Member News

  • 23 Mar 2019 by Rachel Wear


    Luther Vandross Fans to Remember the ‘Velvet Voice’ with 
    The American Pops Orchestra Concert at THEARC

    WASHINGTON — In his life, he won eight GRAMMY awards, sold over 35 million records worldwide, and filled arenas around the world. On Sunday, April 7, The American Pops Orchestra will bring the music and style of the legendary Luther Vandross back to the nation’s capital. 
    The American Pops Orchestra, conducted by Luke Frazier, will present “Here and Now: The Music of Luther Vandross,” beginning at 3 p.m. at THEARC DC at 1901 Mississippi Ave., SE, Washington, D.C. Frazier has worked with artists who were close to Vandross such as Patti Labelle and Vanessa Williams. 
    The performance will include songs Vandross wrote such as “So Amazing,” as well as other widely known works that some may not realize have a Vandross connection, such as with David Bowie’s “Young Americans.” 
    Singers will include Helen Hayes award-winner Nova Y. Payton, “The Voice” semi-finalist Rayshun LaMarr, Birdland Jazz Club’s Natalie Douglas, and many more. WAMU’s Tamika Smith will serve as host. 
    APO’s mission is to present innovative programming, featuring groundbreaking concepts to develop and inspire a new audience to appreciate and enjoy live music. DC Metro Theatre Arts has called APO “an innovative group of artists [that] are reinvigorating the tunes you know and love with a contemporary flair that never fails to please.”

    Following this performance, the final show of the season will be “I Am What I Am: The Music of Jerry Herman,” on May 18.

    Tickets and further details about all the performances are at

    THE AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA, founded by LUKE FRAZIER, presents innovative orchestral programming, featuring groundbreaking concepts to develop and inspire a new audience for the 21st century. This professional orchestra boasts outstanding musicians from New York and Washington, D.C. The American Pops features top performers from Broadway, film and television in critically acclaimed world premier performances. 
    In addition to self-presented programming, other high-profile performances include the Hispanic Heritage Awards, which is nationally broadcast on PBS; theatreWashington’s Helen Hayes Awards; The Giving Pledge; the Beacon Prize, given by Human Rights First; and the DC Standing Ovation Awards, celebrating excellence in DC Public Schools.

  • 23 Mar 2019 by Catharine Pear

    Carpe DC Food Tours is again offering self-guided food crawls in collaboration with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Buy a ticket, check in the day of the tour (location revealed upon purchase), receive a passport listing included restaurants, pick

    Penn Quarter: March 30th 11am-5pm 

    This year, they are again offering Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl in DC, featuring restaurants in Penn Quarter, on MARCH 30th.

    Old Town Alexandria: April 7th 11am-5pm

    NEW this year is the Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl in Old Town Alexandria on April 7th.

    6 Tastings: $80

    8 Tastings: $96

    More information about both tours and tickets can be purchased here:


  • 21 Mar 2019 by Rachel Wear


    April is Architecture Month 


    Purchase tickets now for dozens of tours, lectures, and cultural events throughout the month of April, all across Washington.


    Thinking of attending multiple events?

    Join DAC and benefit from discounted event fees for Architecture Month and throughout the entire year.

    All for less than the cost of attending 3 events at the non-member rate!


    2019 Architecture Month events:

    4/2 2019 AIA|DC Chapter Design Awards Roundtable
    4/3 Tour: International Spy Museum
    4/3 Lecture: The Evolution of the American City through Multifamily Design w/ Meral Iskir, FAIA
    4/4 An Evening of Beer Tasting & Alpine Music at the German-American Heritage Museum
    4/4 Tour: St. Augustine's Episcopal Church
    4/5 Tour: Chinese Embassy Residence (RSVP by 3/22, 12:00pm)
    4/5 Construction Tour: La Cosecha
    4/7 Walking Tour: Embassy Row
    4/8 Tour: The Whittemore House
    4/8 Lecture: Architecture over Architecture w/ Paola Lugli, Int'l Assoc. AIA
    4/9 Tour: N Street Village
    4/10 Tour: Secret Cities at the National Building Museum
    4/10 Lecture: Bespoke Home w/ Paul Masi, partner of Bates Masi+ Architects
    4/10 Tour: Murch Elementary School
    4/11 Tour: National Law Enforcement Museum
    4/12 Tour: Washington National Cathedral
    4/12 Concert & Wine Reception at the French Embassy
    4/13 Tour: Pier 4 at The Wharf
    4/14 Walking Tour: Embassy Row 
    4/15 Construction Tour: The Highline at Union Market
    4/15 Lecture: Designing Beyond Borders by Gensler
    4/16 #iseeDC2019 Exhibition Opening
    4/16 Tour: Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
    4/17 Tour: Clifton Street Apartments
    4/18 Tour: Cleveland Park Library
    4/19 Tour: Embassy of Italy (RSVP by 4/12, 12:00pm)
    4/20 Tour: Washington Fish Market
    4/21 Walking Tour: Embassy Row
    4/21 Indian Cooking Class, Lunch, & Dessert at Heritage India
    4/22 Tour: Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School
    4/23 Tour: The Kreeger Museum
    4/24 Tour: Legacy West End
    4/25 Tour: Washington Alley Project
    4/25 Tour: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
    4/26 - 4/28 Georgetown French Market
    4/26 Tour: DC International School and LAMB PCS
    4/27 Tour: The Whittemore House
    4/28 Walking Tour: Embassy Row
    4/29 Lecture: Perugia Blends Past and Future w/ Paola Amodeo of Paola One Design
    4/30 Architecture Month Closing Event at John A. Wilson Building

    *LUs available for most sessions.

    Learn more and register for events at

    Last Call for Volunteers
    Receive free admission! Contact Scott Clowney for more information.





  • 23 Feb 2019 by Roxana Rivera

    Show your pride. Share your pride.


    TICKETS   |    VISIT   |    EDUCATION    |    NEWS   |    JOIN   |    SHOP

    Family Pride Weekend


    Family Pride Weekend at the Newseum Celebrates "Rise Up" Exhibit Opening

    SPECIAL OFFER: MARCH 9-10, 2019
    The Newseum and mix107.3 are coming together to host Family Pride Weekend in celebration of the opening of the Newseum's newest exhibit, "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement." 

    The weekend of March 9-10, visitors can take advantage of a special offer that includes two free kids tickets (18 and younger) with the purchase of one general admission adult ticket. The deal is only available March 9-10, and must be purchased at the Newseum admission desk. LEARN MORE > 

    Saturday, March 9 will feature fun activities with mix107.3's street team and a program hosted by The Jack Diamond Morning Show's Jimmy Alexander at 2:30 p.m. in the Knight TV Studio.

    "Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement" is presented by



    Generous support provided by

    The Reef Team

    Additional support provided by the Freedom Forum, Capital Pride Alliance, Washington Blade and the Stonewall Circle.

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    555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.  |  Washington, D.C. 20001  |  © 2019 Newseum

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  • 10 Jan 2019 by Jim Carr

    Unbeknownst to me, I was selected by a committee of my peers to receive the prestigious Jill Blakeman Award, given to a “member whose work best exemplifies the spirit of the Guild (of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, D.C.) and who has made an original and significant contribution to the operations of the Guild, or who has advised the Guide profession in another way.”
    The award was presented to me by Guild President, Jackie Frend, at this week’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

    No Wonder Jim Carr Earns the Blakeman Award!

    By Pete McCall 

    Nearly every time I see Jim Carr, he’s communicating--via smartphone or face to face.  He seems always to be busy whether researching facts for his next extraordinary tour or lining up another exceptional educational opportunity for fellow guides.     


    It was no surprise to me that James R. Carr was selected to receive the Guild’s Guide of the Year Award for 2018. Many members agree his selection was long-overdue. However, Jim was completely surprised. “No one said anything to me,” he recalled. “I certainly didn’t lobby for the award.”


    Jim predicts he’ll “probably cry” when accepting the Guild’s Jill Blakeman Award at the Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony on Jan. 8.  Dating to 1991, the annual award honors “a Full Member whose work best exemplifies the spirit of the Guild and who has made an original and significant contribution to the operations of the Guild, or who has advised the Guide profession in another significant way.”    


    Since joining the Guild in 2001, our honoree has served on the Board of Directors, received a Guild Service Award and achieved status as a Guild Certified Master Guide (CMG). As CGM program cochair, “Jim works constantly to find and share information valuable to guides and to research and offer programs to advance our knowledge and skills,” said his nominator, former Guild President Tammy Belden. “He works tirelessly to mentor and assist new guides… As a guide, Jim is without parallel. His knowledge and expertise in dealing with groups has been chronicled many times by his clients.” 


    Here’s what former Guild President Joe Steinbock stated: “One of the reasons I like being a member of the Guild is our marvelous community of intelligent, talented, articulate and loyal colleagues. I am amazed at those outstanding guides who are committed to the Guild for the long haul, contributing their time and talents year after year. As a result, we have amazing offerings such as the Guild CMG program, led by Jim Carr and Shannon Mikush. Jim’s wide-ranging and insightful creativity is one reason the CMG tours and experiences are so fascinating. His work with Arlington National Cemetery has proven valuable to the Guild and the entire tour industry.


    “Jim’s military, academic and creative background have provided him with a wide variety of skills and interests that he has brought to bear as both a guide and Guild leader. His international experience and his Puerto Rican heritage enrich his life and his work. He is a terrific writer, a strategic thinker and a great colleague when on tour. And he can be funny,” Joe added.      


    Jim’s experience as a government official and military officer certainly prepared him to emerge as an inspirational, hard-working and well-disciplined Guild leader. He previously worked for eight federal agencies, plus the State of Maryland and the United Nations, and taught at both the secondary and college levels. As a lifelong learner himself, Jim aims to share his experience and knowledge—plus his enthusiasm and energy—to inspire everyone to do their best.             


    “While a federal executive, I was honored to serve eight years as an interagency advisor to the Presidential Management Fellows,” said Jim. He provided monthly training and inspirational speakers and led the Fellows on educational trips around the U.S. and Canada. Jim called this experience “a great apprenticeship for me to later serve as cochair of the CMG program with Shannon.”     


    Jim added, “I worked for two wonderful organizations before becoming a guide: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.  As dean of the EPA Institute, I had nationwide responsibility for the training and education of 18,000 employees.” As a civil affairs officer, Jim helped put broken governments together and assist refugees from war-torn Vietnam, Cambodia, Palestine, Croatia and Serbia. 


    Jim also played a role in rescuing monumental works of art from areas ravaged by war. (Remember the movie “Monuments Men.”) As an expert on military history and monuments, Jim finds it appropriate to use his as Internet address: “”   


    A colonel in the Army Reserve, Jim was dispatched to Panama to meet with Noriega’s military advisor in 1989-90. He served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and subsequently was called back to duty in Kuwait and Iraq. For his outstanding service, he received a Bronze Star with two Legions of Merit.   


    Add up his 35 years as a federal executive and 31 years in the military and you get 66 years of public service. Not bad for such a youthful-looking “Renaissance Man!” 


    A Ph. D candidate, Jim holds graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, American University and the University of Southern California. He has travelled quite a distance since driving a New York taxi cab as a young man. Jim attributes his love of learning to his multilingual, architect father, whom he called “a real Renaissance Man.”  


    Jim was inspired to become a tour guide nearly 18 years ago—before he retired from EPA. He was having lunch at Pentagon City with a female tour guide who seemed amazed at his breadth of knowledge about Washington’s history and monuments. She suggested that Jim share his knowledge as a DC licensed tour guide. 


    So, in 2001, he enrolled in Maricar Donato’s training course, which he liked enough to pursue guiding as another career—at first, on a part-time basis. It was a challenging time to guide in the wake of 9/11. “Security got a lot tighter,” he remembered, but “it’s even worse now.”        


    Jim said the Guild has helped fill a “big void” in his life after retirement. The Guild provided the camaraderie that he missed from  government service. Jim’s passion for guiding stems from his love of America and Washington’s history and architecture. He is especially keen to spotlight Arlington National Cemetery and the three Roosevelts: Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor. He is currently preparing a book on the historic cemetery and, as the Guild’s liaison to ANC, keeps us updated on new developments there.  


    Jim’s reputation as a consummate guide has attracted many high-profile and wealthy clients, but he still enjoys working with youths, especially inner-city kids and minorities. And Jim is always available to mentor new guides.  


    “At a personal level,” Joe observed, “Jim’s empathy is perhaps the quality I value most. It was perhaps not so surprising to look up from my misery last April to find Jim there with me at my mother’s funeral.  So both professionally and personallyt, I am delighted that Jim has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Jill Blakeman Award. Well deserved!”             


    No wonder the Guild has finally recognized its own “Living Monument.” 

  • 26 Feb 2019 by Lisa Waldschmitt


    It’s slowly, slowly getting warmer out and the days getting longer, so you know what that means: spring cleaning and summer internships!


    We had such success with our winter clothing drive (thanks to great partners like you!), we’re doing it again to make sure the young people we serve have what they need to make their Career Ready Internships a success!




    We are requesting new or gently used and cleaned professional dress items for all shapes, sizes, and genders. These include:

    • Dresses, skirts
    • Blouses, dress shirts, tops, sweaters
    • Suits, jackets, and blazers
    • Dress pants
    • Ties and scarves

    Remember: If you wouldn’t want your intern showing up to your office in it, please donate it elsewhere! Please no jewelry.


    These items will be distributed to Academy of Hospitality and Tourism students in need at our Professional Dress Day. Any remaining clothing will be donated to our friends at Dress for Success.


    Thank you so much for all the support you have shown AEF,


    Lisa Waldschmitt

    American Experience Foundation  |  Manager

  • 31 Jan 2019 by Katherine Neill Ridgley

    Museum Docent Recruitment
    It's an exciting time to join our team!

    Do you have a passion for American history, historic sites, or the decorative arts? Would you like to share your passion with others? The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati has an immediate need for volunteer museum docents. Docents create a memorable and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages by leading guided tours of the Institute’s headquarters, Anderson House. The mansion, a National Historic Landmark, was completed in 1905 in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Today, tours of Anderson House reveal the significance of the American Revolution, the history of the Society of the Cincinnati, and the lives and collections of the home's first owners, Larz and Isabel Anderson.
    Docents serve at least two weekday shifts or one weekend shift per month. Available shifts are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., as well as Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m. Training is provided, as well as continuing education and fellowship gatherings.


    • Welcome and orient visitors to Anderson House;
    • Provide guided tours of the first and second floors;
    • Assist with visitor services.

    • 18+ years old;
    • Enjoy working with people;
    • Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills;
    • Interest in the American Revolution, the history of Washington, D.C., and/or historic sites.

    Click here to download an application. For more information, please contact Kelsey Atwood, tour and public program manager, at or 202.495.7127. Learn more about the Institute and its museum on our website
    The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati promotes knowledge and appreciation of the achievement of American independence, fulfilling the aim of the Continental Army officers who founded the Society of the Cincinnati in 1783 to perpetuate the memory of that vast event. The Institute supports advanced study, presents exhibitions and other public programs, advocates preservation and provides resources to teachers and students to enrich understanding of our War for Independence and the principles of the men and women who secured the liberty of the American people.
    Copyright © 2019 The Society of the Cincinnati, All rights reserved.

  • 16 Jan 2019 by Ernest Brown

    Earnest Medicine is a docu-series hosted by WACA Affiliate Member, Dr. Ernest Brown.

    Fed up with the current U.S. healthcare system, Dr. Brown left life as a conventional family doctor to work as a house call doctor.

    Learn more about Dr. Brown’s journey through his 2017 appearance on The Today Show.

    This experience working in homes rather than in clinics steered his focus from being a run-of-the-mill hospital employee, to fulfilling his purpose as a true caregiver by staying connected to the community that made him.

    In 2015, Doctors To You was born with the mission to rebuilding the doctor-patient relationship, giving patients the care they deserve. Today, it’s a burgeoning movement in the DC area, providing both residents and visitors seamless access to quality care without having to go out and find it—the doctor comes to you!

    Visit to learn more.

    Join Dr. Brown as he explores the world of medicine and healthcare through house calls without leaving Washington, DC.


  • 23 Feb 2019 by Dino Wright

    Dear Concierge Family,

    This week I was the proud recipient of an entrepreneurial citation from the State of Maryland by The Honorable Governor Larry Hogan for my professional shoe polishing bar services at Gaylord National Harbor and The State House in Annapolis.


    Dino Wright

    Celebrity Bootblack

    Exec-U-Shine Hospitality Services, llc