The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Northern Virginia hosts over 100 live performances of all sorts through the summer. The park is 117 acres of gorgeous natural scenery in Virginia. Its Filene Center in Vienna hosts most of the performances, but there is a Theatre-in-the-Woods for children. Besides its value to the arts, the park provides more usual park recreation such as hiking and sledding. It’s run by the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performance Arts in official partnership with the U.S. National Forest Service. It produces musical events around the year at The Barns at Wolf Trap. That actually consists of two 18th century barns brought over to Virginia from England and re-assembled together to form an intimate venue. Because Wolf Trap is so close to Washington D.C., it attracts both D.C. residents and tourists to its concerts.
Wolf Trap now produces annual benefit balls to raise funds to support its work. These are held in partnership with embassies in Washington D.C. In 2013 the partner was the Embassy of France.
In 2014 the honorary host was the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), making Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba https://www.facebook.com/Yousef-Al-Otaiba-162542037255423/ the honorary host for the event, which took place on September 1, 2014. Guests included Virginia VIPs such as Governor Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) were also spotted. As there was Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), surprising many. Over 800 of the wealthy donors and supporters of the arts of Washington D.C. went to the Filene Center in Vienna. Wolf Trap and the UAE embassy put on a terrific show highlighting the music, food, dance and culture of the UAE. The ambassador made a well-received speech about how the performing arts music, theater and dance were a universal language can connect societies and promote greater cultural understanding.
Attendees got a good look at Arabian culture. When they entered, a musician on the oud, an Arabic string instrument somewhat similar to a flute, played for them. Artists used henna to draw complex designs and patterns on people’s hands. Along with the usual cocktails, guests could drink Arabic coffee. After a dinner of UAE cuisine, the guests could try out a full hookah lounge, or sheesha
The ball raised over $1. million to support the work of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performance Arts. The 2015 Wolf Trap ball was sponsored by the Italian Embassy.