Bailamos! The National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) hosted their annual gala celebrating Noche Musicál Tuesday night at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
The spicy Pollywood blend of Washington political power players included Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and Reps. Xavier Becerra, Loretta Sanchez, and Charlie A. Gonzalez mingled with Hollywood’s top Latino entertainers like Jimmy Smits and Esai Morales. Morales, heartthrob of the classic 80’s film Labamba might have had his most important dance to date when he stepped out to do the Mambó with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (http://washingtonlife.com/video/) who, sources tell us, had been practicing her mambo for the past month in preparation for the night. It was Sotomayor’s first foray into the Washington social scene since being appointed the Court’s 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice. “Justice Sotomayor reinforces the notion that you can be successful and still retain your cultural identity. We all know she is a great judge, but, I think she just proved she has some swift moves on the dance floor as well as in the courtroom,” remarked the effervescent Morales. Music for the evening was supplied by Afro-Cuan jazz drummer Bobby Sanabria as well as La India. Sanabria played a rousing rendition of the “Sotomayor Mambó.”
The night raised money for scholarships for emerging Latinos interested in working in arts and entertainment. Writer Robert Orci (Transformers, Star Trek, Fringe) was honored with the Raúl Juliá Award for Excellence. Orci was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 50 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood and is a partner in J.J. Abrams’ creative team. The Horizon Award recipient was DC-native and Georgetown grad, playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa whose plays include Based on a Totally True Story, Bloody Mary, Rough Magic, Dark Matters, Good Boys and True, The Mystery Plays, and Say You Love Satan. Aguirre-Sacasa, who received his award at a private VIP dinner the evening before hosted at the home of Ginny Grenham and Paul Zevnik, was unable to attend the event as he had to be in Los Angeles for the first day of filming of HBO’s “Big Love.”
This year, Joaquin Bacardi III, Corporation President and CEO of Bacardi USA and one of the evening’s Honorary Co-Chairs mingled with guests as they sipped signature Bacardi cocktails. The evening was underwritten by Ford Motor Company for a seventh consecutive year; Barcardi and United Airlines were also underwriters with Latin Concepts Group hosting the after-party at their chic Dupont Circle lounge, Gazuza.
Other guests included: Colin Crowell, Senior Advisor to the FCC Chairman; Beth and Ron Dozoretz; Efrain Fuentes, Director, Multicultural Programs, The Walt Disney Company; Rachel Goslins, Executive Director, Presidents, Committee on the Arts and Humanities; Don Grenough, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President, Promotions, eWorld Media; Merel Julia, Co-Founder and Board Member, NHFA; Paula Kerger, President and CEO, Public Broadcasting System; Bob Llamas, Chief Human Resources and Public Affairs Officer, The Nielsen Company; Robert McDowell, FCC Commissioner; Henning Morales, Co-Founder, President and CEO, eWorld Media; Richard Rodriguez, Executive Director, NHFA; Leslie Sanchez, Commentator, CNN; Walter Ulloa, Chairman and CEO, Entravision Communications Corporation; Elizabeth Deane, Executive Producer, LATIN MUSIC USA; Adriana Bosch, Producer, LATIN MUSIC USA.