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Grammy Nominee & Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee

Grammy Nominee & Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee

"JD Souther is one of the most celebrated songwriters of his generation," writes Interview Magazine. "Raised on a steady diet of big band and jazz during his childhood, Souther has routinely returned to that musicians well as the genius songwriters of the early 20th century (Gershwin, Cole Porter) — for inspiration. On his new studio album, Tenderness (Sony Music Masterworks), Souther combines these musical threads, striking a perfect balance between understated jazz and the ineffable pop narratives that have been the backbone of much of his greatest work."

"Hanging out in the bar at the Troubadour with Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne and playing open mic Mondays, then opening for Poco and The Flying Burrito Brothers — it was the best study in songwriting I can imagine," reflects Souther. "So many great songwriters came through — Laura Nyro, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Newman, Elton John, James Taylor, Tim Hardin, Carole King, Rick Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, Tim Buckley, Gordon Lightfoot, Taj Mahal and more. It seems impossible now to imagine that much music in a year and a half or so, but that was my life and the Troubadour was our university. It's also where I met Linda Ronstadt and where Don Henley and Glenn Frey met to form this little country rock band called Eagles that would go on to make musical history."

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, Grammy-nominated Souther has penned countless hits for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, James Taylor, Don Henley, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn and found success as solo artist. Produced by Larry Klein, JD's latest album Tenderness connects "LA's '70s golden age with the Great American Songbook," writes Uncut, with songs that sound "like standards themselves." His classic albums John David Souther, Black Rose and Home by Dawn have been released as expanded reissues (Omnivore Recordings).

As an actor, he has appeared in the TV Shows Thirtysomething and Nashville, among others.

A long time supporter of O Museum in The Mansion JD is also a passionate animal lover and advocate involved with Best Friends Animal Society.

Ida Jenshus

Ida Jenshus made her debut in 2008 — her first studio album "Color of the Sun" earned her the Norwegian Grammy for best country album 2008. Her following 2 albums each garnered her additional Norwegian Grammy's making her the first Norwegian solo artist to win Grammys for their first three albums.

Learn more about Ida Jenshus

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Founder Letter

Dear Donor,

People have asked how I created The O Museum In The Mansion, especially because I started with no money, no business background and no art or design training. It started simply with a childlike openness to say "yes" to the visions God passed through me. I then abandoned all outside influences and focused solely on the steady "heart work" of His vision, one day at a time.

I just joyously turned 66. Why am I happy when most women are upset to gain another year (or don't acknowledge their age)? I was blessed to have a father who told me on every birthday... "You are one year closer to your 70's, when you'll truly be able to help others." So as the new dawn approaches with my 67th year, my heart is young.

I believe him, but as I look into the future, I can't do this alone. I need your help.

For nearly 40 years we have provided a place where individuals can rejuvenate, create, inspire each other and grow. This inspiration has spawned novels, songs, paintings and legislation. Our unique collections, organic tour offerings and intimate music & literary programs provide an outlet to get thoughts and ideas into the open. The fusion of the arts with science at the O Museum in The Mansion inspire us to be better people.

For me, life is simple. The future is predicated by all of us who create it. When you donate funds to us, you are helping to create extraordinary opportunities for our heroes, artists, musicians and patrons who visit to renew, create and grow.

  • Just $15 a month — or $180 a year — could help fund our borderless art sharing programs for public schools
  • $1,500 could help create opportunities that encourage meaningful dialogue with extraordinary authors & artists through our literary offerings
  • $5,000 could help provide more respites for heroes like Mrs. Rosa Parks and artists like Cordell through our artists-in-residence & heroes programs
  • $10,000 could help enhance & fund our intimate music programs & art without walls exhibits. Allowing artists of all genres including rising stars, Grammy & Academy Award winners & legends to perform and cultivate their craft and audience

Please Give

As I write this letter to you, I am reminded of something Mrs. Rosa Parks (one of our Heroes-in-Residence recipients) once told me "I am just one person in a group of many that teaches a message for all. When you have an opportunity presented to you, you must forget about yourself and become a messenger, for what is right."

Although I conceived and created this place, the magic goes well beyond me, and will survive long after me. The O Museum in The Mansion is not about me; it is about those who seek refuge here.

As we move toward the blessings of Thanksgiving and the new year — I am asking you to please donate to the O Museum in The Mansion.

Donate Now

It's the simple things, the small steps, the goals we choose, the way of life we want to live. And I breathe because God has so many things for me to do. We still have many things to accomplish. This is only a start.

I don't believe in miracles; I rely on them. Magic exists, not just in the mind.

With much appreciation,

H.H. Leonards - Spero

O Museum in The Mansion

Thank you to our generous supporters

Rock Star Supporters

Al Kooper
Aloha Pool Service
Bradley & Sheryl Schwartz
Emmylou Harris
Esperanza Spalding
Felix Cavaliere
JD Souther
Morris Family Foundation
Paul Williams
The Kristina and William Catto Foundation
Wilson-Epes Printing

Platinum Record Supporters

Alvin Stenzel
Castellini Foundation
Larry Kramer Family Fund
Richard Bloch
The Mansion on O Street
The Potomac Fund

Gold Record Supporters

Adi Karisik
Al Tiramisu
Beckstrom Family Fund
Dr. John Mather
Harmon Foundation
John Dillon
Mike & Holly Butler-Harris
Recording Industry Association
Republic National Distributing
Seth Greenstein
The Chrysalis Fund
Voss Water

Top 40 Supporters


Adam Koke
Ari Q. Fitzgerald
Brent Polkes & Sheryl Staren
Davey Yarborough
David Israelite
Dennis Ratner
Doug Dowling
Heather Gerum & Brent Schrader
John Simson
Jules Belkin
Mark Bryan
Mitch Glazier
Paul Cohn
Rob Halligan
Roy Beaumont
Steve Schraeder
Susie Markland
Ted Spero
Tom Constanten
Tracy Halliday


Asia 54
Beauty Unites
Contemporary Electric
Craig Specialty Advertising
DC Sustainable Energy Utility
Foundation for the Carolinas
Hogan Lovells
Home Depot Foundation
Jensen Communications
Kalliopeia Foundation
National Music Pub. Assoc.
Pets with Disabilities
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Sequoia Foundation
The Hamilton Live
The Purdue Club of DC
Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
Z Stein Law