Runaway Spoon

New Film Festival Coming to Georgetown & Clarendon

October 1, 2018

Georgetown’s Halcyon and Arlington’s Clarendon Ballroom will be the venues for a new film festival – Flicks4Change -- that links the entertainment world with charitable activism.

The film festival first started in Los Angeles, expanded to Australia and now comes to the DC area. Other cities also are on the planning board. LA is slated to stage its festival again in December of this year.

Festival Director James Hawthorn (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Festival Director James Hawthorn has teamed with, among others, CARE, the international charitable organization, to show documentaries on philanthropic works around the world as well as highlight challenges to advance the education and well-being of girls and women everywhere. CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

The Flicks4Change schedule:

Thursday Nov. 8, 6:30 pm-10:30 pm, Clarendon Ballroom, 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Saturday Nov. 10, 4 pm-8 pm., Halcyon House, 3400 Prospect Street NW,  Georgetown (D.C.)

There will be light hors d’oeuvres, programs of short films, and live musical performances. Town hall style discussions will be conducted with the filmmakers, special guests such as ambassadors, the audience, and heads of nonprofits.

Festival director James Hawthorn grew up in McLean, Va.   He now resides in Los Angeles, where he and colleagues began Flicks4change.   In his own right, Hawthorn also is involved in commercial film and entertainment projects.

As a youngster, James was introduced to charitable causes. His mother, Barbara Hawthorn, is active in many local philanthropic organizations.

Singer Joe Coleman (Photo by: Joe Coleman) Singer Joe Coleman

“We wish to create meaningful social change though screening socially conscious films, and to connect difference makers with those who want to make a difference,” said James Hawthorn.

“Our captivating films from around the globe span all genre and styles of storytelling with one thing in common: they illuminate a pressing social issue facing mankind today.”

He noted that films and art have a special ability to rise above the fray and affect people deeply.

“By bringing together humanitarian filmmakers, outstanding nonprofit organizations, celebrity activists and a motivated audience, Flicks4Change seeks to be a catalyst for philanthropic grassroots activism.”

One of the performers in Clarendon will be Joe Coleman, former lead singer with the legendary Platters.  Philanthropist Manuela Testolini, founder and president of “In A Perfect World” Foundation, is helping to support the festival.

The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Contact: Flicks4Change Festival director James Hawthorn at, or by phone 571.438.4026. 

The public is welcome and encouraged to participate. For tickets, click here.

Manuela Testolini (left) & Barbara Hawthorn (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Manuela Testolini (left) & Barbara Hawthorn

Two young women participate in Flicks4change (Photo by: Two young women participate in Flicks4change

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Monaco This Year; Mars By 2030

September 9, 2018

Monaco or Mars: Either way, fasten your seatbelts.

The first woman to lead the National Air and Space Museum, Dr. Ellen Stofan, thinks it is not impossible for humans to reach Mars by 2030.  In the meantime, Monaco’s ambassador said, why not visit her principality’s Thanksgiving celebration of the good relationship with the United States and to further explore NASA initiatives.

Embassy authority Linda Harper (L) chats with Claudia Eggspuhler, general manager of Hilton Washington DC National Mall (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Embassy authority Linda Harper (L) chats with Claudia Eggspuhler, general manager of Hilton Washington DC National Mall

“Mark your calendars to travel to Monaco from Nov. 19-25 to celebrate our deep ties with the USA,” said Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle. []

The trip was discussed at The Washington Diplomat’s Insider Series – moderated by the newspaper’s Managing Editor Anna Gawel -- Thursday night at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan.

In November, Monaco is doing various events throught the principality to mark the historial  links between the Monaco and New Orleans.

So what’s the Monaco-New Orleans tie-in? It’s complicated. As is most in The Big Easy.

American-born Alice, Princess of Monaco, was the wife of the current Prince Albert’s great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I.  Princess Alice was born Marie Alice Heine in New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1857.

After separating from her husband, Alice settled in London, where she became the hostess of a glittering salon.  Marcel Proust used her as a model for the Princesse de Luxembourg in his novel, In Search of Time.  Prince Albert recently dedicated a plaque to Alice at New Orleans’ Royal Street where she was born.

Ambassador Doyle is in the news now.  Washingtonian magazine’s September issue has a story about her favorite eating spots in the City and other culinary connections.  “Meiwah is great for Peking duck and the Dabney is another excellent, unpretentious favorite.” 

Anna Gawel, Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle & Dr. Ellen Stofan (Photo by: Natalia Janette) Anna Gawel, Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle & Dr. Ellen Stofan

In her remarks. Doyle said the “Pioneers & Innovation” series in Monaco will celebrate the 60 years of NASA, hosting Commander Robert Gibson and astronauts of the 1986 Columbia space shuttle, among other programs to explore air and space travel and technology.

NASA’s Stofan told the audience of 200+ that it’s a “question of will and money” when humans will reach Mars, but it’s possible by 2030.  Asked when there might be “space tourism,” she replied that the private sector is getting more and more involved in space travel…” but we are not there yet….fasten your seat belts…it will happen.”

Stofan, who viewed her first space launch at age 4 with her dad, was chief scientist at NASA before taking charge of the National Air and Space Museum. She noted that the Museum, built in 1976, will undergo a seven year renovation beginning in November.  When done, it'll include new updated exhibits, projects on space exploration both private and government, as well as other cutting-edge developments, she said. 

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August 8, 2018

The 200 or so guests were abundantly forewarned in the invitation: “Prepare To Get Lei’d!”

No joke. 

Congresswoman Lois Frankel and constituent (Photo by: PBCHRC) Congresswoman Lois Frankel and constituent

As each guest came into the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council’s (PBCHRC) Fantasy Island gala last week, they were bedecked with complimentary Hawaiian-style paper leis. Pictured at top is Steven Licari handing out the leis.

The summer soirée (with a Georgetown connection!) was held at the National Croquet Club in West Palm Beach to show support for human rights communities. The party also was a chance for political hopefuls to hobnob for support, for already elected officials to mingle, and friends to catch up despite the big summer exodus to cooler climes.

Lauren Baer cultivating supporters (Photo by: PBCHRC) Lauren Baer cultivating supporters

Outside, the deck and manicured lawns were decorated with tables shaded by colorful ruffled-top umbrellas.  Inside, the guests lounged on spacious sofas and plush chairs.  Hors d’oeuvres were passed but the food played second fiddle to the main theme of spirited conversation.  Nibbling, chatting and balancing drinks at the same time is a challenge no matter how seasoned partygoers are.

Attorney Rand Hoch, a Georgetown University grad, is president and founder of PBCHRC, which was founded in 1988.  Two of the group’s landmark achievements: In 1990, their advocacy led to Palm Beach County becoming the first public employer in Florida to include in its affirmative action plan a ban on discrimination against hiring. In 1992, PBCHRC persuaded West Palm Beach to become the first public employer in Florida to provide domestic partnership benefits. PBCHRC is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

“This event has become a staple on the summer social calendar, the place where South Floridians committed to equality can kick up their heels and invest in a good cause at the same time,” said Hoch.

Rand Hoch (left) shares a laugh with guest (Photo by: PBCHRC) Rand Hoch (left) shares a laugh with guest

Among the event sponsors were Palm Beach Town Council member Lew Crampton, Ocean Ridge Mayor James Bonfiglio, and West Palm Beach City Commissioner Keith James

The gaggle of politicos included Congresswoman Lois Frankel, with Congressional candidate Lauren Baer; former County Commissioner and West Palm Beach mayoral candidate Priscilla Taylor; political/polling consultant Daryl Glenney (also a Georgetown alum); Michael McAuliffe, who is running for Circuit Court Judge; Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks, with her husband, Britt Deviney; incumbent School Board member Karen Brill; and Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, taking a breather before Florida’s heated August 28 primary.

Karen Brill (left) & Susan Bucher (Photo by: PBCHRC) Karen Brill (left) & Susan Bucher

Priscilla Taylor (left) & Daryl Glenney (Photo by: PBCHRC) Priscilla Taylor (left) & Daryl Glenney

Hawaiian shirts go Palm Beach chic (Photo by: PBCHRC) Hawaiian shirts go Palm Beach chic

Mingling on the patio (Photo by: PBCHRC) Mingling on the patio

Michael McAuliffe & daughter (Photo by: PBCHRC) Michael McAuliffe & daughter

Dorothy Jacks with her husband Britt Deviney (Photo by: PBCHRC) Dorothy Jacks with her husband Britt Deviney

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