Hollywood on the Potomac

Bastille Day!

July 15, 2019

“Dear friends, I’m very happy to see so many of you here and I am delighted to be with you today to celebrate Bastille Day,” said Philippe Etienne, the newly appointed Ambassador of France. “As you know, July 14 is associated with the storming of the Bastille in 1789, but when it was declared a national holiday in 1880, the South Republic chose to officially retain the date of July 14th, 1790, the date of the Fête de la Fédération. However, in reality, we French celebrate these full symbolic dates in our history which we associate with the Republic and with its three core values  – freedom, equality, fraternity.”


Ambassador Etienne went on the remind us of the great friendship between France and the US. “The meeting between our two Presidents with so many veterans in Normandy on this June 6th served as a powerful reminder of the unwavering friendship and I would like here to pay tribute to our soldiers, fighting side by side to protect our people. I also want to say how deeply touched we were in France by the incredible solidarity that was demonstrated following the tragic fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.”

“On my right is a portrait of Lafayette,” he noted, “the most American of Frenchmen who described himself as the son of the United States. During this great American adventure, he became a close friend of George Washington. There are different ways to fight for our values. Here is with us tonight Nadia Murad who won the 2018 Noble Peace Price for her efforts to combat sexual violence in armed conflict. I pay tribute to your efforts. Thanks to your commitment the darkness of the world is fading and giving way to good.”

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Sciutto and Lord

June 25, 2019

“I’ve been huddling with my publishers lately,” Ambassador Winston Lord told a fascinated audience at a book party in his and Jim Sciutto’s honor at the home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter in Washington, DC, “on how to make changes to the title of my book, on how we’re going to increase sales and to try to match Jim’s. We may change the title. Here’s the explanation: Before the book came out, we set up a press conference and one of my friends – I hate to drop names, but it was Tom Brokaw – got the book and the press release which said: ‘Kissinger, Kissinger book coming out.’  But Tom was seeing it on a small iPhone which truncated the title, cut off the last 2 letters. So Tom immediately got 100 copies, thinking he was getting 100 copies of Kissinger on kissing.”

Kissinger on Kissinger by former Ambassador to China Winston Lord is a series of riveting interviews, America’s senior statesman discusses the challenges of directing foreign policy during times of great global tension. As National Security Advisor to Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger transformed America’s approach to diplomacy with China, the USSR, Vietnam, and the Middle East, laying the foundations for geopolitics as we know them today. Nearly fifty years later, escalating tensions between the US, China, and Russia are threatening a swift return to the same diplomatic game of tug-of-war that Kissinger played so masterfully. Kissinger on Kissinger is a series of faithfully transcribed interviews conducted by the elder statesman’s longtime associate, Winston Lord, which captures Kissinger’s thoughts on the specific challenges that he faced during his tenure as NSA, his general advice on leadership and international relations, and stunning portraits of the larger-than-life world leaders of the era. The result is a frank and well-informed overview of US foreign policy in the first half of the 70s—essential reading for anyone hoping to understand tomorrow’s global challenges.

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Olivia Cano Graff

June 24, 2019

“When I was about seven or eight I always drew. My mother is a painter. My father’s a sculptor, so I was always surrounded by art,” contemporary artist Olivia Cano Graff told Hollywood on the Potomac at an exhibition hosted by Oved Sopher and Capri Cafaro at Darlington House in Washington, DC.  “We spent our weekends going on trips to museums, different museums nearby or art galleries. Because that was so much in my life, I didn’t think to do that. I wasn’t like, ‘oh, I want to be an artist,’ it was just like that was my life. So at that time I actually wanted to be a singer and I would write music, but I also would paint.” Born of Spanish parents with a passion for the arts, she was raised with a deep appreciation and love for modern and sophisticated design. “I grew up mostly in Chicago, spending my summers in Madrid and spent the last 4 years in New York.”


Olivia’s work is decidedly “Neo-Pop” or “Post-Pop” infused with “Abstract Expressionism.” Her paintings allow for open-ended lines of query and interpretation. Believing that art has the capacity and in fact also the duty, to feed and elevate the soul, she always makes sure that the energy field produced by her work has the necessary qualities to create a positive and enriching effect. Her work has been exhibited in The Art Institute of Chicago as well as various exhibits in Manhattan, NY.

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