Washington Performing Arts Gala to Honor Sheila Johnson

Washington Performing Arts will host its 2020 annual Gala & Auction on March 14, 2020, at the National Building Museum. This year’s Gala will honor arts and entertainment leader Sheila C. Johnson. The evening will also salute all the women who are changing the world through the arts, both in DC and across the country.

Over the past half-century, Washington Performing Arts has presented legendary women and has helped launch and nurture the careers of luminous artists. WPA has also and reached hundreds of thousands of area youth through education and community programming.

The 2019/20 season also marks the 50th anniversary of the Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee, founded in 1969.

Gala Performances by J’Nai Bridges, The String Queens, and WPA Child of the Gospel Choir

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges has most recently been seen as Nefertiti in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten at the Metropolitan Opera. She is concurrently starring as Delilah in Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. Mars Arts D.C. Ensemble-in-Residence The String Queens will perform. Finally, the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir will sing under the direction of Michele Fowlin.

Michelle Miller of CBS News will MC

Miller and Bilfield.

Michelle Miller, national correspondent for CBS News and co-host of CBS This Morning: Saturday, serves as the Master of Ceremonies. The After-Party is sponsored by the Washington Performing Arts Junior Board.

“Washington, D.C. has one of the greatest concentrations of female arts leaders anywhere.”

said Jenny Bilfield, President & CEO of Washington Performing Arts.

“So it’s fitting to dedicate this gala to the women who are making a difference in the arts and beyond— including this year’s Honoree, Sheila Johnson— and the incredible assemblage of women who make up this year’s honorary committee.”

All proceeds raised at the 2020 Gala and Auction will support Washington Performing Arts’ far-reaching arts education initiatives and presentation of phenomenal artists in dozens of different venues each season.

Sheila Johnson’s Inspiring Bio

Sheila C. Johnson is the founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, overseeing a portfolio of luxury properties including the Forbes Five Star-rated Salamander Resort & Spa.

Ms. Johnson is a partner and Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment which owns the WNBA World Champion Washington Mystics (for which she serves as President and Managing Partner), NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, and the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

In the media realm, Ms. Johnson co-founded Black Entertainment Television and has served as executive producer of documentary and feature films. A fervent supporter of the arts, she chaired the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019-20 season-opening gala for Porgy and Bess and is actively engaged in the development of Broadway-bound theatrical productions.

Locally Ms. Johnson established the Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center at the Hill School, which supports students and the Middleburg community. She serves on the Board of Governors of Parsons School of Design and is the founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival.

Tickets and More Information

The Gala begins with a VIP reception from 6-7 pm, followed by cocktails and the silent auction from 6:30-8 pm. The dinner and performance program begins at 8 pm.

Tickets begin at $750; Young Sponsor tickets (for guests 40 and under) start at $200. Tables start at $10,000. Contact Elizabeth Racheva at 202-533-1862 or eracheva@washingtonperformingarts.org and washingtonperformingarts for more information.


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