American Classic Woman of the Year

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Karen Houser Hall accepts the title of American Classic Woman of the Year 2019. Photo: Pleasant Mann

Karen Houser Hall, a resident of Capitol Hill, won the 2019 American Classic Woman of the Year Pageant at the historic Lincoln Theatre on Sunday, July 21. The pageant, created by senior activist Leatha Blount 19 years ago, showcases the artistic talents and creativity of Washington, DC women age 55 and above, inspiring seniors to remain active, and promoting them as valued members of their communities. Major supporters of the 2019 pageant include the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Douglas Development Corporation.

The pageant competition this year consisted of six women judged on their talent and evening gown presentations, their philosophy of life, and responses to interview questions. Hill, for her display of talent, performed a creative movement in mime to the Whitney Houston song, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” The audience for the pageant was entertained during breaks in the competition by performers including tribute singer David Bratton, legendary radio personality Ernie Fields and the Iverson Mall Walkers, a senior dance ensemble. A special moment was when Joan Bowser, mother of DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, was crowned as the honorary Queen of Washington, DC. Mayor Bowser came to give a speech congratulating her mother and saluting the pageant for its 19 years of service.

Hall, 61, is a native Washingtonian educated in the D.C public school system. She has been a Recreation Specialist with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation for 40 years and is a volunteer coordinator with Banneker Academic High School. Hall is a member of Southern Baptist Church, Praise and Worship Center, and volunteers with Catholic Charities, SAMARICORP, Ludlow Taylor Elementary School as well as other community groups.

The American Classic Woman of the Year, Queen of Washington, DC, for 2019 serves as an ambassador for the DC senior community and will represent the District of Columbia at citywide, regional and national events and make public appearances locally and wherever invited elsewhere.