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HomeCelebSalons 2021


CelebSalons are usually held as fundraisers as intimate, stimulating dinners and conversation in Villagers’ private homes. We invite Celebs from the media, politics, musicians, health, restaurants, culture, civil rights and public affairs - and some that don’t fit easily into any category.

For 2021, we continue to offer one-hour Virtual Salons. We are adding them as we book them, so keep coming back. You must pre-register, so Click on the Celeb's name for more information and to register for a ticket. 

NOTE: This year, as we offer our Salons online, we are not charging a fee, but you if you wish, you can always make a donation. 
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John Kelly

Washington Post

Wednesday, January, 13

6:00-7:00 pm

Who better to write about Washington than a witty native Washingtonian who’s seen it all? Kelly’s Washington Post columns give devoted readers a daily dose of perspective. Plus he plays the drums in a rock ‘n roll band!

Afro Blue

Howard University

Wednesday, January 27, 6:00-7:00 pm

Afro Blue was formed by Connaitre Miller in the spring of 2002. Now in their 18th year of existence, Afro Blue, the dynamic vocal jazz ensemble from Howard University, has performed to wide critical acclaim. Singing music similar to the styles of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, while adding their own unique sound, Afro Blue continues to maintain a standard of excellence from year to year Their repertoire is an eclectic mix of musical styles from traditional and contemporary jazz favorites to modern jazz and R & B influenced original songs.

Theater in Southeast DC

Wednesday, February 17, 6:00-7:00 pm

The topic will be the history and changes of Theater Alliance in its moves from Capitol Hill to H Street and finally to Anacostia with its Founder and Executive Director Adele Robey and its current Managing Artistic Director Raymond Caldwell.

Bandy X Lee

Forensic psychiatrist

Wednesday, March 3, 6:00-7:00 pm

Bandy Xenobia Lee is a forensic psychiatrist with Yale University, and a specialist in violence prevention. In 2017, Dr. Lee attracted attention for organizing a conference at Yale on professional ethics surrounding the mental health of Donald Trump and the dangers—for our country—of his mental instability.

From Page to Stage

Wednesday, March 17, 6:00-7:00 pm

From Page to Stage: Celeb Salon with

Theater Artists Adam Immerwahr and Jojo Ruf

How does a play – the script, actors, sets, and all the other theatrical elements -- get to the stage? What’s involved? Who’s involved? Whether it’s Broadway or community theater, the answers are almost as dramatic and, sometimes, as comic as the plays themselves. Join Theater J’s Artistic Director, Adam Immerwahr, and Managing Director, Jojo Ruf, for a behind-the-scenes-look at how theater is made that will deepen your understanding and sense of wonder when you return to live performances.

Future Jazz Vocal Stars...and More!

Wednesday, March 24, 6:00-7:00 pm

Students in the Music Department at Howard University will perform a special virtual tribute concert in a mix of musical genres. The program will include a classical vocal rendition and a video of jazz vocalist who accompanies himself on piano. Professor Connaitre Miller, who directs the program says to expect a musical Smorgasbord. She will be the guest host along with Professor Kehembe Eichelberger.

Saul Lilienstein

Musician, Director, Professor

Wednesday, April 7, 6:00-7:00 pm

A musical Renaissance man, Saul Lilienstein has had a storied career as a musician, music historian, opera and choral director, conductor, professor, and writer about music. For the past several years, he has transformed his deep knowledge and broad experience into a series of phenomenally popular courses, ranging from opera to jazz, Bach to the Beatles, at the Smithsonian Institution, the Levine School of Music, and many other educational settings. His commentaries for symphonic concerts at the Kennedy Center and for The Washington National Opera (WNO) are legendary, and his highly acclaimed set of 85 CDs for WNO analyzing the opera repertoire remains the most extensive series of its kind in the English language. A former student of Leonard Bernstein, Lilienstein holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in music from Queens College, NY.

Marvin Kalb

Senior Fellow,

Brookings' foreign policy program

Wednesday, April 21, 6:00-7:00 pm

Kalb is a legendary figure among serious reporters of the last half century. He grew up in New York of Eastern European parents and his goal was to cover the Soviet Union. By the time he got out of Harvard, he spoke good Russian and, at 27, went to Moscow as a translator for the U.S. Embassy. Within a year he was hired away by the famed newsman Edward R. Murrow for CBS News – the last of the “Murrow Boy” hires. And what a time to be in the Soviet Union: the U.S. U2 spy plane had just crashed over Russia. Kalb had many face-to-face encounters with Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders. Decades later, he switched to NBC and was a stalwart on “Meet the Press.” Today, he is a senior fellow at Brookings’ foreign policy program, an expert on national security focused on Russia, Europe and the Middle East.

The Mess in Myanmar

Wednesday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 pm

Burma/Myanmar has received a lot of news coverage recently because of the military coup on February 1 that stopped the government elected last November from taking office. Popular protests against the coup have been massive, exceeding in scope and intensity the uprising in 1988, from which Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as the country's preeminent pro-democracy leader, and the monk-led "Saffron Revolt" in 2007.

Lex Rieffel will speak about the main political, social, and cultural context for this country, which has been in a state of civil war since independence in 1948. He will be joined by Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun (PhD in organic chemistry from Yale University) who arrived in the USA at the beginning of May after fleeing from Myanmar to avoid imminent arrest. Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun has been working to establish Myanmar's first private nonprofit liberal arts college and will offer a first-hand perspective on the struggle between the military and the young men and women who are leading the movement to end military rule in Myanmar.

George Crabtree

Expert on Electric Vehicle Transformation

Wednesday, May 19

6:00-7:00 pm

President Biden is pushing for electric vehicles as part of his climate change agenda. But how realistic is a transformation to electric cars, trucks and airplanes? If it is feasible, how long will a transition from gas to electric take and how much will it cost? George Crabtree—from the Argonne National Laboratory—is an expert on the coming electric vehicle transformation and is in a position to answer a lot of our questions. As a professor of physics and Director of Argonne's newly formed Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, he has led a cutting-edge body of research on how to advance the next-generation batteries—the sine qua non for the kind of transformation we need to affect climate change and the health of our planet. Join us to learn about the future of electric vehicles and their potential impact on climate change.

Edward P. Jones

Author and Professor

Wednesday, June 2, 6:00-7:00 pm

Edward P. Jones is a bestselling author and professor. He is a novelist and short story writer, who focuses his writing on working-class people in the segregated Washington where he grew up in the fifties and sixties. He currently teaches creative writing part-time at George Washington University.

Jones has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World; he also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short listed for the National Book Award. His second collection, All Aunt Hagar’s Childrenwas a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award.

Many of his short stories were published in the Paris Review. You can read an interview with him here: Read

Mark Levitch

Art Historian

Wednesday, June 16

6:00-7:00 pm

Mark Levitch is an art historian whose main interest is the art and visual culture of World War I. He has worked since 2006 as a researcher and writer at the National Gallery of Art and is currently the Collection Researcher in the Department of Photographs. In 2012 he founded the non-profit World War I Memorial Inventory Project, which aims to document, preserve, and raise awareness about the thousands of World War I memorials in the US. He is the author of Panthéon de la Guerre: Reconfiguring a Panorama of the Great War (2008) as well as several essays about World War I art, visual culture, and remembrance. Before starting his graduate studies in art history, Levitch worked for nine years as an intelligence analyst for European affairs at the State Department.

Edward-Isaac Dovere


Tuesday, June 29, 6:00-7:00 pm

We promise you a gossipy, deeply reported behind-the-scenes look at the 2020 election with our Celeb, a longtime political writer for Politico, and now for The Atlantic.

For political afficiandos -- and that includes many DCV members - you'll get a fly-on-the-wall perspective that goes beyond the major headlines in this heated campaign. There was a huge crop of well-known Democrats but the party was traumatized by Trump's 2016 win and a 2020 victory seemed far from likely. He talks about how they pulled off an upset -- and with Joe Biden the nominee, at that. The Guardian called it "essential reading."

His new book, Battle for the Soul, is widely available, including at Politics and Prose bookstore. And he'll take your questions on all-things-politics, including the January 6 insurrection and what has happened since.

Angela Vellot and Raymond Audain
Legal Defense Fund

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 6:00-7:00 pm

For our first CelebSalon of the new season, the Committee is pleased to present Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), Attorney Angela Vallot. LDF, with its unparalleled expertise, has been standing as a bulwark in defense of civil liberties for well over half a century. The Honorable Thurgood Marshall, before he became a Justice of the Supreme Court, was a founding attorney of NAACP LDF.

Ms. Vallot is a partner and co-founder of VallotKarp Consulting, a firm that helps organizations create diverse, equitable and inclusive work cultures that allow everyone to fully contribute and thrive. The firm provides services to corporations, law firms, cultural institutions and other organizations on a range of issues, including DEI strategic plans, culture assessments, cross cultural competency, identifying and interrupting unconscious bias, and dismantling systemic racism. Ms. Vallot works nationally and internationally on behalf of her clients.

Raymond Audain is Senior Councel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund's New York office, focussing on constitutional litigation. Raymond is currently lead counsel in NAACP v. DHS, a federal lawsuit that seeks to enjoin the Department of Homeland Security’s November 2017 decision to rescind Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in the United States.  Raymond is also lead counsel in A.R. v. City of N.Y., a federal class action on behalf of individuals who were strip-searched while visiting New York City jails; and Ayers v. Western Line Consolidated School District, a school desegregation case seeking to compel the integration of public schools in Washington County, Mississippi.  

Alicia Adams

VP International Programming, Kennedy Center

Wednesday, November 17

6:00-7:00 pm

Come meet the cultural attaché as she explains how she assembles and curates the cultures of the world to present to Americans under the Kennedy Center’s roof. She has been doing this since 1992. Some of her efforts include the African Odyssey, Latin American AmericArtes, Maximum India, the Arabesque Festival, On the Fringe: Eye on Edinburgh and Artes de Cuba. What is she working on now? The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary.

Rick Dunham


Wednesday, December 15

6:00-7:00 pm

Rick Dunham has had a bird’s eye view of the dramatic changes taking place in China in recent years.  As our December 15th Celeb, he’ll talk about the transformations he has seen in the last 12 years there as the co-director of the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University and a visiting professor at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication.

After decades covering politics and business for publications such as papers in Houston and Dallas, for Business Week and as bureau chief of the Hearst Washington bureau, Rick’s has been  well equipped to write about China’s political shifts from  when Westerners were optimistic about reforms to the current more pessimistic situation in which  the Chinese leader has pushed for almost total control over political and economic activity.

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