The Kennedy Center brings back for the fourth consecutive year a National Children's Arts Festival, "Imagination Celebration."

The two-week program, which is free for all public performances, opens Sunday, April 6, and will make use of stages in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, Musical Theater Lab and Grand Foyer.

Jack Kukuk, director of education for the Kennedy Center, said yesterday that the festival "tries to cover all age groups, as well as cover the entire spectrum of the arts."

"Imagination Celebration" includes two plays: "Maggie Magalita" by Wendy Kesselman, and "The Analysis of Mineral No. 4" by Moses Goldberg, the latter performed by the Louisville Children's Theater; Arthur Mitchell's Dance Theater of Harlem and the Matteo EthnoAmerican Dance Theater, both based in New York City, represent the world of dance; the six-member Paul Winter Consort combines instruments and voices from multiple cultures for a young people's concert; clowns and mimes are the stars of The Living Poem's "The Clown Meeting" and The Everyman Players' "Ah! Baa! The Many Masks of Mime" with Ronlin Foreman, and Alexandria's The Kids on the Block entertain the kindergarten-thru-6 bracket with their puppetry, which is presented with the cooperation of the National Committee, Arts for the Handicapped.

This year's program is far more extensive than the first one held for only one week in 1977. In addition to Washington, this year three other programs will be held in Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle. Education Director Kukok said that four years ago they didn't even call the festival the "first annual," because "we didn't know it would last."

Free tickets will be distributed in the Kennedy Center's Hall of States on March 29 and 30 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.