- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 23, 2007

HHA gets generous gift

The Helen Hayes Awards yesterday announced that the Robert M. Fisher Memorial Foundation has made a $2.85 million grant in memory of Washington philanthropists Jess Fisher, his wife, Mildred, and daughter Cecilia “Cookie” Fisher Rudman.The generous gift — the largest in the Helen Hayes Awards’ 23-year history — makes possible the creation of the Helen Hayes Awards Endowment.

Mel at confirmation

A prominent Mexican cleric confirmed two of Mel Gibson’s grandchildren in a brief ceremony Tuesday attended by the director of “The Passion of the Christ.”

Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Carlos Quintero Arce told reporters he performed the ceremony for Mr. Gibson’s grandchildren and several adults in the chapel of his home in Hermosillo, the capital of northern Sonora state. He did not identify the adults, Associated Press reports.

Confirmation is a sacrament by which a baptized person is welcomed into full membership in the church.

Mr. Gibson spent more than an hour at Archbishop Quintero’s house, then left without speaking to reporters.

Simon in LOC

The Library of Congress will receive the works-in-progress manuscript in which Paul Simon worked out the lyrics for his hit song “Graceland,” officials said yesterday.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the gift while awarding the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Mr. Simon during Tuesday’s dinner in the Great Hall of the library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

“The library has been collecting Paul Simon’s music for more than 50 years, from the song ‘The Girl for Me’ by Simon and Garfunkel that was submitted for copyright in 1956 to his most recent album, ‘Surprise.’ His ‘Graceland’ album was recently named to the National Recording Registry,” Mr. Billington said.

Mr. Simon’s song notes will join such musical treasures as the original manuscripts from such European masters as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms as well as those of American masters John Philip Sousa, George and Ira Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

Last night, a gathering of music luminaries celebrated Rhymin’ Simon’s honor during a gala concert at the Warner Theatre. On the bill: gospel music songbird Yolanda Adams, Latin pop crooner Marc Anthony, pop star Shawn Colvin, the legendary Dixie Hummingbirds, Jerry Douglas, Art Garfunkel, composer Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lyle Lovett, Stephen Marley, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Carpenter sidelined

Mary Chapin Carpenter, a national touring artist with D.C. roots, recently announced the cancellation of her summer tour, including a June 23 performance at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. The five-time Grammy-winner had just wrapped a series of spring concerts in support of her latest release, “The Calling,” when a previous back injury began causing her pain. She was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism, or blockage of a lung artery. She hopes to head back to the road in 2008.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Jenny Mayo from staff, Web and wire reports

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