Kitty Carlisle Hart

Here's my favorite part of NPR's remembrance of the recently deceased Kitty Carlisle Hart:
The Harts hosted parties and weekends for New York writers and celebrities, from Lerner and Loewe to Noel Coward to Cole Porter to Harpo Marx. After her husband died in 1961, Hart became increasingly involved in charity work and arts advocacy. She was named vice-chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts and took over as chair in 1976, serving in that capacity — with no pay — for 21 years. She saw the council through cutbacks and culture wars, defending controversial artists including Robert Mapplethorpe before the state legislature in Albany.

"I was called on the carpet," she told NPR. "After being raked over the coals, I finally said 'I know you all go to the opera.' Well, there was a lot digging in the ribs with that, 'cause they didn't all go to the opera. I said, 'And there's an opera that is played everywhere, and it's called Rigoletto. And it's filled with rape and murder,' I said. And I threw in incest, for good measure, and they didn't know the difference. And I won the day."