Michelle and Clay are honorary chairpeople of the Trinity Repertory Company"s Pell awards gala, at which actress Jessica Lange will be honored with a lifetime achievement award.
These awards were established to honor Clay's grandfather Sen Claibourn Pell for his part in establishing the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. Clay's grandmother, the late Nuala Pell, was also extremely active as a matron of the arts in Rhode Island her whole life, and in fact she was the honorary chairperson of these awards before her death. This mantle has now passed to several of her grandchildren, Clay (and Michelle), Dr. Tripler Pell (and her husband, Tawfik Hammoud) and banker Eames Yates Jr.
By the way, the article mentions that one of the past recipients was Viola Davis, who just won an Oscar for Fences the other night. Davis was raised in Rhode Island and attended Rhode Island College. I wonder if Michelle has met her?