December ArtsWatch

The December ArtsWatch includes Theater J awards, new Olney Theatre hires, a big donation to a Smithsonian Museum in development and finally, our last Cultural Leadership Breakfast of 2022—you won’t want to miss it! 

Theater J Honors Playwrights with Trish Vradenburg New Jewish Play Prize, Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize 

Itamar Moses was recently celebrated at Theater J.

Itamar Moses was awarded the 2022 Theater J Trish Vradenburg New Jewish Play Prize for his play “The Ally.” The play examines when Middle East politics are university politics. This year marked the third year Theater J awarded the prize, which was made to recognize a new play that “explores, celebrates and/or struggles with the complexities and nuances of the Jewish experience.” The prize awards $15,000 to an established playwright in honor of a new Jewish play, and is dedicated to the memory of Trish Vradenburg. Vradenburg was a playwright, philanthropist, and Alzheimer’s research advocate.  

Playwright Alicia Louzoun Heisler was recently lauded at Theater J.


Alicia Louzoun-Heisler won the 2022 Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize for her play “Bashert,” a love story that celebrates queerness and Judaism. The Patty Abramson Jewish Play Prize awards $3,000 and a stage reading to a promising, emerging female playwright. The award is given to a play for the same reasons as the Vradenburg Prize. 

Olney Theatre Announces New Hires 

Olney Theatre Center has hired Hallie Gordon to be its senior associate artistic director and T. Pope Jackson to be director of production. Gordon hails from Kansas City Repertory Theatre (where she served as director of artistic development). Jackson comes from The Shed, an arts center in New York City. Jackson worked as production manager since 2018 and in 2019, helped oversee the opening of the high-profile venue. 

National Museum of the American Latino Gets $1 Million 

The future National Museum of the American Indian recently received $1 million.

The upcoming Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino recently received a $1 million gift from the McDonald’s Corp. The donation makes the food giant one of the museum’s founding donors. Museum Director Jorge Zamanillo said in a press release: “McDonald’s  support will enable us to share the Latino experience with audiences and visitors of all ages.”  

Our Next Cultural Leadership Breakfast: Choral Arts Society’s Artistic Director 

Don’t miss The Georgetowner’s next Cultural Leadership Breakfast with Artistic Director of the Choral Arts Society Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan. The breakfast will be December 15 at 8 a.m. at The Tabard Inn. This year marks Dr. Saplan’s first season with Choral Arts, which includes three ensembles: a youth choir, chamber singers and symphonic chorus 






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