Last week, in the tastefully appointed ballroom at the downtown Ritz Carlton, a few recognizable out-of-towners broke bread with Capitol Hill tastemakers and posh politicos, alike.
Native Washingtonian, and Creative Coalition delegate, Jon Bernthal, called the scene a far cry from his D.C. days. “They would never let me in here when I lived here,” laughed The Walking Dead actor, who attended the local Sidwell Friends School with Chelsea Clinton. “I was always in detention.”
Like Bernthal, who credits the arts with “saving his life,” attendee Ginnifer Goodwin cited the positive impact of Hollywood productions. “I have filmed on location all over the country and it’s amazing what a 300 person crew descending [on a community] can do. The money that we’ve been able to bring into communities in the way of local hires… it’s immeasurable.”
Over thinly sliced filet mignon and scallop risotto, guests including David Arquette, Omar Epps, Norah O’Donnell and Johnny Galecki kicked off White House Correspondents weekend with a tribute to women in the media.
ELLE’s deputy editor Maggie Bullock toasted MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, who alongside George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, served as the executive director of the anti-genocide non-profit, Not On Our Watch. “Not a bad day at the office!” Bullock joked.
And for the Hollywood set, the weekend (which Goodwin affectionately dubbed “Nerd Prom”) is a welcome change of pace. “Last time I was on the red carpet, Don King and Jesse Jackson came up to me at the same time. I was like, ‘This is just surreal and incredible!’” gushed Arquette.
As the evening came to an end, revelers noshed on Georgetown cupcakes and boarded a party bus to host Lani Hay’s house for a private after-party. “It’s kind of like a marathon,” joked Lanmark Technology‘s CEO. “You have to pace yourself!”