The sixth Kennedy Center Open House Arts Festival, an annual event featuring local performing artists, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Kennedy Center.

The free celebration, held inside and outside the Kennedy Center, will showcase 50 actors, musicians and dancers from the Washington area performing theater, music, and dance as well as events for children and hands-on activities.

The celebration, sponsored by the Friends of the Kennedy Center and aimed at families, is also designed to introduce the center to a broader community and educate people about its performance offerings.

Laura Longley, Kennedy Center director of public affairs, said it is an effort by the center to strengthen the bond between Washington area residents and performers.

Last year, organizers said the event drew an estimated 50,000 people, and they expect even more this year.

Acts will include: "City At Peace," a project involving area youths from multi-cultural backgrounds performing an original play on issues affecting young people today, and "Skits O' Phrenic," a comedy and improvisation troupe satirizing unusual situations and funny characters.

There will also be a workshop to let children try their hands at playing a musical instrument.

The Essentials, an original pop-rock group; Little Red and the Renegades, performing cajun-zydeco music; and Peligro, a 12-member salsa and Latin American dance band are among the musical acts scheduled to perform.

Members of the National Symphony Orchestra, American Film Institute, Very Special Arts and the Washington Opera will offer film screenings, classical musical selections and theater performances in selected theaters and concert halls.

Football fans can go to the Opera House to view the Washington Redskins vs. the Dallas Cowboys football game on a big-screen television.

For information or a full schedule of events, call 467-4600.