Roger Ideishi Named Cultural Leader by John F. Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center Next 50
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Roger Ideishi with Kennedy Center Award

Dr. Roger Ideishi, JD, OT/L, FAOTA — The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Program Director of Occupational Therapy and Professor in the Department of Health, Human Function & Rehabilitation Sciences, is named one of Kennedy Center's Next 50. Ideishi has spent decades influencing communities and developing programs for people with disabilities; creating new pathways for future generations. His dedication to help shape culture and society — with integrity, creativity, empathy, and artistic excellence — deems him a cultural leader.


This recognition invites Dr. Ideishi to influence the Kennedy Center’s numerous programs, forums, residencies, and events and offers new opportunities for discourse with civic leaders to ensure that the voices of artistic and cultural leaders are lifted and heard.


“I am humbled by this recognition. This recognition is not a culmination of my work but more of a motivation to continue the pursuit for a more just, more equitable, and more inclusive society,” said Ideishi.


Ideishi’s 38 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, paired with his passion for equity and inclusivity, has taken him across state lines and overseas where he positively impacts classrooms, museums, theaters, and more. His work increases access and inclusion for all to participate in everyday life  — with safety and a sense of belonging. By educating decision makers and promoting equitable accessibility, Ideishi ensures people with developmental disabilities and their families are able to experience the arts and live independently.


“The arts provide joy and opportunities that deserve to be experienced by the entire community. With mindful attention to curating a safe physical, social and sensory environment, people can feel a sense of comfort, belonging, pride, and freedom to create meaning and purpose in the experience. There’s really no greater reward,” said Ideishi.


View the full list of Next 50 Leaders here: The Kennedy Center Next 50 (

Roger Ideishi Named The Kennedy Center Next 50

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