Announcing 28th AFTA Gala Reception and Lolo Sarnoff Founder's Awardee

Nancy Peery Marriott, 2016 Lolo Sarnoff Founder's Awardee

The 28th Annual AFTA Gala Benefit Reception will be held on Wednesday, October 19, at the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, also known as beloved Anderson House, in historic Dupont Circle (2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008). A V.I.P. reception will take place from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., and the main event from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m., including arts tributes and performances. The evening's highlight is presentation of the 2016 Lolo Sarnoff Founder’s Award to dazzling soprano soloist and generous philanthropist, Nancy Peery Marriott, whose artistic joie de vivre and commitment to making the world a better place are the hallmarks of an extraordinary life—one that has done so much for the arts and for those who are more vulnerable in metropolitan Washington, D.C. as well as across the nation. Previous awardees, recognized for sharing AFTA Founder Lolo Sarnoff's humanitarianism and philanthropy, and dedication to lifelong self-expression and engagement in the arts include United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, USAgainstAlzheimer's founders Trish and George Vradenburg, and author and Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Retired), among others.  Award information can be found here as well as links to a Gala fact sheet, and online admission and sponsorship information.


AFTA Art Exhibition at Alexandria City Hall

Artwork by participants in teaching artist Carol Siegel’s program at Alexandria Adult Day Services Center (AADSC) was exhibited in the Vola Lawson lobby of Alexandria’s City Hall from June 8 to June 29.  A celebration of the exhibition took place in the City Hall lobby on Tuesday, June 21. Special guests included the artists from AADSC and their family members, AADSC staff members, AFTA trustees, and supporters of creative aging and the arts.

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Artist Barbara J. and her daughter pose with Barbara's collage "Architect's Dream".

We were honored to have Alexandria’s mayor Allison Silberberg give opening remarks. Mayor Silberberg underscored the value of the cooperation between AFTA and AADSC in making a difference in the lives of Alexandria residents who are aging. Speaking to the artists in attendance, the Mayor also expressed her gratitude for their contributions to art and the City.

Artist Karla K. with Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg.
Artist Karla K. with Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg.

Artist Karla K. said of the portraiture, “When Carol said we were going to do a study of self-portraits, we all moaned and groaned! I was scared to look that closely at the old person I'd become. But as we drew one after another, it became easier to see the beauty of aging. Art is a powerful expression of who we are, appreciating our lives and our loves.”

Marilynn D. with her self portrait.
Marilynn D. with her self portrait.

AFTA's partnership with AADSC spans almost two decades, and Siegel’s connection with the participants and staff at the center has strengthened into a deep bond. Participants feel comfortable sharing what is in their hearts within the safe space of the expressive arts group.  Says Judith M., “When Carol comes, I am very happy. This is the only place I have the opportunity to enjoy and express myself in art.” The exhibition included a series of self-portraits, and selections from AFTA’s Dream Ship collection, which showed at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery in Washington last winter.


JUNE 10, 2016: AFTA-Party & Video Premiere

Lezley Melveen, Don Wright, Janine Tursini, Vereta Powell, Ryan Wilson
Lezley Melveen, Don Wright, Janine Tursini, Vereta Powell, Ryan Wilson

Under the gracious patronage of His Excellency Peter Kmec, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Washington, friends of AFTA celebrated the culmination of our spring Annual Fund campaign and our spring tennis tournament with an AFTA Party. At the Embassy, we premiered our new AFTA video, enjoyed a Slovakian music performance, heard moving stories from AFTA programs, and were charmed by an originally choreographed presentation of Slovakian folklore by older adults with memory loss who took part in a series of workshops with AFTA teaching artists Nancy Havlik and Candace Wolf. Specially recognized during the program were retired trustee Susie Eisinger for dedicated service, and tennis tournament winners, Suzanne Schwetz and Miran Vucic. Afterwards, guests dined on delicious Slovakian cuisine prepared by the Embassy chef, and mingled with bubbly and good friends. Special thanks to the Embassy’s Cultural Counselor Dagmar Timurova and AFTA National Advisory Council member Rhoda Septilici for making the evening possible. The event’s program can be viewed here, and photographs are available here.


MAY 15, 2016: AFTA Cup Team Tennis Tournament

Trustee Alan Hermesch cheers players on.
Trustee Alan Hermesch cheers players on.

Arts for the Aging hosted a team tennis tournament, the 26th Annual AFTA Cup, at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, in Washington, D.C., capturing for play one of May’s rare sunny days in an uncharacteristically rainy month. Players enjoyed friendly competition and, afterwards, watched exhibition matches featuring the ranks of Richey Reneberg, Danny Waldman and Chi Wan Kim, as well as Junior champions Andrew Fenty and Brandon Perez. An awards presentation followed at a June AFTA-Party at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Washington, detailed above. Proceeds from the tournament support AFTA’s award-winning arts engagement workshops for older adults in the D.C. metro region who need it most. Congratulations to AFTA Cup winners Suzanne Schwetz and Miran Vucic. Special thanks to co-chairs Don Wright and Jim Faruki, as well as key sponsors, ACS/BNY Mellon, Konterra/Gould Property, SunTrust Bank, Kingdon Gould, Jr., Gingles, LLC, Kuni Matsuda, Fidelity Mechanical Services, and RPG Squarefoot Solutions. Event photos can be viewed here.