Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeDeVos grilled on civil rights for students Farm bill abandons endangered wildlife House rejects effort to condemn lawmaker for demanding 'Dreamer' arrests MORE (D-Ohio) mingled with some bold-faced names Thursday evening.

Fudge, who was honored with the American Voice Award, gathered with actress Kathleen Turner, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and others at the Arena Stage for an awards ceremony and performance.

“I am certainly humbled to receive the American Voice Award and join the ranks of so many people that I admire,” said the CBC chairwoman. The award Fudge received honors elected officials for their support of and advocacy for the arts.

"[The theater] is where I learned to read and write,” Fudge said.“It is where I learned to express myself, to speak. You listen to young people today, they don’t know how to project.”

Turner, who was bestowed the American Artist Award, also touted the importance of theater.

“It is unique, it is unifying, it is humanity, it brings us together in a way that almost nothing else anymore does. We need theater, and I am thrilled out of my mind, to help give it to you.”

An awards dinner was followed by the opening night performance of The Tallest Tree in the Forest, a one-man musical that tells the story of African-American singer and actor Paul Robeson.