Alvin Ailey Opening Night Gala

Here's a look at who attended the big event in D.C.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    On Tuesday evening, the Kennedy Center hosted the 30th annual Opening Night Gala benefiting the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The evening is known as one of the most lively philanthropic events in Washington, mixing notable Washingtonians immersed in the arts, philanthropy and politics. As a member of the benefit committee hosting the event, The Root’s D.C. Insider, Nicole Venable, shares exclusive photos from the glamorous evening.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    View From the Top

    Gala Co-Chairs Gina Adams and Lyndon Boozer kick off the night at the VIP reception thanking sponsors and Alvin Ailey staff.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Gala Guests

    Kimberly and Fred Jones, D.C. politicos Monique Frazier (HSBC) and Rory Verrett (NFL)

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Star From Alabama

    D.C. Insider Nicole Venable with Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Kimberly Bassett, one of the finance chairs for the “Murial for Mayor” campaign supporting D.C. Councilwoman Murial Bowser

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    New at News Corp

    The new head of News Corp’s Washington office, Toni Bush (right) with her daughter, Jackie Bush (intern in the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu, center) and the newest News Corp team member and former U.S. House candidate from New Hamphire, Joanne Dowdellend (left) at the VIP reception

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Dinner Is Served

    Sparkling table settings at the gala

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Let the Music Play

    The Alvin Ailey Opening Night Gala

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Big Hearts

    Malaika Jones Kebede and her mother, Marcella Jones, head of the Jones Family Foundation, one of D.C.’s most generous philanthropic organizations benefiting many worthy organizations including the Links Inc. and Spelman College

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Lady Luck

    Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) and his wife, Sonya Horsford, with William Jawando, candidate for the House of Delegates in Maryland. Jawando recently departed a senior adviser position with the Obama administration.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    The After Glow

    After the performance, the dinner-dance commences. Pictured here is Mele Melton (center), flanked by two of the amazing Alvin Ailey dancers who performed “Chroma” and the signature piece of the company, “Revelations.”

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Each One, Teach One

    D.C. politico Courtney Snowden with the chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson. Proceeds from the gala provide scholarships for local dance students to study with the dance company in New York.


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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Roger That

    Three of D.C.’s top message masters enjoy the night’s festivities. Pictured are Anthony Coley, deputy assistant of public affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Jewel James, assistant USTR for intergovernmental and public affairs in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and Root 100 honoree, CNN political analyst and D.C. politico Jamal Simmons.

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    X Marks the Spot

    Destination D.C.’s President and CEO Elliott Ferguson, his wife, Telesa Via, and gala guests Kim Tignor and Samin Malik

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    Nicole Venable/The Root


    Alvin Ailey’s artistic director, Robert Battle, and one of the gala’s sponsors, Mike Reagan, head of the Washington, D.C. office of 21st Century Fox

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    A Shining Evening

    Guests mingle

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Charm City

    Baltimore’s U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and his wife, D.C. politico Maya Rockeymoore

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    Nicole Venable/The Root

    Glam Night

    D.C. politicos LaKeitha Anderson (RAI Services) and Merwyn Scott (National Education Association). Guests enjoyed a live band, a chic dinner featuring Tunisian cuisine and spirits provided by Diageo brands.

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