2019 PEN/Faulkner Gala: RISE UP!

Saturday, October 26
6:30 pm, Cocktails
7:30 pm, RISE UP! Readings and Dinner Program

Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, DC

Join an impressive group of leading American writers as they interpret, in their own original voices, this year’s illuminating theme: RISE UP!

The Board of Directors of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation invite your generous participation as a sponsor. We thank all of you who will contribute to advancing our important work. Please review our 2019 Gala Sponsorship Reply Form.

Now in its 31st year, our Annual Gala celebrating free and imaginative expression brings writers together with Washington, DC’s community of innovative leaders, artists, educators, Members of Congress, visionaries, and business leaders who are committed to furthering our mission of bringing books to life for diverse communities.

Proceeds from the Annual Gala provide crucial support to our initiatives, including:

  • Excellence in Fiction. With the annual PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the largest artist-selected prize of its kind, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, we recognize significant achievements by leading American writers.
  • Writers in Schools. We inspire the next generation of readers and writers by providing free books and author visits to thousands of public and charter school students in 55 schools throughout all eight wards of DC.
  • Literary Conversations. Throughout the year, we bring together dozens of writers to inspire cross-cultural civic discourse about vital contemporary issues with members of the DC community.


HONOREE: The Honorable Ann Brown

GALA CHAIR: Willee Lewis

CO-CHAIRS: Lisa Brennan Barry, William Dunlap, Julie Arthur Garcia, Dale LeFebvre, Katherine Field Stephen, Annie Simonian Totah, Jayne Visser

HONORARY CO-CHAIRS: Senator Patrick Leahy Senator Lisa Murkowski

HONORARY BENEFIT COMMITTEE: Senator Roy Blunt Representative G.K. Butterfield Representative Debbie Dingell Senator Amy Klobuchar Representative John LewisSenator Ed Markey Representative Jackie Speier Senator Christopher Van Hollen Senator Mark Warner

Cynthia Howar and Susan Pillsbury, Co-Hosts

Anonymous • Shalom & Beth Baranes • Wendy Benchley & John Jeppson • Lee & Wayne Berman • Afsaneh and Michael Beschloss • BP America • Cathy Brentzel • Ludmila and Conrad Cafritz • Byron Carlock • Debbie Driesman & Frank Islam • Molly Elkin & Ivan Wasserman • Shannon Fairbanks & Thor Halvorson • Rhona & Don Friedman • James Gale • Elizabeth & Michael Galvin • Jon GarciaRenee & Stephen Gardner • Hank & Carol Brown Goldberg • Denise Grant & Frank Raines • Beverly & Stuart Halpert • The Honorable Jane Harman • Mimi & Richard Houstoun • Kay Kendall & Jack Davies • Dale LeFebvre • Finlay Lewis • Tracy & Greg McGillivary • Virginia Newmyer & Philip F. Zeidman · The Paley Family • Michael Pillsbury • Politics & Prose • Robert & Margie Shanks •Eileen Shields-West & Robin West • Nancy & Simon Sidamon-Eristoff • Douglas & Gabriela Smith • Andrew Stephen • Elizabeth & George Stevens, Jr. • Robert A. Stewart/JBG Smith • Lucretia Dewey Tanner

Richard McCann, Chair · Tracy McGillivary, President

Louis Bayard, Jackson R. Bryer, Conrad Cafritz, H.G. Carrillo, Susan Coll, Molly Elkin, · Renée K. Gardner, Ginny Grenham, Mary Haft, Mimi Houstoun, Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, Dale LeFebvre, Tony Lewis, Jr., Willee Lewis, Dr. Malcolm O’Hagan, Frazier O’Leary, Lisa Page, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Anas “Andy” Shallal, Katherine Field Stephen, Deborah Tannen

Calvin Trillin, Master of Ceremonies — BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

Nell Freudenberger, Matt Klam, Alice McDermott, Francine Prose, José A. Rodriguez, Rachel Snyder, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

DEDICATION: The evening will be dedicated to the memory of Donald Brown.