Ahead of WHCA dinner, 'creativity' the buzzword at the Corcoran

ADVERTISEMENT
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Microsoft and Time magazine hosted the first Creativity Conference at the Washington art gallery.

The event featured politicians, such as former President Bill Clinton and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), as well as television and movie moguls Harvey Weinstein and Richard Plepler.

Cantor, who described America as the "creative capital of the world," offered bipartisan praise for people he said were creative in their approach to governing. Two shoutouts went to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who Cantor said has been a "champion of the open government platform," and Vice President Biden, with whom Cantor has a "sensitive relationship."

Clinton, who recently joined Twitter and said "Stephen Colbert got me some followers," discussed why creativity is so crucial to an evolving society in his keynote address.

The former president made note of the fact that he records shows on TiVo and said that when he was younger he briefly considered a career as a jazz musician. Clinton added that he sometimes wishes he were 20 again so he could "give up the presidency and take some chances."

The head of the MPAA, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), said that Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va), Mel Watt (D-N.C.) and Cantor, as well as Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), understand  the issues relating to creativity in the entertainment industry.

Dodd also shared some of his favorite technological devices. "I'm old school, so I have Blackberrys because they work well in Washington," Dodd told The Hill. "A lot of people in my office have iPhones and we like Sony products, but I also have an iPad and watch a lot of stuff on there as well."

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Films, said that new creative technology is a "godsend," partly because it can help keep the cost of movies down.

And Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, the cable network with hit shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Veep,” and “Girls,” said that his metric for success is whether or not one of HBO's shows can "enhance the brain and ignite passion and engagement" from the viewer.

Follow The Hill's In The Know columnist Judy Kurtz (@JudyKurtz) and Features Editor Emily Goodin for (@Emilylgoodin) this weekend for live updates from the White House Correspondents' Association dinner and related parties.