Thank you to everyone who joined us on Thursday, May 18 at the beautiful Wildersmoor House for McLean Project for the Arts’ 2023 Spring Benefit.

It was a joy to be together in this stunning home. We were thrilled to share Emilie Brzezinski’s extraordinary sculptures exhibited for the evening — her beautiful wood creations were a perfect complement to the beautiful gardens in that perfect setting. Special thanks to our Spring Benefit Co-Chairs Marsha Muawwad and Natalie von Seelen.

We appreciate everyone who attended and supported this event, and thank them for making this special occasion a reality. Our community supporters make the mission of MPA possible every day: supporting established and emerging artists along the East Coast, introducing hundreds of children in Title I schools to contemporary art, expanding the world of special needs individuals through art and bringing art and classes to seniors.

Spring Benefit 2024

MPA relies on the funds raised at Spring Benefit to further its mission of connecting art & community. Co-chaired by Cynthia Steele Vance and Mandy Mafi, the event will take place at the McLean home of Mark Lowham and Joseph Ruzzo, and will feature music from DC Martini, an exhibition of works by Chee Keong Kung, and more. Delegate Kathleen Murphy will serve as this year’s Spring Benefit Guest of Honor.

Individual tickets for Spring Benefit 2024 have SOLD OUT. We look forward to seeing everyone this Thursday, May 16!

Event Details

Thursday, May 16th

VIP Check-in: 6-6:30 pm
VIP Reception:
 6:30-7:30 pm
Main Reception: 7:30-9:30 pm

Dress: Spring Chic (wedges or flat shoes encouraged)

Co-chairs: Cynthia Steele Vance and Mandy Mafi

Venue: McLean home of Mark Lowham and Joseph Ruzzo

About Spring Benefit
McLean Project for the Arts’ signature spring fête, Spring Benefit, will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at a private residence in McLean, VA. MPA relies on the funds raised at Spring Benefit to further its mission to educate and inspire the community through contemporary visual arts exhibitions and arts education programs—including MPA ArtReach, which extends these exhibitions into the community through gallery tours and workshops for FCPS Title I elementary schools and other underserved groups who encounter obstacles in accessing the visual arts. Cynthia Steele Vance and Mandy Mafi will co-chair this year’s event.

This year’s Spring Benefit will feature an exhibition of works by Chee Keong Kung, a contemporary artist specializing in metal and mixed media sculptures and installations. Masters in the art of “turning a room full of guests into a ball,” local band DC Martini will provide entertainment for the evening. Our silent auction will feature the Roche Bobois Apex ottoman, designed by Sacha Lakic. Entirely round and quilted, this ottoman offers the perfect blend of aesthetics and comfort. Its unique design, shape, and size make it a versatile seating option that easily complements any interior decor. Delegate Kathleen Murphy, who recently retired after representing Virginia’s 34th District since 2015, will serve as this year’s Spring Benefit Guest of Honor.

Spring Benefit Entertainment

Bitter Dose Combo

The Bitter Dose Combo
MPA Spring Benefit will feature DC’s premier gypsy jazz and swing band The Bitter Dose Combo. No strangers to MPA, Bitter Dose Combo has previously performed at MPAartfest and at MPA Art + Music events. Bringing a touch of Parisian hot club to MPA Spring Benefit, the BDC combines Django-style guitar/vocals, musette accordion and upright bass. The band will be joined by young gypsy jazz guitar prodigy Sam Farthing.

Abbie Palmer

Abbie Palmer, Multi-Genre Harpist
Born into a performing musical family, Abbie Palmer has been employed and performed at many medical sites and performance venues within the national capital region. In 2010 she received degrees in music therapy and performance from Shenandoah Conservatory, and since then has explored an extensive array of possible outlets as a person living a life dedicated to music.

Raffle and Silent Auction


The Spring Benefit Raffle features many high-value items. Tickets 1 for $50, 3 for $100, or 6 for $200. All tickets will be entered to win one of the following three items:


  • Iconic Max Mara Whitney bag in lush green velvet. With top handles and a cross-body strap, embellished with rhinestones, to carry by hand or over the shoulder.  The Whitney Bag is a collaboration between Max Mara and architect Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop, the designers behind the now-iconic Whitney Museum of American Art. Loved by style icons everywhere, the bag is inspired by the Museum’s pure design and geometry. (Value $1420)
  • DAVID YURMAN $500 gift card with an exclusive shopping experience for four guests. (Value $500)
  • DAVID YURMAN Infinity Bracelet (3mm) with diamonds valued at $475. The DY Crossover® Collection explores the rhythmic weaving of line to create form and movement. Using a dynamic range of smooth and cabled cords, the individual strands are meticulously entwined. Sterling silver; pavé diamonds, .051 total carat weight; hook clasp. (Value $475)
*Drawing will be held May 12, 2022, during the MPA Spring Benefit.  Need not be present to win. All proceeds benefit the McLean Project for the Arts. 

Silent Auction

Our silent auction will feature two items–a Maremi Hooff Andreozzi painting and a Roche Bobois Lady B Chair with Kenzo Takada Pillow:


  • Roche Bobois Lady B Chair: Created by Cécile Maia Pujol, winner of the 2014 Roche Bobois Design Award, the Roche Bobois Lady B armchair is an eco-friendly reinterpretation of the traditional conversation chair intended to “encourage dialogue and to give users a different perspective on their surrounding.” (Value $2,800)
  • Maremi Hooff Andreozzi Painting: Through her work, Maremi Hooff Andreozzi creates symbolic portraits of inspirational woman in history and celebrate their narratives. Maremi has exhibited her work regionally and nationally. Her 2021 two-person show, “May You Live in Interesting Times” at Adah Rose’s Gallery was reviewed by Mark Jenkins in The Washington Post. Her painting, “The Suffragists” was exhibited in the Phillip’s Collection show, “Inside Outside Upside Down”. She is represented by Adah Rose’s Gallery in Kensington, MD. (Lawn Dress, 18 in x 24 in x 1 in; acrylic on canvas; 2022. Value $2,500)
*Need not be present to win, or attend event to participate. If you would like to bid via proxy, please email Jen Wormser at Starting bid is $500, increments of $100. All proceeds benefit the McLean Project for the Arts. 


A wide variety of sponsorship levels are available–offering options for both individuals and corporate entities.

Questions? For more information, please contact Jen Wormser at

Please note: Sponsorship packages are intended to be purchased by one entity. At this time, we cannot accommodate splitting packages between individuals, companies, or families. MPA is a nonprofit organization and our events raise critical funds needed to support our mission-based programs.
For donors interested in giving from a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), please note that IRS regulations do not permit any benefits, including tickets, to be conferred in connection with DAF contributions. IRS regulations state that ticket costs, including both cost of goods/services and charitable amount, should be paid for from sources other than a DAF.
For donors interested in employer matching gifts, please contact MPA first to determine the tax-deductible amount.

McLean Project for the Arts is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, with the tax identification number of EIN #52-1374407. Your donation (less cost of goods and services) is considered a charitable contribution under the U.S. Tax Laws. Consult your tax advisor to determine the extent of the applicable tax deduction.

Our Sponsors

Thank you to these generous MPA community sponsors for their support of MPA Spring Benefit! 

Curator Circle

Chairman Circle

Leadership Circle


Lizzy Conroy & Karen Briscoe, HBC Group, Keller Williams Realty
Andrew Viola
Paul, Jill, JP and JoJo Young


Marianne Prendergast, Washington Fine Properties

Major Benefactor

Chain Bridge Bank
Pamela & David Danner
Karen & Dan DuVal
Frank Consulting
James E. & Tracy Hitt Millar
Jane & Brant Imperatore
Lobkovich Kitchen Designs
Tricia & Geoff Malloy / Malloy Auto Group
Marsha & Rafik Muawwad
Norton Scott LLC
Katharine & Dale Powell
Brittany Root & Kevin Yam
Carla & Craig Seebald
Sally & John Simms
Silvija Strikis & Miguel Browne
Patricia Tetro & Jack Wilbern



Mary Jimenez Albatati & Ishmail Albatati
Francisca & Antonio Alonso
Stephen Bane MD
Bruce Berlage
Janet & Bill DuBose
Drs. Fizzah & Michael Timothy Gocke
Barbara Hawthorn Interiors LTD
Jacqueline & H. Alexander Henry
Betsy & Bob Huffman
Bobbie & Bill Kilberg
Susi & Eric Larsen
Anne Marie Marenburg
Cynthia & Gerald Miller
Norma & Russ Ramsey
Chelsea R. Rao & Harish R. Rao
Anupama & Anil Sharma
Margi & Bob Vanderhye
Clyde & Desi Woltman



Nevena Bailey
Babs Beckwith
Brian & Ellie Christiansen
The Ashley Dabbiere Family
Charles Divone
Walter Fleischer & Candace Kovacic-Fleischer
Daun T Frankland
Ann & Jeff Goettman
Kitty & Juan Pablo González
Michela Gorham
Josephine Haden & Charles Ludolph
Mary & David Holt
Lori Jenkins & George Swygert
Maria Kelly, M&M Properties Group, COMPASS
Stephanie Lambidakis & John LeSeur
Traudel Lange
Mandy Mafi
Georgia & John Nassikas
Robin Phillips
Red Rose Medspa
Aaron Rouse
Rebecca L Sanders
Josh & Ashleigh Sekoski
Tracy Shively
Beth Albrecht Singer
Nathalie Sullivan
Annie Simonian Totah
Cynthia Steele Vance
Vinson Hall Retirement Community
Pamela & James Wise
Suzanne & Glenn Youngkin

Our Sponsors

Thank you to these generous MPA community sponsors for their support of MPA Spring Benefit! 

Chairman Circle

Leadership Circle


Lobkovich Kitchen Designs
Natalie & Kirk von Seelen
Marianne Prendergast, Washington Fine Properties

Major Benefactors

Donna & Bruce Berlage
Chain Bridge Bank
Dan Cameron Family Foundation
Kitty & Richard L. Dana
Megan & Vincent Dennis
Ann M. Murphy & Matthew J. Desch
Karen & Dan DuVal
Candace Kovacic-Fleischer & Walter Fleischer
The Frederick Fund
Michela Gorham
Pamela Gwaltney
Jane & Brant Imperatore
Arezu & Roger Edward Ingle
Debbie & Leo Jardot
Marla & Peter Kim
Lori Jenkins & George Swygert
Bari & Keith Levingston
Marsha & Dr. Rafik Muawwad
Katharine & Dale Powell
Chelsea & Harish R. Rao
Janie Strauss
Silvija Strikis & Miguel Brown
Tiffany & Co.
Jack Wilbern
Lori & Ken Wiseman


Liam & Caroline Coakley
Maria Kelly & Madeline Middlebrook, Compass
Howard Forman & Elaine Weinstein
Drs. Fizzah & Tim Gocke
Kitty & Juan Pablo Gonzalez
Bob & Betsy Huffman
Bobbie & Bill Kilberg
Traudel Lange
Jon Monett
Loren & Nicole Monroe
Carla & Craig Seebald
JJ & Sonu Singh
Derrick & Amy Swaak


Sarah Bovim
Mary Cull
Timothy Davis
Charles Divone
Elizabeth & Al El-Nattar
The Hon. & Mrs. Peter Fitzgerald
Janine & Matt Frank
Rachel & Ted Georgelas
John & Susie King
Carmen Liebeler
Alison Mundy
Robin Phillips
Anne & Greg Polk
Ellen Yanuck Rosenblum
Drs. Rita Roy & Jon Merril
Deborah Sanders
Ashleigh & Josh Sekoski
Linda Stillman
Tetra Tech, Federal IT
Vinson Hall Retirement Community

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