Clients in the News – April 2014
- On April 2, in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court held that, “Because aggregate limits restricting how much money a donor may contribute to candidates for federal office, political parties, and political action committees do not further the government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of such corruption, while at the same time seriously restricting participation in the democratic process, they are invalid under the First Amendment.” This decision opens to floodgates for wealthy people who want to have an even greater effect on politics in the United States. See how the League of Women Voters and Common Cause are handling the aftermath of this destructive decision.
- Another hot-button issue: Equal Pay. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights applauded President Obama’s recent executive order closing the wage gap for women. Now the Senate must do its part and enact the Paycheck Fairness Act to extend wage equity for all Americans. Visit the LCCR website for more on how it is working to advance employment fairness.
- As a leader in preserving and honoring American films, the American Film Institute (AFI) also continues its important role in helping film makers launch their careers. The annual AFI Directing Workshop for Women (AFI DWW) showcase on April 29 proved the point, bringing together (by invitation only) representatives from the top agencies and major studios, along with artists from in front of and behind the camera, to showcase the work of eight directors who recently completed the 2013 AFI DWW program. According to AFI’s website, “Each year, this prestigious, highly selective workshop offers talented women who have established themselves in the arts a tuition-free training program comprised of classroom learning, hands-on production experience and the opportunity to direct a short narrative film and advance their filmmaking careers.”
- Any chance you’ll be in Los Angeles on May 4? Then don’t miss Farm Sanctuary’s annual Hug a Farm Animal Day at Animal Acres in Acton, California, just outside LA. Spend the day with friends and family exploring the 26-acre shelter and meeting the gentle cows, pigs, chickens, and other rescued animals who have found refuge at this special sanctuary. They enjoyed vegan snacks, met other compassionate members of the community, and hugged farm animals. What a wonderful day, celebrating our animal friends and the people who support them!
- Two noteworthy art exhibitions open this month: at the National Museum of the American Indian, enjoy Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse from now through Sept. 14. Accordign to NMAI’s website, “this is the first major U.S. exhibition of works by Haida artist Robert Davidson, a pivotal figure in the Northwest Coast Native art renaissance since 1969, when he erected the first totem pole in his ancestral Massett village since the 1880s.” Across town at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, don’t miss Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships from April 26-Sept. 14. NMWA’s website details the exhibition, which presents “more than 20 artworks and archival papers by Meret Oppenheim (1913–1985), a Swiss Surrealist whose recent 100th birthday was recognized with a worldwide series of exhibitions. Oppenheim’s relationships and personality are illuminated through her musings, books of poetry and prints, and original letters to artists and friends.”
- Spring is here, so exciting live summer entertainment can’t be far behind! Now is the time to check the listings, make your plans, and buy your tickets. The Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Kennedy Center each offer a thrilling mix of programs this summer, so visit their websites for schedules and ticket information. From opera to pop to ballet to country to Broadway, there is something for everyone at these world-class venues.
- Earlier this month, Avalon staffers had the opportunity to celebrate a year of accomplishment at the National Parks Conservation Association’s spectacular annual Salute to the Parks Awards Gala. Dr. Milton Chen – who won this year’s NPCA award for enhanced public understanding of national parks – spoke about his work to promote “place-based learning” and his strong vision of national parks as ideal classrooms. A year like 2014 for national parks – from devastating natural events like wildfires, flooding, and drought, to human-made events like the federal government shut-down − reminds us that the parks need NPCA’s important advocacy support more than ever.
- We enjoyed Lonnae O’Neal Parker’s recent Washington Post profile of Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, a driving force behind the tremendously successful National Museum of Women in the Arts.