Hollywood on the Potomac

Barbara Bush Foundation Celebrates The Pearl Literacy Awards

January 12, 2020

“We share Mrs. Bush’s belief that: ‘The home is the child’s first school’ and ‘the parent is the child’s first teacher,’ and these organizations exemplify the critical and complementary role of communities in stewarding a lifelong dedication for learning and growing,” said Barbara Bush Foundation President and CEO British A. Robinson at The Pearl Literacy Awards Ceremony at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. “We are honored to recognize them today and look forward to watching them continue to change lives through literacy for many years to come.”


The Foundation’s marquee event, the National Celebration of Reading, featured a lineup of best-selling and award-winning guest authors, including Jon Meacham, Jean Case, Jesse J. Holland, Eric Motley, Susan Orlean and Delia Owens—with other very special guests. The Foundation’s Celebration of Reading events, held throughout the nation, have historically served to raise awareness of our country’s adult literacy crisis, raise funds in support of the Foundation’s work and celebrate the life-changing power of literacy. Ms. Wallis Annenberg served as Presenting Underwriter of this year’s special National Celebration of Reading, which commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Foundation while continuing those traditions of past events.

“I am so honored to be part of the Barbara Bush Foundation family,” awardee Jesse Holland told Hollywood on the Potomac. “My family has been educators in the deep South going back at least three or four generations. My mother was my seventh grade [teacher], so I really believe in literacy. I come from a family that preaches literacy. So these types of events I am always honored to be asked to be part of because if you can’t read, it’s overwhelming.” “When you read the statistics about how many people are illiterate, how does that happen,” we asked.  “If you have mandate mandatory education, just because you’re required to be a school doesn’t mean you’re required to learn. Teachers try their best. Learning isn’t just something that happens.  It really does take a village and sometimes teachers are working alone and trying to get literacy to where it should be. As long as we keep trying, we’ll get there.”  Holland is the author of: The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery Inside The White House.

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Una Noche Linda

January 6, 2020

“I remember the last show I did. Literally, my entire career flashed in front of my eyes. I remembered every show I’d ever done,” singer Linda Ronstadt told Anderson Cooper during an interview on CNN which aired on New Year’s Day regarding her last show and diagnosis for a rare condition called progressive supranuclear palsy, which is similar to Parkinson’s disease and has no known cure.  In response to his question as to how she deals with it, she answered: “Acceptance.”


Ronstadt received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors Award in December, an annual honor given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. The honors have been presented annually since 1978, culminating each December in a star-studded gala celebrating the honorees in the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C

Prior to the Gala evening, Ronstadt was hosted at a private dinner at the DC home of Ginny Grisham and Paul Zevnik sponsored by The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts with Entrevision.

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Washington Diplomat-Qorvis Celebrate

December 22, 2019

“Thank you Ambassador. I go to a lot of embassies,” said Victor Shiblie, Publisher of The Washington Diplomat. “In Japan they bow to you; in the Middle East they give you a kiss on both cheeks; Ambassador Santos is not afraid to give you a hug. We appreciate that. Ambassador Santos and Ms. Maria, thank you for hosting The Washington Diplomat 25th anniversary party. We really appreciate it. Some of you may not know, Ambassador Santos is not only a politician but he’s also a journalist and strong advocate for free press and that passion led him to be actually kidnapped my Pablo Escobar for eight months. So you’re really a hero to journalism and I want to applaud you, so thank you.”

“So how do you wrap up 25 years in 90 seconds? I know everybody want’s to eat, and drink, and dance. We started publishing in October, 1994 while Bill Clinton was president and the ensued Washington impeachment trial. We covered development of the newly developed Soviet Satellite States. We watched the evolution of the European Union. We wrote about the negotiations of free trade agreements world-wide. We covered the continued rise of China as a superpower. Sadly too many wars: Balkan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Syria, Yemen. And of course Columbia’s hard fought war against drug cartels; FARC rebels just to name a few. We dealt with the tragedy of 9/11; saw how president W. Bush and subsequent administrations have dealt with foreign terror; we’ve covered the elections of America’s first black president, Barack Obama. And perhaps the most intriguing president making history Donald Trump, who we can all agree has at least has kept us on our toes. And we absolutely have come full circle back to the impeachment trials. This has been an amazing journey. We’re proud that you’re still producing unbiased journalism, which is unique. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a party. Merry Christmas, I think Feliz Navidad is more appropriate. Happy New Year’s, so please enjoy, thank you.”

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