WASHINGTON (AP) — Deborah Rutter says there's no reason the nation's capital should be a conservative, risk-averse place for the arts. In fact, she wants to see the Kennedy Center drive more innovation and discussion about the role of the arts in society.

In her first month as the new president of the busy performing arts center, Rutter says she is thinking of how to break down barriers between artists and audiences to foster more interaction. She also wants to make the center accessible to more people.

Rutter says the center should be a place that fosters new art with "calculated risks," such as its revival of the Broadway-bound "Side Show" and its new musical "Little Dancer."

Rutter discussed her new role Friday with editors and reporters at The Associated Press.