Rebecca Sheir, host of WAMU’s Metro Connection, served as the evening’s emcee, welcoming guests and providing historical context for the Making D.C. History Awards honorees, the Washington Blade and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
On November 5, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. presented the 2014 Making D.C. History Awards to the Washington Blade and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. The Blade’s inaugural 1969 issue represented a watershed moment in the history of Washington D.C.’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities that it has continued to serve for 45 years. The largest private, independent, local foundation that focuses exclusively on the D.C. metropolitan area, the Cafritz Foundation has awarded more than $356 million to almost 3,200 local nonprofit organizations since 1989.
Rebecca Sheir, host of WAMU’s Metro Connection, served as the evening’s emcee, welcoming guests; introducing Christine Kharazian, on violin, and Scott Borg, on guitar, of the Friday Morning Music Club, who delivered a special performance of “Histoire Du Tango” by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992); and providing historical context for the recipients of the awards.
The evening began with specialty cocktails and a one-night-only collections preview, including that of a magnificent brocade and velvet dress commissioned by Marian Hooper “Clover” Adams from famed couturier Charles Frederick Worth in 1879. Special guest Sunae Park Evans, senior conservator with the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, demonstrated the intricacies of mounting historical costumes. Guests also explored Washington’s history of bygone businesses; local musical genres; the LGBT political and social scene; and presidential memorabilia through curated displays of objects from the Society’s collections.
Congratulations to the honorees!
HSW Executive Director John Suau and HSW Board Chair Julie Koczela presented the awards to Lynne Brown for the Washington Blade and Calvin Cafritz of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
Honoree Calvin Cafritz provided a wonderful walk through Washington history through his tribute to his parents, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz.
Washington Blade publisher Lynne Brown accepted the award on the paper’s behalf. Emcee Rebecca Scheir noted that “Washingtonians are extraordinarily lucky to have the Washington Blade in its journalistic quiver.”
HSW Executive Director John Suau; Calvin Cafritz, who accepted the 2014 award for the Cafritz Foundation, and Jane Lipton Cafritz; Bonnie Nicholson and Austin Kiplinger, a 2012 honoree; and HSW Board Chair Julie Koczela.
The staff of the Washington Blade gathered for a photo opportunity following the presentation of the award.
The Association of the Oldest Inhabitants president Bill Brown, left, with Nelson Rimensynder, right, and the 2013 award honoree Rohulamin Quander.
Guests included, from left, Richard T. Busch, Sally and Sanders Berk, and D.C. Preservation League Executive Director Rebecca Miller.
HSW trustee Judy Hubbard gathers with several of the evening’s volunteers, who helped guests explore “Window to Washington,” the Society’s permanent exhibit.
Marie Britt and Brian Pitts were among the evening’s guests.
Sunae Park Evans, senior conservator at the National Museum of American History, demonstrated recommended handling techniques for historical costumes, such as this 1879 dress from the Society’s collections. The headless figure in the corner serves as an example of a relatively contemporary dress form that is unsuitable for displaying 19th century dresses.
HSW volunteer Trish Greene was one of several helping hands during the evening’s affair. In addition to helping produce events, the Society’s volunteer and intern corps process, curate and provide research access to the collections.
Curated displays included objects from bygone businesses (including Woodward & Lothrop, Vatore’s caramels, and the Christian Heurich Brewing Co.) as well as an account of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue, and the bullet that killed President Garfield.
The 2014 Making D.C. History Awards were held in the Society’s home at the Carnegie Library building.