Cosmic Cocktail in 2 weeks: Get your ticket today before they sell out.

Miedusiewski opens lobbying, public relations firm


What does a former gubernatorial candidate do for an encore? For Ellen Sauerbrey, it meant a radio talk show. But for American Joe Miedusiewski, the former state senator who ran in the Democratic primary, it means a public relations firm.

Friends and politicos stopped by Martin's West Tuesday evening wish Joe well in his new venture with the public relations firm, the Semmes Public Affairs Group. (It was formed with the blessing of the Semmes, Bowen & Semmes law firm to do lobbying and public relations.)

Among the 300 people in attendance were Brother Kevin Strong, principal of Calvert Hall; past CEO of Mercy Medical Center, Sister Mary Thomas Zinkhand and the hospital's current CEO Sister Helen Amos; Maryland Air and Army National Guard Cols. Bruce Tuxill and Howard Freedlander; Maryland Bay Pilot Capt. Michael Watson; Baltimore Fire Lt. Dean Muscello; Building Trades president Bill Kaczorowski; Hopkins Bayview CEO Ron Peterson; Semmes, Bowen & Semmes CEO Cleaveland Miller, and his wife, Margot; and, Semmes, Bowen & Semmes D.C. Managing partnerGil Lessenco and his wife, Elaine.

The list of politicos included Joe's running mate, Sen. Bernie Fowler; Gov. Paris Glendening; Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Secretary of State John Willis; and State Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick, whose husband, Lou, strolled through the crowd eliciting "This is Your Life"-type stories about the honoree.

Joe's parents, Frank and Frances Miedusiewski, and his wife Pat's parents, Mary and Bill Shanahan, beamed proudly as Joe introduced a video chronicling his life produced, of course, by his new firm.

Hope Quackenbush, former managing director of the Center for the Performing Arts, has recently returned from Florida to work on one of her pet projects, "Artafare." She's chairing this creative March 25 benefit for -- and at -- the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

The evening will reportedly feature the art auction of the season, live and silent, plus guests can wonder through studios and spaces in the Institute's main building, which have been transformed into a world of fun, costumes and elegant eating.

To give you some idea of just how creative the thematic dinners will be, take a look at who will be the hosts: -- Fredye and Adam Gross, Bunny and Charles Salisbury, Rand and Chip Mason will don masks for a Mardi Gras feast; Neal Friedlander and Ginny Adams, Claudia Sennett and Doug Kelso, and Charlie Brickbauer will be dressed in vintage attire at their Bolton Hill speakeasy; the Montague's ball from Romeo and Juliet is the theme of Nancy Haragan, Chris Hartman, and Donna Crivello's fete; Marsha and Bill Jews, Tom Stuehler, Dale Klietz, and Tim Green are concocting a floral fantasy.

Guests who stop by the sumptuous 19th-century period dinner, created by Charlotte and David Ashton and Jim Cox, will be announced by a footman; chairman of the Institute's Board Robert Shelton and his co-hosts Pat Krongard, and Ellie and Tony Troy will hold forth in a Renaissance setting; Billy Himmelrich and Bob Zimmerman's guests will don outrageous sunglasses for their Egg and Eye dinner, and finally Walter Gomez and Donna Freedman will present 100 Years of Solitude at their Latin Feast.

All of that and much more for only $125 a ticket, so call (410) 225-2263 for reservations.

Save-A-Heart Foundation fundraisers have their fingers crossed that comic Jay Leno, host of NBC's Tonight Show, will sign on the dotted line and become the next headliner for their June 10 show at the Lyric Theater. If he agrees, it would be Leno's first Baltimore concert and one with several high-profile precedents. Previous concerts featuring Natalie Cole, Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld were sold out and raised more than $600,000. More on this event later.

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