JANUARY 17, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—These columns seemed to be so filled with activities these days, that I have difficulty in mentioning some of the things that I am enjoying most. I must mention that on Tuesday evening the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Miss Helen Jepson as guest artist, gave us a most enchanting evening.
I had to arrive a little late, which I consider a crime at a concert. But the gentlemen were talking during dinner with the President and I could not very well tear them away. From the moment we did arrive until the end of the evening, all of us forgot the cares of this world in the joys of music.
At the end of the concert, I went to the Infantile Paralysis Dinner, and heard some interesting speeches.
To return to more recent happenings, I can tell you of a visit yesterday from a committee representing the United Artists. They feel that it is most important that the gains which have been made through the government's recognition of the artists should not be lost because of the national defense program.
Therefore, they are going to take up with various people, the possibility of useful service to the whole defense effort. I think this is a very good approach to find new outlets for both artists and craftsmen and I hope it will mean a greater realization that art is something which has a place in every phase of American life. I am still anxious that Art Week should be continued as a yearly thing, until all of us learn to buy, as well as to admire at a distance in museums, the creations of our artists.
Yesterday afternoon, the board of the General Federation of Women's Clubs came to tea with me. Later, Mr. S. E. Henig came with Mr. Goris to tell me that the Belgian Pavilion at the World's Fair is being given by the Belgian Government to the United States as an addition to Virginia Union University for Negroes.
Money will have to be raised to take the building down, transport it and erect it, but this gesture of friendship has signifigance in a world at war. It is not only a gesture of international goodwill, but a gesture of interracial goodwill, because it is to be erected on the campus of a college devoted to the higher education of Negroes.
Last evening, some of us went to see: "The Cream In the Well," by Lynn Riggs. This is a most interesting play, well written and well acted. At moments I think it is a little too tragic, and I wish there had been a few light touches here and there. We spent an interesting evening, but don't go if you are just on pleasure bent.