The Carlyle Group managing director and co-founder David Rubenstein reflected on the differences between arts fundraising in Washington and New York.
“It’s easier because there is a bigger base in New York,” he said referring to his efforts for Lincoln Center, but proudly pointed out the $2.4 million he helped bring in last night for the Kennedy Center’s 20th annual gala.
Rubenstein introduced the gala’s honoree, songwriter and producer David Foster, who performed a montage of his favorite hits with artist friends such as Jewel, Chaka Khan and Chris Botti.
Foster, who sprinted down the aisles like a talk-show host, called his performance “Kennedy Idol,” because he put audience members, such as the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Chairman Calvin Cafritz, on the spot by asking them to show off their vocal talents, or lack thereof.
Before dinner, Dan Glickman, a former secretary of agriculture, Ronald Dozoretz, the chairman of Genomind, joked with the much younger White House chef Sam Kass about the generational divide between their tastes in music.
“This is the over-40 crowd,” Glickman reminded Kass, adding that 17th- and 18th-century classical tunes were more his speed.
At the gala’s after-party, Botti enjoyed a lively discussion with Lisa Barclay, the chief of staff at the Food and Drug Administration, about the presidential election.
Friday night’s Phillips Collection annual gala had Lockheed Martin Chief Operating Officer Christopher Kubasik, who is scheduled to take over as CEO in January, reflecting on art.
Kubasik said he tries to visit local art museums during his frequent travels. He marveled at the price of one of Edvard Munch’s versions of “The Scream,” which set a record for a work at auction when it sold at Sotheby’s in New York last week for $120 million.
The gala provided “another chance for my wife to buy a new dress,” joked Bruce Tanner, the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Lockheed Martin, a longtime supporter of the Phillips.
Before dinner in the galleries, where flowers and tablecloths were selected to match the paintings like the collection’s most famous asset, Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” Tanner and Kubasik enjoyed al fresco cocktails with Northern Trust Corp. executives Michael Orfini and Joanne Stringer, who talked to General Michael Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Swiss Ambassador Manuel Sager, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Congressman Jim Moran, the Virginia Democrat, were also among the nearly 500 guests who helped the Phillips bring in more than $500,000.
After dinner, guests trotted across the street to the Anderson House for a Havana-inspired party where pina colada ice cream, Cuban cigars and salsa dancing mixed well with the tropical climes and full moon.
The full moon also shone on Saturday night’s Ball on the Mall where 1,000 supporters of the L’Enfant Society, the organization dedicated to improving and preserving “America’s front yard“ -- the National Mall -- came together under a white tent pitched between the Capitol and the Washington Monument for dinner and dancing.
The ball, which was sponsored by corporations including Verizon and Time Warner, raised $600,000.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Today’s Muse highlights include John Mariani on wine and Craig Seligman on books.