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Last Kiss of Summer

Last Kiss of Summer, a special event in support of Second Chance Employment Services, took place at the Four Seasons on Sept. 23. In 2002 Ludy Green founded the non-profit organization to promote financial security for at-risk women and their children through free and professional comprehensive employment training and placement services. In her remarks, Ludy spoke of “kids who are full of dreams for the future.” She deplored the “stain of domestic violence” and said “God bless America where people to give others a second chance.” Pamela Brown of ABC7/WLA-TV and NewsChannel 8 emceed the program which featured activist and author Katie Hnida as guest speaker. The dinner included a live auction and was followed by dancing [gallery ids="99270,104339,104350,104347,104344" nav="thumbs"]

Shakespeare Gala

The Shakespeare Theatre Company hosted The Harman Center for the Arts Annual Gala on Oct. 3. Helen Lee Henderson accepted the Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts on behalf of the HRH Foundation. The gala performance featured performers interpreting Shakespeare’s Italian plays. René Auberjonois was an amusing master of ceremonies. The all-star program included the Julliard Jazz Artists Diploma Ensemble, leading artists with the ABT and National Ballet of Canada and Frederica Von Stade, who was breathtaking on her farewell tour. Artistic Director Michael Kahn in his introduction of Annette Bening, to whom he presented The William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, said that “a classically trained actor can do anything.” Ms. Bening proved him correct with a moving excerpt as Juliet which brought the audience to its feet. Everyone proceeded to a superb Italian repast and dancing at the National Building Museum, transformed into Venice for the evening. [gallery ids="99269,104338" nav="thumbs"]

Wolf Trap Ball

The Wolf Trap Ball is held on the magnificent stage at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center – one of the largest stages in America. The honorary host, Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer celebrated the culture and grandeur of Canada. Proceeds from the Ball benefit Wolf Trap Foundation’s renowned arts and education programs, including Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, a nationwide and international program that uses the performing arts disciplines of drama, music and movement to help teach literacy and other academic and social skills to disadvantaged children. [gallery ids="99268,104345,104341,104334,104337" nav="thumbs"]

Pro Bono help lets children soar in D.C.

The D.C. Children’s Law Center held its 10th Annual Helping Children Soar benefit at the Kennedy Center, Sept. 21. The rooftop get-together honored CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, M.D., and law firm Covington & Burling for work in raising awareness and improving the lives of underserved children. One good example: When a slow-moving agency or apartment manager gets a letter from a law firm, things happen quickly. A father of three girls, Gupta, who has reported from such disasters as the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan, said he tells patients, “I treat your child as my child.” Gupta recalled a phrase he heard in Sudan: “A miserable place is where a child’s smile is never returned.” We like to think it is never like that here. [gallery ids="99267,104331,104329" nav="thumbs"]

Opera Camerata 2010

On Oct. 8, The Opera Camerata of Washington, now in its 20th anniversary season, presented Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow at the Chancery of the Embassy of Austria. The operetta featured Elisabeth Turchi, José Sacín, Jesús Daniel Hernández, and Jennifer Matthews with dancers from the Ballroom Dance Company of Washington, D.C. Roger Riggle directed the production and Maestro Stephen Czarkowski conducted the orchestra and chorus. Princess Selene Obolensky and Countess Gertrude d’Amecourt were front and center enjoying the performance. [gallery ids="99265,104324" nav="thumbs"]

Thelonious Monk Awards

It was a glorious evening of song at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 4 as the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert paid an all-star tribute to the Great American Songbook. A who’s who of jazz legends was hosted by Thelonious Monk, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Phylicia Rashad and Billy Dee Willliams. Aretha Franklin could not be present to accept the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award but Gladys Knight was a wow replacement. The finalists were world class. French-born Cyrille Aimée placed third, Charenée Wade of Brooklyn second, and winner Cécile McLorin Salvant of Miami garnered a $20,000 scholarship and Concord Music Group recording contract. She held her own with the pros as she sang the opening lines of the Blue Skies finale. [gallery ids="99264,104323" nav="thumbs"]

Honoring Michael Kaiser

The American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation chaired by The Honorable James Symington celebrated Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser for his commitment to the arts of Russia at a benefit gala held at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on Oct. 7. The program included remarks by Ambassador Kislyak, “godfather of détente” Donald Kendall, arts patron Adrienne Arsht and special guest Maestro Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinskiy Theatre in St. Petersburg. The cultural presentation featured ABT Principal Veronika Part as the Dying Swan and an aria from Eugene Onegin performed by Aleksey Bogdanov. Funds raised will be used to prepare the exhibition in Russia entitled The Tsar and the President: Liberator and Emancipator. Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln. [gallery ids="99263,104325,104319,104322" nav="thumbs"]

Spirit of Georgetown

The spirit was alive and well as Niloo and David Howe hosted supporters of the Georgetown Ministry Center at their hidden treasure of a home on October 14 to honor the Reverend Stuart Kenworthy of Christ Church, Georgetown. Georgetown Ministry Center is a non-profit social service organization assisting the homeless. The evening also saluted the 95th birthday of Georgetown doyenne Frida Burling. Lauded as "a man of faith a source of strength, wisdom and peace," Rev. Kenworthy, surrounded by his family, hailed the "connectiveness" of the Goergetown community, "a village in one of greatest cities in the world." Guests delighted in the temptation-filled buffet and libations provided by Serendipity3 and Potomac Wine and Spirits. [gallery ids="99262,104314,104320,104317" nav="thumbs"]

“From Place to Place”

A screening of the film on foster care "From Place to Place," was held at St. John's Church parish hall on September 30. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend introduced the program, hosted by Mary Bird and Felicia Stidham. Townsend said these young adults-who must leave the system after turning 18-"need an advocate for foster care."

DC Jazz Festival Gala

The DC Jazz Festival held its Annual Benefit Gala at the Embassy of Italy to celebrate the Festival and to benefit its education programs. [gallery ids="99260,104315,104309,104312" nav="thumbs"]