The gift is a $10 million donation.
Rubenstein is a co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group. He was a long-time member of the Kennedy Center board and became the center’s chairman in May.
He told The Washington Post that he plans to make more donations, but “wanted to have a good gift as my first one.”
The money will support the performing arts complex and the center’s programs.
Half is devoted to the National Symphony Orchestra as a welcome gift for its new music director, Christopher Eschenbach. The money will help Eschenbach build his own programs, tour and record.
Another $2.5 million will go to programming, including a three-week India Festival in March 2011.
The donation will also support the center’s fund-raising events and awards shows, like the Kennedy Center Honors and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Despite the tough economy, the Kennedy Center has managed to bring in $71 million in private funds this year and it expects to have an operating surplus of $5 million to $7 million when the fiscal year ends in October, according to The Post.