A preview of parties celebrating White House Correspondents’ big weekend.
By Anne Kim-Dannibale
Get your corsages ready. It’s that time of year when Washington politicos and news nerds put on their finest for the most action-packed weekend of cocktailing, gossiping and celebrity ogling around White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner. Here, part one of two rundowns of some of the best events toasting the storied news group’s centennial.
Thursday, May 1 — Gentlemen, start your engines
Welcome to Washington: A Salute to Women in Journalism
6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Warm up for what’s to come with this “girl power” event toasting leading women journalists like Dana Bash (see Washington Life’s 2014 Power 100). Gloria Dittus of public affairs firm Story Partners, New Republic and energy outfit Southern Company host.
The Global Beat Celebrating International Affairs Journalism Featuring Tony Goldwyn of ABC’s “Scandal”
6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Expect an intellectually stimulating conversation with Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and “Scandal” star Tony Goldwyn at the United Nations Foundation. Devex, the U.N. Foundation, Foreign Affairs, Uber, 1776 Rye and Washington Life sponsor this intimate, high-level event.
Friday, May 2 — Pre-party madness
Friday correspondent dinner events get under way first thing at this breakfast exploring “how creativity strengthens and shapes the U.S. and global economy,” with special guest speaker Vice President Joe Biden, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Walt Disney Studios President Sean Bailey and more. Hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America, ABC News and Microsoft, the event also features a “minion” from Universal’s animated feature “Despicable Me,” the iron throne from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and a 3-D printing demonstration by 3D Systems.
Katherine and David Bradley Dinner
One of the most coveted — not to mention difficult to get — invitations opening the weekend, this private dinner includes some of Washington’s biggest players for an evening of wine, fine food and even finer conversation at The Atlantic Media chief’s art-filled residence. This year’s program includes a special look back at the journalists and WHCA dinners in honor of the association’s 100th birthday.
Our Voices: Celebrating Diversity in Media
Voto Latino‘s popular cocktail fete typically held at the Hay-Adams draws some of the more recognizable minority names in media and politics. Last year, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rubbed elbows with “Lost” star Daniel Dae Kim, Today Show/News Nation host Tamron Hall, frequent political commentators Jamal Simmons and Michelle Bernard and even Cosmopolitan Editor in Chief Joanna Coles. Hosted by Voto Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar, David Sutphen and honorary host Wilmer Valderrama.
The Hill/Entertainment Tonight Party
Son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Connor Cruise takes to the turntable with ET’s Nancy O’Dell hosting the red carpet and Washington’s own resident Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn manning cocktails at this youthful pre-party.
“Celebration of Arts in America”
Arts organizers Creative Coalition brings celebrity heavyweights to this annual dinner, hosted this year at buzzy new steakhouse STK. The host list reads like a who’s who of Tinsel Town with Tim Daly, Omar Epps, Cheryl Hines, Emile Hirsch, John Leguizamo, AnnaSophia Robb, Jeffrey Tambor and Dean Norris, among others, expected to turn out for signature cocktails from Dobel Tequila, including a “Black Diamond” margarita rimmed with Hawaiian black sea salt.
Stars from one of Washington’s favorite shows, “House of Cards,” and “Orange Is the New Black,” as well as members of Congress and executives from Netflix and Google are expected to walk the red carpet, hosted by adorable YouTube sensation “Kid President.” Perhaps a Washington-based pep talk from the pint-sized leader of the free world isn’t far off? (Yes please!)
Fusion, ABC News & Noticias Univision
Grammy-winning singer, record producer and activist Fonseca is expected to give guests plenty of reason to let loose at this toe-tapping Latin-themed dance party, sponsored by Washington Life at LOOK restaurant and lounge.
2.0 New Media Party
Next-gen leaders in Hollywood, media and tech host this in-demand get-together featuring music by D.C.-based band U.S. Royalty and “mind-blowing interactive tech,” promising a glimpse into the future of media. Hosted by StartUp RockOn, Ryan Costello of Event Farm and Lee Brenner of HyperVocal, and sponsored by Microsoft, Viacom, Yelp and AOL among others.
Funny or Die Party
Extolling a “no sponsor, no cameras, no press, no hassle” policy, this irreverent late-night answer to the WHCA dinner party madness (by founders of the humorous website, Will Ferrell among them) is often a refuge for partiers interested in just that, like actor Gerard Butler who was spotted here last year, among many other Hollywood A-listers. Co-hosted by Impact Arts + Film Fund.