Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie are pleased to announce the presentation of the fifth annual Beth Newburger Schwartz Award to Melanne Verveer, with actor and performer Heather Headley headlining the 2020 Arena Stage Annual Gala. The Gala will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at The Anthem (901 Wharf Street, SW).
The evening kicks off with a cocktail reception, followed by the award presentation, a three-course seated dinner and performance. The dinner will feature the presentation of the Beth Newburger Schwartz Award to Melanne Verveer, in recognition of her efforts for women’s rights and her continual support of the arts. She is currently the executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Verveer served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. Previously, she was the chair and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she founded to invest in emerging women leaders. She also served as assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady during the Clinton administration.
“Arena Stage, under the exceptional leadership of Molly Smith, has become a national hub for the best in American theater in our nation’s capital. The theater company has made it possible for the public to access innovative, engaging and transformative productions that not only entertain, but also inspire and even move us to action,” shares Verveer. “It is an honor to receive the Beth Newburger Schwartz Award as Beth has set a high and exemplary standard throughout her life as an entrepreneur and civic leader. We owe her an enormous debt of gratitude for her many contributions to our community.”
The award was first presented to Arena Stage board chair Beth Newburger Schwartz in 2016. Other recipients include Arlene Kogod in 2017, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2018 and Nina Totenberg in 2019. The award celebrates a female leader who strives to better the community in which she lives through her own unique strengths and talents.
“Melanne Verveer is an international champion for girls and women. She is dynamic, she is brave and she is unabashedly driven about creating a better world with women, girls and vital voices,” says Smith. “A collaborative leader, Ambassador Verveer has been successful in changing attitudes and building bridges while promoting the critical role of women in establishing peace internationally. She is a huge proponent of the arts and we are thrilled to honor her with the Beth Newburger Schwartz Award.”
All proceeds will benefit all Arena Stage artistic and educational programs.
The 70th Anniversary Gala is presented by Ourisman Automotive Group and generously sponsored by Diamond Sponsors AT&T and Hoffman & Associates and Platinum Sponsor Exelon.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
6 p.m. Cocktail reception
7 p.m. Award presentation and seated dinner
8:30 p.m. One-night-only performance with Heather Headley
For additional event details, visit: arenastage.org/gala.