Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Michelle Obama made my night at the Shakespeare Theatre last night!

So I had to recap quickly last night before I begin my day. Shannon and I headed over to 1905 for quick drinks and apps. and then headed off to the Shakespeare Theatre for the Welcome to Washington event. I had the honor to sit 5 rows behind First Lady Obama who strolled in before everyone took their seats.

And since Shannon and I just happen to take our seats early, we saw her make her grand entrance with about six dashing Secret Service men.
I've never been one to star gaze, but I must admit I was floored. She looked amazing and wore an all black ensemble and looked so peaceful and reserved. A true First Lady. As the audience piled into the theatre very few knew who was sitting just seats from them. It wasn't until they announced she was in the room that people began to look around and see where she was seated. At the very end of the performances she made a silent exit, yet the crowed ROARED as they saw her stand and the secret service escort her out.

The show included performances by Arena Stage, Signature Theater, Synetic Theater, the Washington Ballet, the Washington National Opera, Step Afrika! and the Washington Performing Arts Society. The best two acts were the opening and closing which included a gospel ensemble and a gospel youth choir with 60 amazing voices. I also really enjoyed the Washington Ballet and Step Afrika! who took it back with a true step performance.

I attended the event in my roll on the Board of Directors for the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, a position I've held for the past two years. The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative ensures that underserved DC public school students benefit from the region’s rich array of arts amenities. We provide free transportation and free tickets to storytelling presentations, music, dance, and theater experiences; plus trips to The Kennedy Center and museums.

In addition the Collaborative provides art and music teachers with professional development sessions and study materials, adding further incentive to integrate the arts into their daily lessons. In the 2008 school year, more than 32,000 students and teachers visited cultural institutions through our program.
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"The Arts in DC are back" hailed the spokesman who was there for the White House last night. And yes they are! And did you know that DC is the second ranking performing arts city, right after New York. And more than 2 million people each year attend arts related events in the District, more than all of the sports team's attendance combined! The Redskins got nothing on us!

Nevertheless, I digress and leave you with this. The arts enhance our lives everyday, whether you realize it or not. The music, architecture, dance and design that surrounds us here in DC is second to none, not even New York. So enjoy our city and all that the arts have to offer! Prost. Jade

Picture above are First Lady Obama sitting next to who I believe is her White House Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers, but I could be wrong. Also pictured are Shannon and I and the performer gathering on stage at the end of the night and waving to First Lady Obama as she made her exit. Amazing night!

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