Runaway Spoon

To Brazil for the Love of Music

December 11, 2017

“We never had a plan,” chuckled artistic entrepreneur Sabine Lovatelli, who co-founded one of the most successful music and arts theaters as well as teaching institutes/festivals in South America.

Aniko Gaal Schott, Gail Scott, Mary Bird (Photo by: Michelle Beliveau) Aniko Gaal Schott, Gail Scott, Mary Bird

That amusing confession came as Countess Lovatelli was feted Sunday night at the Foxhall home of her friends of 47 years, Aniko Gaal Schott and Nash Schott, where some 75 guests were introduced to the theatrical wonder woman. Those at the reception included Jose Luiz Machado E Costa, Brazilian Ambassador to the OAS; Bill and Lynda Webster, Candy Stroud, Kevin Chaffee, Roland and Diane Flamini, Tandy Dickerson, Alexandria de Borchgrave, Gail Scott, Mary Bird and representatives from the Hungarian and other diplomatic communities.

That haphazard will-o’-the-wisp cultural notion blossomed into an artistic phenomenon.

Lovatelli, German-born and Brazilian by choice, has now been recognized for promoting cultural exchange between Brazil and German, and other nations, too.   Her love of music began while she was very young, in her hometown of Jena, Germany. She has lived in Brazil since 1971.

All are invited to come and visit Săn Paulo from March 3-10 to attend Musica Em Trancoso. Want to go? Information here.

Jose Luiz Machado E Costa & Countess Sabine Lovatelli (Photo by: Michelle Belieau) Jose Luiz Machado E Costa & Countess Sabine Lovatelli
In 1981, she founded the now well-regarded Brazilian Mozarteum, an entity that advances concerts and classical ballets.  It has held more than 607 international and 355 national events, many of which are free to the public.   Renowned orchestras and performers from France, Israel, the United States, Germany and elsewhere have been on stage at the Brazilian venues.

Lovatelli  coordinates with the Baccarelli Institute, which has a music school and a community orchestra in Heliópolis, a poor district in the city of Săo Paulo. The Mozarteum promotes education in this community. There, first-rate artists give lessons to young beginners and music students without cost.

Music of all genres is heard and taught from opera to show tunes to classical to jazz to soul and, as Lovatelli said, next up:  rap. 

Lovatelli and her husband, businessman Carlo, have been honored by the Brazil-Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their efforts to strengthen the economic and cultural ties of the two countries.









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Time Magazine Names Silence Breakers Person of The Year

December 6, 2017

Tarana Burke, founder of (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Tarana Burke, founder of "Me Too" movement

Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too” Movement spoke at Politico’s Women Rule Summit in DC Tuesday, and urged "no tolerance" for abusers.

Time Magazine named The Silence Breakers 2017 Person of the Year on Wednesday.

Said Time:  “The women, and men, who broke their silence to share their stories of victimization gave traction to the #MeToo Campaign, which took off on social media and fueled a worldwide discussion on just how endemic sexual harassment has been.”

In its introduction of Burke, Politico praised her:

“Burke has worked in social justice and Black arts and culture for more than 20 years.  Her long and varied professional career started in Selma, Alabama, where she worked with the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement helping to develop hundreds of youth leaders; at the National Voting Rights Museum as executive director of the Black Belts and Cultural Center.”

In her talk, Burke said there should be “no tolerance” of harassment in any segment of business or society.  She lamented that in so many instances, such as in the Harvey Weinstein mess, so many people did not come forward sooner because they were “invested in power.”

Time said activist Tarana Burke created the “Me Too” movement in 2006 but the hashtag went viral after actress Alyssa Milano shared it in a tweet a few months ago.

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Women Who Might Rule vs Bad Behavior

December 5, 2017

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
With woeful eyes, Congresswoman Jackie Speier peered up at the big Politico banner dominating the stage, “Women Rule Summit,” and shook her head: “No! Women don’t rule!” she lamented.

The California Democrat was among prominent women, including White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who tackled the burning issue of sexual harassment and abuse on the job.

“Every time it happened to me in the workplace,” said Conway, 50, “I always told a friend.” Those men who misbehaved, she said, she treated as “weak and pathetic” from that moment on, adding:  “I don’t feel sorry for myself. You have to be a bigger person.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
What to do about harassment at the workplace was tackled at the Politico summit by a phalanx of  women from Congress, media, government and the corporate world in a “teaching moment” -- or in this case, an all-day moment.  An over-arching theme could have been:  “Speaking truth to power or keeping quiet for the sake of your job.

Speier is one of several congresswomen pushing for tougher rules cracking down on harassment on Capitol Hill. “Congress, we have a problem. We have to fix it,” she said on the same day that John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the longest-serving Member, “retired” amid harassment allegations against him.

In her talk, Conway said, “Donald Trump always surrounds himself with powerful women,” and touted that some of the White House initiatives to help women include access to capital and a proposed new tax code that benefits businesses.

Courtney Liss and Stephanie Flood, co-founder/CEO of (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Courtney Liss and Stephanie Flood, co-founder/CEO of "Pajama Parties with a Purpose"
Twice, Conway was interrupted by a woman in the audience who obviously is no Trump fan.  Conway retaliated: “Anybody can act like a complete jackass if they want to.”

Continuing on the  harassment theme, Conway said what is important is having honest and full conversations about the problem.   

“I’m with you,” she told the audience of  500+ women (and a handful of men) – the majority in their 20s and 30s.  And, she said, it is important to make sure the changes “just don’t end up in a corporate handbook” that’s merely ignored or dismissed.

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao
Among speakers were Heather Podesta; Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao; Michelle DiFebo Freeman, partner in Monumental Sports and Entertainment; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.,

Podesta grimaced as she recalled being put down at a law firm to a client who she had brought in in the first place.  “Isn’t Heather our most beautiful partner,” the male partner gushed. Podesta is one of the most successful lobbyist/rainmakers in DC.

Also attuned to the issue was an audience member from CARE USA.

CARE's Beth Solomon with POLITICO Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) CARE's Beth Solomon with POLITICO Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White
“We see the challenges women face in America, but it’s much worse for women overseas,” noted Beth Solomon, CARE’s managing director for external affairs & development.  “That’s why CARE provides education for girls in Afghanistan, gender-based violence prevention and child marriage prevention programs in 94 countries.”

:Politico's Nahel Toosi, Ben White & Tai Kopan of CNN (Photo by: natalia Janetti) :Politico's Nahel Toosi, Ben White & Tai Kopan of CNN

She noted that to this objective, CARE is sponsoring a reception on Thursday, December 12 at the Afghanistan Embassy in DC, which will introduce a new initiative, Global Leaders Network.

Politico ( is a news operation/ information service that distributes a magazine, operates a website, and sends out well-read internet daily news blast, Politico Playbook.

Women Rule, held Tuesday at the Four Seasons Hotel,  also is supported by Google, the Tony Burch Foundation and Chevron.


Courtney Liss and Stephanie Flood, co-founder/CEO of (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Courtney Liss and Stephanie Flood, co-founder/CEO of "Pajama Parties with a Purpose"

CARE's Beth Solomon with POLITICO Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) CARE's Beth Solomon with POLITICO Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White

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