Power Source: Happy Birthday

by Columnist

Howard Theatre hosts a birthday party for living legends Cora Masters Barry and Reginald Van Lee.

By Adoria Doucette

Cora Masters Barry & Reginald Van Lee at their '70s-themed birthday party at Howard. (Photo by Adoria Doucette)

Cora Masters Barry & Reginald Van Lee at their ’70s-themed birthday party at the Howard Theatre. (Photo by Adoria Doucette)

Three years to the month since the reopening of the historic Howard Theatre, the venue hosted an exciting and engaging celebration attended by some of the most important people in the city.

Reginald Van Lee, who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Howard Theatre and one of the worlds most active public intellectuals within the field of the arts, hosted a ’70s-themed celebration that served as a joint birthday party for himself and Cora Masters Barry, both of whom boast May birthdays. This power friendship has gone back for decades, and the two typically vacation together in the south of Europe for their birthdays, but this year Van Lee decided to host an event where Barry’s friends and family could gather to pay their appreciation.

It was indeed a grand and jubilant affair, attended by such local luminaries as Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, power broker Raymone Bain, Rock Newman and many others.

I cherished the occasion of interacting with the community of corporate and civic leaders while giving thanks to Van Lee and Barry for all that they continue to do for the city. Aside from his duties in corporate America as Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, Van Lee serves as Chairman of the Washington Performing Arts society, an active member of several other major arts organizations and a member of Obama’s President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. When her husband was Mayor, Barry was the most active first lady in the history of Washington, D.C. and has continued her passion for service through countless efforts in the city to improve the lives of our citizens, especially the city’s youth. It was Barry who spearheaded the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, which serves as a resource for hundreds of kids in the city.

The ’70s theme was a smashing success, as people were able to be free-spirited, let loose and have fun. Power Source wishes both Mr. Van Lee and Ms. Barry a happy birthday.


Power Source is an insider’s view of power networks and activities that contribute to the continued dominance of our nation’s ideals, institutions and individuals. Ms. Doucette has privately orchestrated projects for the world’s most influential individuals, celebrated personalities, and corporations. Based in Washington D.C., Ms. Doucette is a proud native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She can be reached at: adoria@thepowersourcedc.com

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