Hollywood on the Potomac

Celebrating Ambassador Esther Coopersmith's 90th Birthday

January 20, 2020

“Esther, thank you for being an agent for peace among your friends and also for bringing people together globally whether it’s at the United Nations or UNESCO. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of leaders in the world and {knows} the opportunities for us to make the world a safer place. So on behalf of your many friends, I want to lift a glass to salute the great Esther Coopersmith,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when toasting the 90th birthday of Ambassador Esther Coopersmith at Esther’s elegant home in the tony Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC hosted by Jeffrey, Connie, Jonathan Coopersmith and Janet Pitt.

“I’m actually hosting 40 guests next door for the occasion of the visit of Ireland’s European Commissioner Ben Hogan who is here for trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States. And there you are,” said Daniel Mulhall, The Ambassador of Ireland who virtually live next door. “I recognize in Ambassador Coopersmith someone who believes in the international system. She worked as The Ambassador to The UN back in the 1970s and since that time she has carried the torch for international harmony and understanding. And today, it’s more important than ever  that we recognize that international harmony and the value of working together across the globe to try and resolve our problems through the United Nations to the multilateral agencies that were set up after the Second World War and which Ambassador Coopersmith has spent a lifetime representing. I wish her all the very best for her 90th birthday. And thank you for being such a wonderful neighbor.”

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Jane Fonda Supports IndieCollect

January 14, 2020

We’re going to miss actress and climate change activist Jane Fonda who has been in Washington on the lawn of the US Capitol building since mid-October doing Fire Drill Fridays inspired by Greta Thunberg and the youth climate strike movement.  She was joined by celebrities Sally Field, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, Ted Danson, and Diane Lane – most of whom were either detained or arrested. Her last Fire Drill Friday was January 10th before she returned to LA where she will continue to bring attention to the climate emergency. During her visit, she was also here promoting another cause close to her heart – IndieCollect – honored by New York Film Critics Circle at a Star-Studded Ceremony with Steve Buscemi on January 7 for “essential work preserving American independent film.”

“Back in the heyday of Hollywood the studios did their own restoration and it costs money and it takes up a lot of space because you have to store all these films in temporary rooms,” Jane Fonda told guests at an intimate dinner in her honor at the home of Catherine Wyler and Richard Rymland in Washington, DC. to support IndieCollect.  “As studios cut back, they cut back on the space and they started farming the job of restoration out to other places that looked like a bombed basement. It was filled with cans turned upside down. It was unbelievable when I heard some of the films that were there; some of them were entertainment films, but some of them were documents of American history that we just can’t lose.”

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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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