June/July 2017 Newsletter

New Staff, New Season!

In the past few months, we have welcomed a few wonderful new staff members at the Center for the Arts. Meet (from left to right) Web and Digital Marketing Manager Stacey Schwartz, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications Camille Devlin, and Publications Manager Mary Arnston-Terrell. As their first full season of Great Performances at Mason approaches, they are looking forward to bringing their loved ones to a variety of season highlights!

Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications Camille Devlin:
What kind of performances do you like to attend? (Theater? Dance? Music?) 
Camille: I trained as an oboist from a young age so it's no surprise that my favorite hobby is to attend classical music performances! That said, I love anything that incorporates good music into the mix.

With whom do you like to attend performances?
Camille: I love to go with my husband, especially if it's a classical music performance. He's an orchestra conductor with a D.M.A. from the University of Maryland. So, as you can imagine, we "nerd out" together and I certainly learn a lot from the things that he listens for and pays attention to during concerts.

Which performances are you most looking forward to next season?
I'm looking forward to the broad "All Music" offerings next season. My husband and I were just in Russia and since then, I've experienced a newfound curiosity for Russian classical arts. And so, I'm excited to see the Russian String Orchestra — I bet their playing will be mind-blowing as their country is known for producing some of the best violinists in the world. I also can't wait to see clarinetist David Krakauer and The 35mm Orchestra in The Big Picture. We recently saw him perform, and I was extremely impressed with his stage presence and musicianship. I so admire musicians like him, who have managed to transcend genres with their unbelievable talent and level of creativity.

What would you tell others about the Center?
 I truly consider the Center for the Arts to be a local gem that should be experienced by everyone living in Northern Virginia, but especially those in the Fairfax area. All of this wonderful art is basically next door, just a short drive away from home.

Web and Digital Marketing Manager Stacey Schwartz
What kind of performances do you like to attend? (Theater? Dance? Music?)

Stacey: I love attending both music and modern dance performances, and I feel very fortunate that I can see both at the Center for the Arts!

With whom do you like to attend performances?
Stacey: Now that my 9 year-old son has been enjoying playing the piano for a few years, I love bringing him to see classical music performances. Partly to inspire him…and partly to get some quality time in without his little brothers. :)

Which performances are you most looking forward to next season?
I'm really looking forward to seeing Pilobolus and The Trocks!

Publications Manager Mary Arnston-Terrell
What kind of performances do you like to attend? 
Mary: I grew up in a visual arts focused family where classical music was a backdrop for our creative endeavors, so it makes sense that music is where my comfort zone is. But I am hoping to change that this year! My younger daughter just announced she plans to minor in dance in college, so I will be taking her to a variety of dance performances.

With whom do you like to attend performances? 
Mary: Before I ever considered working at Mason, I would come to at least one CFA event a year with my family!

Performance/series of performances you're most looking forward to next year?
Mary: My family and I will definitely be attending a holiday concert—although we can't decide between Chanticleer, AFPO Holiday Pops, and Vienna Boys Choir!

Something (else) about Mary:
Personally, I have a huge fear of public speaking and being on stage so I admire those who have the tenacity to get out there. And now that I have gained more "behind the scenes" knowledge, I really appreciate how many hours of preparation, planning, and practice go into each performance. 

Get to know the 2017
ARTS by George! headliner!

Our biggest event of the fall season is just around the corner! The 2017 ARTS by George! benefit will take place on Saturday, September 23 and we are honored to have Tony Award winner and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara join us as headliner for the evening. We recently caught up with Ms. O’Hara to learn more about her own educational experiences, her success in the entertainment industry, and her commitment to support young and emerging artists.

Could you tell us about your musical training—where did you go to school/train to be a professional singer and actress?

Kelli: I grew up in Oklahoma and dreamed of studying with the wonderful Florence Birdwell at Oklahoma City University. So, that is just what I did—I earned a degree in Vocal Performance/Opera. After graduating, I made the big move to New York City where I went to acting school at The Lee Strasberg Institute. 

When did you know that you wanted to be a performer?
Kelli: I was in the fourth grade (10 years old) the first time I ever sang a solo in public. I think I must have ignited something that day! 

Thinking back on your education, what piece of advice helped you successfully navigate college and life after?

Kelli: A summer stock director once told me that there would always be someone telling me exactly how I needed to do things (where to get my headshots, what agency to pursue, what songs to sing, how to look, etc.), and unless I just did it MY way, I would never succeed. It's a very hard thing to do...trust yourself, but with that advice, I have tried my best to do that. 

While in college, what was your favorite role/performance opportunity and what made it special/memorable?

Kelli: I played the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and although it was a thrilling role vocally, it is the power of the character that still excites me. I played a lot of ingénues then, and it was a nice taste of what else might be out there for me eventually. 

For the ARTS by George! benefit, you will be performing a concert of Broadway musical favorites. Do you have a favorite Broadway musical or show tune? What are they?

Kelli: I have so many favorites. I absolutely love the score from My Fair Lady. I love "The Carousel Waltz." I think Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George is so brilliant (specifically "Move On "). But, two of my very favorite scores are more current and ones I was lucky enough to be a part of: The Light in the Piazza and The Bridges of Madison County

Student musicians from Mason's School of Music will join you for one number. Why do you think it’s important to showcase emerging talent as part of your performance?

Kelli: If I can help anyone come to the arts in a deeper way, especially a young person who dreams the way I did/do or someone who hasn't yet discovered the freedom of communication through art when it is needed the most, that is worth more than a lifetime of awards and accolades. We have to keep art alive and thriving. It is a goal of mine. 

The annual ARTS by George! benefit supports student scholarships at George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Great Performances at Mason season at the Center for the Arts.

Tickets to see Kelli O’Hara or to ARTS by George! (which include her performance) can be added to your 2017-2018 subscriptionSubscribe today!

To purchase individual tickets to ARTS by George!, please visit artsbygeorge.gmu.edu.

Group Reservations Available June 30

Groups of 10 or more receive discounts and other benefits!

Starting June 30, you can make group reservations for 2017-2018 Great Performances at Mason. Whether you plan to entertain clients, get together with family and friends, or introduce your students to the performing arts, our group sales representative will ensure it will be an enriching and enjoyable experience for all. Groups receive a host of benefits!

To reserve seats and customize your experience, contact our group sales representative at 703-993-8600 or cfatix@gmu.edu. Visit cfa.gmu.edu/groups/ anytime to learn more!

Masonís First Giving Day a Success!

George Mason University held its first-ever Giving Day on April 6. Giving Day was a 24-hour philanthropic event to support specific initiatives from across the University. Over the course of the day, George Mason raised almost $200,000 from over 1,500 donors living in 39 states and 5 countries!

We are proud to say that the Center for the Arts ranked 7th for the highest number of donors amongst all of the University’s projects, and the arts were the second most active area of interest across the University! The Center for the Arts’ project raised funds toward brand new programmable and environmentally-friendly LED lighting equipment for Grand Tier III to replace the current fixtures.

We are so grateful to all of our supporters. Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a success!

If you are interested in supporting the Center for the Arts, click here or call 703-993-4749.

Preparing the Next Generation of Artists

Participate in university-quality summer camps, programs, workshops and intensives in the areas of music, acting and theater, visual art and photography, and film and video. Your kids and teens will experience a blend of imagination and education at George Mason University's Potomac Arts Academy. Register online today!

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