Terra sworn in as new chair of D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission

Photo by Natalia Janetti
Judith Terra is sworn in as chairman of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Judith Terra is sworn in as chairman of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Judith Terra, an arts and civic activist, was sworn in Wednesday as chair of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The chairmanship is a non-paying post but comes with high recognition in the creative communities. It also carries clout as to the shape and destiny of many innovative and artistic projects in the District.

Terra, a former Georgetown resident, resides in the city’s Crestwood neighborhood.  She was appointed to the chairmanship by Mayor Vincent Gray and confirmed by the City Council.  She was serving as a commission member under appointment from former mayor Adrian Fenty.

“We on the commission will do what we humanly can to help create jobs, educational opportunities, fresh ideas, and a new spirit of enthusiasm for the District’s creative economy,” Terra told The Georgetown Dish.

“As chair, I will be a proud ambassador to the arts, humanities, entertainment, fashion, hospitality and related communities throughout the District’s wards and communities, and to individuals and organizations working at every level.  I seek to serve them all equally and well.

“We also must reach out to others beyond the boundaries of the District as well as reach out to the international communities to determine how we can work together to create opportunities that will benefit everyone,” said Terra.

She succeeds Kalorama resident Anne Ashmore-Hudson as chair.

Gretchen B. Wharton is sworn in as a member of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Gretchen B. Wharton is sworn in as a member of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Ronald R. Collins, director of the D.C. Office of Boards and Commissions, swore Terra into the post. Gretchen B. Wharton also was sworn in as commission member.   Among those attending the ceremonies at City Hall were arts commission members Rhona Wolfe Friedman and Lavinia Wohlfarth.

The commission, primarily supported by the District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, provides grant funds, programs and educational activities that encourage diverse artistic expressions and learning opportunities so that all residents and visitors can experience the culture of the city.

Terra is the widow of Chicago businessman Daniel J. Terra, a major philanthropist and arts lover who served as Ambassador at Large for Cultural Affairs in the Reagan Administration.  Together the Terras founded museums that exhibit American artists.

Terra was one of the first supporters of Gray’s mayoralty campaign bid. She hosted the kickoff fundraiser for him at her home. Terra served on Gray’s Campaign Finance Committee.

Recently, Terra co-chaired several fundraisers, including for Covenant House Washington and for the University of the District of Columbia.

Rhona Wolfe Friedman and Lavina Wohlfarth (from far left), both members of the commission, congratulate Judith Terra and Gretchen Wharton after the oath-taking ceremonies (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Rhona Wolfe Friedman and Lavina Wohlfarth (from far left), both members of the commission, congratulate Judith Terra and Gretchen Wharton after the oath-taking ceremonies

0 Comments For This Article

Peter Rosenstein

Judith Terra is the perfect person to Chair the Commission. Her knowledge of the Arts, her contacts in the diplomatic community, her understanding that the Arts are a billion dollar economic engine for the City will all come into play.

I look forward to seeing her raise the visiblity of the Arts in the District of Columbia.Promoting our City as a mecca for the Arts, including the visual arts, theatre, music, ballet and making DC a welcoming place for artists, musicians and anyone interested in being a part of this vibrant community.

Jan Du Plain

Hallelujah!! Great article on Judith Terra--I second Peter Rosenstein's comments!
Mrs. Terra's appointment as the new Chair of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities is a thrilling announcement for everyone who cares about the arts ! Judith's entire life has been devoted to education and the arts; she will bring her expertise, brilliance, talent and passion to this commission and ensure that our city be recognized everywhere as a "world class cultural city" -- a bright, shining city on the hill!!!

Jan Du Plain

Hallelujah!!! Judith Terra's appointment as the new Chair of the DC commission on the arts and humanities is exciting news to everyone who cares about the arts in Washington! Her passion and lifetime of devotion to arts and education will raise Washington's profile in the arts to an even higher level-- and affirm our status as a world class cultural city for all to admire!!

Anonymous

The District is blessed to have such a lovely, comptent "spokeslady" for the arts.