Let’s Have a Ball!: 2021 Balls & Galas 

Compiled by Mary Bird & Kate Oczypok  

After a tough 2020, area organizations and non-profits are getting creative holding their annual balls and galas while complying with local mask mandates. We compiled a list of every celebration we could find this fall, paying homage to the phrase “on with the show!”   

September 2021 

After Dark at THEARC: Celebrating our Resilient Community 

 Friday Sept. 10, 7 p.m. – This year’s event will be virtual, celebrating the community’s resilience and Building Bridges Across the River’s impact east of the Anacostia.
 CONTACT: Vania M. Smith, Chair – info@thearcdc.org 


Kennedy Center 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert   

Tuesday Sept. 14, 8 p.m. - The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary will officially kick off on September 14 with a 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, a celebration and re-launch of live, in-person performing arts in America. Echoing “An American Pageant for the Arts,” the 1962 event conducted by Leonard Bernstein, this special evening will be curated and hosted by Michael Tilson Thomas and will bring together the NSO with preeminent artists of our time to recognize the great performance traditions that have enriched our varied cultural heritage and the bright future that lies ahead.

CONTACT: publicrelations@kennedy-center.org 


 Reopening Night Season Celebration 

Monday Sept. 20  – INSeries is holding their reopening night celebration at the Glen Echo Bumper Car Pavilion.

CONTACT: Cara, inseries@inseries.org   


March of Dimes Gourmet Gala: Congressional Chef Cooking Series – In-person reception 

 August 26 (Virtual) - Hosted by Sen. John and Mrs. Bobbi Barrasso 

September 7 - Hosted by Sen. Jim and Mrs. Vicki Risch 

 Sept. 22 – Hosted by Southern Company w/Sens. Kevin & Mrs. Kris Cramer, Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Mr. Verne Martell, Rep. Tom and Mrs. Jacqueline Emmer, Sen. Jim and Mrs. Vicki Risch & Rep. Salud and Mrs. Gina Carbajal September 28 - Hosted by NACDS Foundation, Rep. Billy and Mrs. Barbara Long, Rep. Rick and Mrs. Robin Allen, Rep. Doug and Mrs. Jeannie Lamborn 

CONTACT: Kate Leib, (571) 257-2309, kleib@marchofdimes.org 


NSO Season Opening Gala 

Saturday Sept. 25, 5:30 p.m. Cocktails, 7 p.m. Concert, Gala celebration in the REACH to follow.  

This year’s Gala will shine a spotlight on the superb artistry of the NSO musicians, under the baton of our esteemed and beloved Music Director, Maestro Gianandrea Noseda. Before the concert, Sonata-level sponsors and above can mix and mingle at the pre-concert reception. Following the Gala Concert, we will gather at the REACH for a private party where we’ll celebrate the homecoming of our NSO family and toast to the year ahead. Putting a twist on our traditional gala format, this festive celebration will feature a gourmet spread, cocktails, and music. We can’t wait to welcome you home!

CONTACT: publicrelations@kennedy-center.org 


Wolf Trap 50th Anniversary Gala 

Saturday Sept. 25, 6 p.m. –This high-energy 50th Anniversary Gala kicks off with cocktails and an al fresco dinner on our newly renovated outdoor pavilions.
After dinner, you will be treated to a private, unforgettable concert by The Avett Brothers. The night doesn’t conclude with the performance — after the curtain falls, make your way to the after-party for drinks and dancing under the stars, spread out on the magnificent park grounds.

2021 marks Wolf Trap’s monumental 50th Anniversary of the Filene Center. For the past 50 years, music and community has been at the very heart of Wolf Trap Foundation. Your sponsorship will make this a truly epic occasion while supporting an array of arts, education, and community programs for all ages. Join us as we pay tribute to our past, honor the current landscape, and look to our future.

CONTACT :  events@wolftrap.org 


Starry Night Gala 

Tuesday Sept. 28, 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. –Kate Markert, executive director, and co-chairs Kathryn Vigé Hicks, Mark Lowham and Mary Emerson Slimp put on an affair in support of the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens mission to share the cultural treasure Marjorie Post left to the public.  

CONTACT: gala@hillwoodmuseum.org 


Tudor Place’s Annual Garden Party 

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 5:30 pm – 8:30 p.m. 

Twinkle lights illuminate the garden as you walk about the 5 1/2-acre site for a glittering evening experience 

  • Champagne in the North Garden 
  • Stop at the Photo Booth in the Grape Arbor & memorialize the night 
  • Hors d’oeuvres & Lamb Chops on the South Lawn 
  • Chocolate & Cognac in the Round Tent 

CONTACT:  Call 202-965-0400, or go to https://tudorplace.org/contact/ 


October 2021 

Shakespeare Theatre Company Gala 

Monday Oct. 4 - Live theatre is back! Come downtown to join celebrities, artists, and young people in a joyful evening celebrating D.C. and everything that makes our hometown unique. Co-directed by STC’s Director of Equity and Enrichment LeeAnét Noble and Associate Artistic DIrector Alan Paul.

CONTACT: Colleen Kennedy, ckennedy@shakespearetheatre.org 


 Spirit of Georgetown 2021 

 Wednesday Oct. 6 – Nancy Taylor Bubes hosts the annual “Spirit of Georgetown” to build support for the Georgetown Ministry Center’s mission to find solutions to homelessness. 

 CONTACT: info@gmcgt.org 


Humane Rescue Alliance 34th Annual Bark Ball 

Saturday Oct. 16 –  Your furry friend and you are invited to the annual Bark Ball with the Humane Rescue Alliance. This year, the organization is “dipping their paws” back into in-person, with a virtual/in-person hybrid event (a little something for everyone, if you will!). For those who want to be in-person, head to the Washington Hilton at 6 p.m. for a cocktail and viewing party. For those who wish to stay virtual, 7 p.m. is the watch party.

CONTACTSamantha Miller, Media Relations Manager, smiller@humanerescuealliance.org 


53rd Annual Meridian Ball 

Friday Oct. 22 - Now in its 53rd year, the Ball is known for intimate Ambassador-hosted dinners, in addition to a dinner hosted by Meridian at its White-Meyer House. Following supper, all guests gather for dancing, dessert and dialogue at Meridian House, an architectural treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

CONTACT: Stuart Holliday <stuartholliday@meridian.org 


2021 Fourth Estate Award Gala Honoring Lester Holt 

Saturday Oct. 23 - NBC News’ Lester Holt, whose seasoned career in journalism over four decades and role as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” has earned him the title as most-trusted anchor in America, will receive the National Press Club’s most esteemed prize, the Fourth Estate Award, at a gala in his honor on Oct. 20, 2021 in Washington, D.C.  Holt will be the 49th recipient of the award, which recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field.  

 The 2021 Fourth Estate Award Gala will occur in two parts, with the presentation of the National Press Club’s press freedom and investigative journalism awards during a virtual celebration and an in-person celebration of Lester Holt live at the National Press Club. Here’s the schedule and ticket information:  

  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Virtual ballroom opens for mingling and the presentation of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom awards and the Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for Investigative Journalism 
  • 7:30 p.m.: National Press Club ballroom opens and dinner service begins for in-person guests at the Club 
  • 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Fourth Estate Award presentation and program begins in-person at the National Press Club 
  • 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: After-party at the National Press Club for in-person guests 

CONTACT: Julie Moos, Julie@press.org 


National Italian American Foundation Gala 

Saturday Oct. 23 - For 46 years, the National Italian American Foundation has recognized Italian and Italian American achievements in business, art, science, finance, music and medicine. Join us as NIAF celebrates its 46th Anniversary in Washington, D.C.



10th Annual Recovery for Life Washington, DC Gala 

Wednesday Oct. 27, 6 – 9 p.m. - Honoring Bruce Eanet, In Memoriam, with the Richard J. Caron Excellence Award. Caron Treatment Centers is an internationally recognized not-for-profit dedicated to addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment, research, prevention, and addiction medicine education. For more than 60 years, we have helped thousands of individuals struggling with substance use disorder and their families begin to manage this chronic, treatable disease. 

CONTACT: Katie Gateau 410.271.1917 or katie.gateau@datocwitten.com 


30th (+1!) Anniversary Gala & Chancellor’s Dinner 

Wednesday Oct. 27, 6 – 9:30 p.m. - Mayflower Hotel, 6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception,
7:00 p.m. Dinner and Program, Dessert Reception and Dancing to Follow  

CONTACT: events@iwp.edu 


November 2021 

March of Dimes Heroines of Washington 

Tuesday. Nov. 16, 6 p.m. – Will be holding the 2021 Heroines of Washington Awards Gala in person on November 16, 2021. It is our sincere hope that, by that time, we will all find ourselves healthier, vaccinated and comfortable gathering in person for this special event.  We hope to see you there!  

CONTACT: Bevan Bello bbello@marchofdimes.org 


Inova Honors Dinner  

Friday Nov. 5 - Inova Honors will take place on Friday, November 5, 2021as primarily a virtual event, with in-person opportunities for a limited audience of sponsors and guests.  

CONTACT: For more information about how to participate in this year’s event, including in-person experiences and sponsorship packages, please email specialevents@inova.org.  


2021 SOME Gala 

Saturday Nov. 13 - The National Building Museum, Gala Chair - Katherine Lugar, National Beverage Association. 2021 McKenna Humanitarian Honorees - Bob and Eveline Roberts. Auction Chairs - Patrick Cleary, Alisha White. Sponsorship starts at $5,000. 

CONTACT: Ingrid Feigenbaum, ifeigenbaum@some.org 


71st Annual Tartan Ball

Saturday Nov. 13 – The 71st annual affair will be held at the Willard Hotel this year from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tickets are $250 per person and can be purchased here.

CONTACT: TartanBallDC@gmail.com


Blue Hope Bash

Saturday Nov. 13 – The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is hosting its annual bash on November 13. They are planning on an in-person event of 150 guests with the event being broadcast nationally/virtually as it was in 2020. The Today Show’s Craig Melvin will emcee the studio event as the sixth year emceeing. Melvin lost his brother to the disease last December at 39.

CONTACT: Maurisa Potts, Maurisa@spottedmp.com


December 2021 

USO 39th Annual Awards Dinner 

Tuesday. Dec. 7, 6 p.m. MGM National Harbor Hotel - The USO-Metro Annual Awards Dinner is a patriotic, black-tie affair attended by senior government and military leaders, members of Congress, as well as business and community leaders. All funds generated by this event support the programs of USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. This event is a remarkable celebration of the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces.

CONTACT: Hallie McIntyre, hmcintyre@uso.org 


Choral Arts Society 41st Annual Holiday Concert & Gala  

Monday Dec. 20, 7 p.m., Kennedy Center – His Excellency Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland and Mrs. Greta Mulhall are honorary patrons. Featured artists include conductors Scott Tucker and Brandon Straub, the Youth Choir, Symphonic Chorus and Choral Arts Orchestra.  

CONTACT: joinus@choralarts.org 



*Have a ball or gala not on this list? Let us know by emailing editorial@georgetowner.com.   



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