- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2001

Free food, drinks and dancing on a large marble floor. Who could blame hundreds for showing up at the International Monetary Fund Wednesday evening for a fun-filled sampling of Brazilian style?
The event, planned by Linda Byron of the IMF Arts Society, was indirectly a benefit for CARE, which received 40 percent of all sales of jewelry by Brazilian native Rachel Monteiro. Her colorful designs were displayed on tables and on models attired in willowy fabric and form-fitting gowns.
"We wanted to do something different," Miss Byron told the crowd just before three costumed samba dancers entertained with rhythmic vibrations of their very-well-toned bodies, feathers and sequins flashing in time to the music. By day, the three female performers work in dental and hospital offices.
A group called the New Bossa Band supplied the sounds that eventually galvanized the crowd to form a conga line and shake up the scene in a big way.
"It's interesting to see wearable art in this setting," Miss Byron explained, praising the event's link with CARE. "It's an excellent choice since the organization does development work in 65 countries to alleviate poverty the same goal as IMF. Young people are intrigued by CARE people under 40 who don't know anything about the first CARE food packages dropped in Europe and Asia in 1946."
The marble floor was a gift to the building years ago from Italy, one of IMF's member countries, she said. "It's in the new wing, which is called a gallery, a mixed-use space only 2 years old."
The variety of guests wasn't surprising because "the World Bank and the Fund have 112 nationalities on staff," she said. "Culling from that and from the rest of Washington makes this crowd unique."
Brazil's national drink, the caipirinha, was another attraction and drew lines reaching outside the door. The pure-grain alcohol called cachaca is mixed and shaken with lime and sugar, a spirited blend like the crowd itself.

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