and practices;  the arts, culture and civic action; and creative workforce skills. For more information, visit our Web site.

ARTSEDGE, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by
David and Alice Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education and the Verizon Foundation.

The Arts + Media Network

What’s Going On…Now is a digital project designed to inspire, engage, and educate youth on the powerful link between the arts and social action. This project brings together some of the brightest voices in youth-centered arts and media across the country. We are thrilled to have the following organizations join us in this initiative:


Special Thanks

We’re grateful to the following people, who gave generously of their time and spirit to bring this project to life:

Steve Hansgen, Brother Mike Hawkins, Sandy Huffaker, Akili Lee, John Legend, Rashid Lynn, Greg Nishimura-Seese, Nichole Pinkard, PhD, Tom Rowland, Sonia Sanchez, Bob Santelli and Kait Stuebner of the Grammy Museum, Brian Summers, Ahmir Thompson, and Harry Weinger.

Additional Thanks

The production team wishes to thank the artists, educators, organizations and others who shared their expertise, assets, energy and stories.

Contact Us

For more about this project, or to share comments or questions, contact us.



The Times

At times, Gaye was overwhelmed about what was happening. Other times, he spotted glimmers of hope. THINK about the times. 



Create & Share

War. Peace. Pollution. Love. Marvin Gaye sang about his "then." It's your turn to tell us: What’s going on…"now" in your world.



View the media

Check out what others are saying about what's going on now. Submit your content and join the conversation.