Harman Arts Center | AspenTimes.com

Harman Arts Center

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Congresswoman Jane Harman and Sidney Harman gave a cocktail party at their Red Mountain home in Aspen to introduce the new Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. (MEH)

In early July, Congresswoman Jane Harman and her husband, Sidney Harman, of Aspen and Washington, D.C., gave a cocktail party at their Red Mountain home to introduce the new Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and its artistic director, Michael Kahn. Also on hand was Nick Goldsborough, managing director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, which will be at the core of the new center. Ann Nitze, of Aspen and Washington, is the chairwoman for the gala opening of the new arts center October 1. The new 800-seat Sidney Harman Hall, along with the 450-seat Lansburgh Theatre, will compose the center, which will make available to Washingtonians and to audiences from around the world great performances in drama, music and dance.

Aspen really is international. Word has come that Evelyn Lauder’s Hot Pink Party at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City in April raised $5.2 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which was founded by Evelyn. Returning as emcee for the gala was actress and Estee Lauder spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley. She introduced Sir Elton John, who then joined Sheryl Crow for a rousing rendition of her hit “The First Cut Is the Deepest.” Guests danced to “All I Wanna Do,” “Soak Up the Sun,” “Everyday Is a Winding Road” and other hits as Crow and her band rocked the Waldorf.

Meanwhile, Aspen parties on through the summer.

When you see people bicycling in all kinds of costumes today (Aug. 12), they are riding in the 19th annual “Aspen Tour de Rump,” which includes a bicycle ride around town and a lunch on the Ron Krajian Bridge, by the Aspen Art Museum. Hosts include Ed and Lise Abraham, Judy Alexander, Liz Atkins, Susan and Bob Donatelli, Anne Foster and Kurt Duldner, Bob and Judy Francis, George and Meredith Gracis, David Grimes, Terry Hale and JoAnne Stern, Richard Hillman, Richard and Penny Jennings, Bill and Deborah Johnson, George Johnson and Trixie Elting, Ron Krajian, Bill and Linda Meier, Brent Miller, Bernard Phillips, Bill Pizzuti, Jim and Judy Rifkin, Ron and Gail Soderling, Tom Van Straaten and Mert Wallen.

On Wednesday, August 15, at 4:30 p.m. at the Galena Performance Plaza behind Pitkin County Library, an “Ides of August” garden party will be given by the board of directors of the Hudson Reed Ensemble. The $35 admission includes scenes from William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

A “Wine and Talkabout” by the Theater Masters will be held Thursday, August 16, with a talk by Peter Filichia, theater critic for the Newark Star-Ledger. The event will be held at the home of Nancy Dunlap, from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 and can be obtained by writing to Theater Masters, P.O. Box 899, Aspen, CO 81612.

The Aspen Camp School for the Deaf will hold its annual summer gala Saturday, August 18, at the Maroon Bells Lodge at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch, beginning at 6 p.m. For reservations call 970-923-2511.

It will be a black-tie affair when Les Dames d’Aspen hold their annual celebration with dinner and dancing Wednesday, August 22, at the Doerr-Hosier Center at the Aspen Meadows Resort. This gala is not restricted to members of Les Dames but open to the public. Tickets are $125 for Les Dames members and $175 for nonmembers. Visa and MasterCard are accepted; call Denise Jurgens at 970-963-2471.

Every Tuesday evening, there are programs and potluck dinners at the Catto Center at Toklat in Ashcroft. Toklat is now managed by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. On Tuesday, August 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be a walk in the dusk along Castle Creek among lush meadows of wildflowers. On Tuesday, August 21, Brad Ham, a Presbyterian minister at the time, spent seven years living with the Yupik native peoples on St. Lawrence Island, off the west coast of Alaska. He will talk about the Yupik and the arctic landscape. This event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Tuesday, August 28, Michael Stranahan will talk about his relationship with Toklat and the Mace family, and what the place has meant to him over the years. This will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information call 970-925-9157.

Undercurrent … With all this rain, everything smells green.