RECAP: Celebrate Carla

On June 24, 2017, over 200 friends joined us at Celebrate Carla to honor our Founding Director Carla Perlo before her upcoming retirement. Carla’s immense impact on the performing arts field has changed the face of dance in our country today. Her legacy serves as a great gift to the DC community and she deserves every accolade and more for her tireless work in support of our neighborhood, artists and young people.

A very special thank you to Robin Lyttle for her beautiful lighting design for the entire evening. Thank you to the artists, speakers, Dance Place staff, technical crew, members of the Pola Nirenska Award Committee, videographer David Dowling, DJ Glowstik aka Dan Bloom and Carla’s beloved husband Richard Pilkinton, as well as the  Board of Directors and Co-Director Deborah Riley. Here’s a message from Carla as she reflects on the event:

Here’s a message from Carla as she reflects on the event:

“My career has been filled with special moments but this celebration tops them all. I could not ask for a better way to begin the process of retirement than to be surrounded by the many loving and supportive friends, family members and artistic colleagues, each offering their tributes and appreciation as a cherished gift…Your presence at this special event will provide me with a lasting memory and the supportive love I will need to face this important transition in my life.”

At the event, we were delighted to announce a $20,000 matching challenge grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation which was matched by the generous contributions during our call for cash in the amount of $52,000! We thank all of our wonderful donors for this recognition of Carla’s lifetime of service and investment in the future of Dance Place. Carla also announced the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation’s establishment of The Carla Fund for Choreography and Performance, which will help support artist residencies and commissions over the next four years.

This mini-documentary by David Dowling was shown at the event and had us all reaching for our tissues! Take a look at Carla’s incredible legacy as told by her closest friends and colleagues:

Carla was featured in the press for her contributions to the field of dance nationally and in Washington, DC. The Washington Post‘s Sarah Kaufman shared Carla’s tips for success and delved into the psyche of our tireless Founding Director in an article:

“As for that miracle-working, essential Perlo touch, which created the area’s busiest dance series and laid a key foundation for a nationwide dance network — where will that go?…Presenters, community groups and arts hubs seeking guidance ought to line up at her door, for Carla Perlo has made an art of knowing when to lead, and when to get out of the way.”

Read more here >>

Check out photos by our neighbor Jack Gordon during the event on Facebook: