In exactly two weeks – on 11 November 2017 – when the sun begins to set and much of Washington, DC settles into a quiet Veterans Day weekend, we at Spey dare to go where no fine pearl jeweler has gone before: the dance floor. And while we’re not completely sure that a pearler hasn’t strutted their stuff before, the occasion is monumental nonetheless. Why? Because Paul Ashe, our founding chief executive, is shining his dance shoes for a very special reason.
Art is on the line
A fortnight hence, the fashionable Society of Washington, DC will cross the river, bound for Tysons Corner. This buzzing hamlet of industry is a mere stone’s throw from the capital and is a veritable hub of the business that drives Northern Virginia forward. But it’s also host to the annual DC’s Dancing Stars Gala, an event that merges the fun, glitz, and glamour of the television show Dancing with the Stars with local DC celebrities (ours truly, Mr. Ashe, is among the brave contestants). At stake is $10,000 for a charity of the winner’s choice. Isn’t that a reason to dance?
Mr. Ashe has chosen an organization very close to him, should he be granted the cheque and the accompanying mirror ball trophy. The Puerto Rico International Piano Festival, on whose Board our founding chief executive sits, is an organization needed now more than ever. Not only does it bring the world’s best and brightest young pianists to the paradisiacal island for an intense study and practicum in music, but it also brings beauty and spirit to a people that are in desperate need of the uplifting power of art.
There is much to be done in Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricane that brought such ruin to the island, and we grant that the necessities of food, water, power, and medicine are top of the list of essentials. But following such destruction and despair, we cannot neglect the soul – for the soul gives us hope, and courage, and tenacity, and life. Can a piano recital do all that?
As a proud champion of the arts in Washington, DC, Spey has had the privilege of both encouraging emerging artists and supporting the best in visual performance, dance, and music in our nation’s capital. What drives our love of the arts forward is not the glittering rows of patrons donning their fabulous Spey pearls, but the heart and the oneness that art brings. Art is a building block of community, a force to unite rather than divide. When a young pianist from any background and from any culture in the world steps up to a piano and sits down on the bench, the music that issues forth is not a tale of divisiveness or politics – it is a note of hope. And the world is in desperate need of a little more of that.
If you’d like to contribute toward a more beautiful tomorrow, consider donating to support the event and the cause for which Mr. Ashe competes. It will be a smashing evening.