Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


July 22, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.





Benefit event features a sampling of student performances,

sumptuous food and beverages and a concert by

Academy Award and Tony Award-winning entertainer Joel Grey

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 at 5 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., June 16, 2010George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) celebrates the fifth anniversary of ARTS by George! – an annual benefit event dedicated to providing scholarship support for students in the visual arts, dance, music, theater, film and video studies, computer game design and arts management, as well as the Center for the Arts’ Great Performances at Mason series. Held on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m., the fifth anniversary celebration will be the first in the newly expanded de Laski Performing Arts Building, opening in fall 2010, as well as Mason’s Harris Theater and a tented plaza next to the performing arts building. This spectacular evening begins with a multi-disciplinary showcase of the remarkable talents of Mason students and faculty amid an array of sumptuous food and beverages. The evening’s festivities also include a silent auction of unique arts-related items and experiences. ARTS by George! culminates in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall with a performance by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Joel Grey, famously known for his unforgettable role as the demonic Emcee in the Broadway and film versions of “Cabaret.” ARTS by George! is generously supported by many metro area individuals and businesses. Arts supporters Don and Tota Conwell are the event co-chairs for the fifth annual ARTS by George! Sponsorship co-chairs are Carolyn Peterson, Larry Kelly and So Jung Lim.

An exciting opportunity to see “works in progress” by Mason student and faculty, ARTS by George! is a unique evening of visual and performing arts and creative cuisine, celebrating the excellence of the arts at Mason. Attendees embark on an artistic journey winding through the studios and performance spaces, enjoying artistic presentations and sampling fine food and beverages provided by RSVP Catering, Morton’s The Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Lebanese Taverna and La Isla Corporation. The newly expanded de Laski Performing Arts Building allows this year’s ARTS by George! to be held on one level, and features a variety of new spaces for visual art, performances and food and beverage stations. New spaces include a large instrumental rehearsal hall, two large dance studios, a wellness and conditioning studio and additional student and classroom facilities.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the fifth anniversary of ARTS by George!” said CVPA Dean William Reeder. “In the past five years the attendance of ARTS by George! has more than doubled and has grown beyond expectations, having raised more than $300,000 in student scholarships. It has become one of the premier annual arts events in Northern Virginia.”

Patrons have the opportunity to participate in a unique silent auction of arts-related items, services and experiences, which begins at 5 p.m. Items up for bid include artwork created by Mason faculty, students and alumni; private tours with Mason faculty at museums and galleries in Washington, D.C. and New York City; consultations with CVPA administration for businesses and non-profits; a photo shoot with Joel Grey at ARTS by George! and a framed print from the shoot; private music lessons with Mason School of Music faculty; bed-and-breakfast stays in destination towns throughout Virginia; shopping sprees in Middleburg and Charlottesville; golf with CVPA Dean William Reeder; ticket packages to Washington Capitals and Mason Patriots basketball games; clothing by fashion designer Nanette Lepore; and a 5-night stay at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas Resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The evening also includes a gala performance by Joel Grey, who is joined by a 20-piece orchestra to take the audience on a virtual tour of his career – singing, dancing and storytelling – performing songs by Kander and Ebb, Irving Berlin, Billy Joel and more. Hailed as “the quintessential song-and-dance man,” by The Washington Post, this charismatic entertainer has spent more than 50 years starring on Broadway, television and film. Grey is only one of eight actors to win both a Tony Award and Academy Award for the same role, which he received for his scene-stealing role as the demonic Emcee in the original Broadway and film productions of “Cabaret.” He also won the Golden Globe and the British Academy Award for his role in the film version. Grey’s recent stage credits include The Wizard in the original Broadway production of “Wicked” and Roxie Hart’s milquetoast husband in the revival of “Chicago.” He also received Tony nominations for Best Leading Actor in “Goodtime Charlie,” “The Grand Tour” and “George M!” In addition, Grey has made recent guest appearances on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “House.”

Immediately following the performance, ARTS by George! guests are welcomed onto the stage for a champagne and dessert reception with Joel Grey.



5 p.m.                      Multi-disciplinary showcase of the arts from all academic disciplines in     George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts in the de     Laski Performing Arts Building

5-7:30 p.m.                  Silent Auction of unique arts-related items, services and experiences

5-7:30 p.m.                  Sumptuous cuisine and bars throughout the performance spaces and the     tented plaza

8 p.m.                      Gala performance by Joel Grey in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall

9:45 p.m.                                    Champagne and dessert reception on stage with Joel Grey




Event Co-Chairs

Don and Tota Conwell


Sponsorship Co-Chairs

Carolyn Peterson

Larry Kelly

So Jung Lim


Steering Committee

Carole T. Scanlon

Seumis G. Higgins

Vicki Huttar

Shirley Joyce

Ida Portland

Sue Skaddan

Lilla Ohrstrom

Eileen Duggan

Judy Weltz

Bob Purks

TICKETS FOR ARTS BY GEORGE! (includes student performance showcases, food, beverages, Joel Grey concert, and dessert reception onstage with the artist) are $200/person. Contact Deborah Paez at DPAEZ@GMU.EDU OR 703-993-4188, or visit  to order tickets and/or inquire about sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

About the College of Visual and Performing Arts

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.