Presented by George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) presented its 12th annual ARTS by George! featuring a Gala Performance by Broadway Star Kelli O’Hara plus student showcases, buffets and wine bars, and silent and live auctions last September on the Fairfax campus. The benefit event was one of the premier arts gatherings in Northern Virginia each year. Its philanthropic efforts provide support for student scholarships in the disciplines of visual arts, dance, music, theater, computer game design, film and video studies, and arts management, as well as for the Great Performances at Mason series at the Center for the Arts. “I almost never call something unique because the word is overused and hardly ever accurate but this collection of brilliant student work in all genres of the arts, lively social interactions fueled by the energy of shared experiences, superb food and wine, topped off by a performance by one of the brightest stars on Broadway, is just that—unique, ” said Rick Davis, Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. “ARTS by George! was for many the highlight of the artistic and social calendar, and the proceeds from the evening are absolutely essential to our work with our students and the community.”
ARTS by George! began at 5 p.m. with a showcase of exhibitions and performances by CVPA students and faculty, which were presented in the deLaski Performing Arts Building and Harris Theatre, and in a tented plaza between the two venues. Guests were invited to tour 10 open studios and rehearsal halls, where they could enjoy behind-the-scenes insights and presentations of the student work that was being fostered at Mason. This year’s student showcases spanned selections from the musical The Gondoliers to an interactive virtual reality demonstration. Guests were treated to delicious cuisine and beverages provided by local purveyors, including Bonefish Grill, Bruster’s Real IceCream, Lebanese Taverna, and La Isla Corporation.
Raising support for student scholarships and the Great Performances at Mason series, the event also featured Silent and Live Auctions where unique arts-related items and experiences were open for bidding. The evening’s festivities culminated with a radiant concert of Broadway favorites, pop classics, and great American standards by Tony Award® winner and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara best known to audiences for her leading roles in The King and I, The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, and The Pajama Game.