Press Room

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


July 9, 2012
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.





Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 at 5 p.m.


Benefit event features performances and exhibitions by College of Visual and Performing Arts students and faculty, sumptuous buffets and beverages, a silent auction of arts-related items and experiences and a dazzling performance by Broadway ingénue and two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster!


FAIRFAX, Va., July 9, 2012 – George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is proud to announce its seventh annual ARTS by George! this September. This stellar benefit event is dedicated to providing support for student scholarships in the areas of visual arts, dance, music, theater, computer game design, film and video studies and arts management, as well as the Great Performances at Mason season at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 at 5 p.m., ARTS by George! will take place in the de Laski Performing Arts Building on Mason’s Fairfax Campus, as well as Harris Theater and a tented plaza next to the performing arts building.

This highly anticipated evening, chaired by Joe Catalano, vice president of Sandy Spring Bank, and his wife, Carol Catalano, commences as guests embark on an artistic journey winding through CVPA’s classrooms, studios and performance spaces throughout the arts complex, enjoying multidisciplinary showcases of performances and exhibitions by outstanding CVPA students and faculty. Guests will enjoy a bountiful array of fine food and wine provided by RSVP Catering, Lebanese Taverna, Bollywood Bistro, Neuhaus Belgian Chocolate and La Isla Corporation, among others. 

The evening’s festivities also include a silent auction of unique arts-related items and experiences. Items up for bid include artwork by CVPA students and faculty, private lessons with CVPA faculty, private tours of New York City and D.C. museums with School of Art faculty, tickets to sporting events, culinary experiences, performance ticket packages and vacations to destinations across Virginia and the United States.

Event chair Joe Catalano noted, “In its 6-year history, ARTS by George! has provided more than $700,000 for scholarships and support for the Great Performances at Mason season. This year, new multidisciplinary student performances at ARTS by George! will give a fresh new look at the student stars of tomorrow.”

The evening culminates in the Concert Hall with a gala performance by two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster. This luminous ingénue is known for her Tony Award-winning roles on Broadway as evangelist-turned-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes” and as the naïve and ambitious Millie Dillmount in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” as well as roles in “Little Women,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Shrek the Musical.” She also stars in the new ABC Family show, “Bunheads.” In this unforgettable concert, Foster will perform Broadway showstoppers and tender cabaret-style ballads that showcase her powerful soprano, fantastic footwork and radiant stage presence.

Immediately following the performance, ARTS by George! guests are welcomed onto the Concert Hall stage for a champagne and dessert reception with Sutton Foster.

ARTS by George! is generously supported by many businesses and individuals in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Sponsorship co-chairs are Joe Castiglia, Carolyn Peterson and Rena Vakay. Business Partnership co-chairs are Evan Hineman, So J. Lim and Ilene Tognini.




5:00 p.m.             Student showcases in visual arts, music, dance, theater, computer game design, film and video studies and arts management throughout the classrooms, studios and performance spaces of the

de Laski Performing Arts Building and Harris Theater.

5:00 p.m.            Creative cuisines and fine wines bars throughout the event.

5:00 p.m.            Silent auction of unique arts-related items and experiences.

8:00 p.m.            Concert Hall performance by Sutton Foster.

9:45 p.m.            Champagne and dessert reception on stage with Sutton Foster.




Event Co-Chairs

Joe and Carol Catalano


Sponsorship Co-Chairs

Joe Castiglia

Carolyn Peterson

Rena Vakay


Business Partnership Co-Chairs

Evan Hineman

So J. Lim

Ilene Tognini


Steering Committee Chairs

Don and Tota Conwell

Trish Fiser

Carol Hermandorfer

Shirley Joyce

Brenda McNulty

Paulette Miller

Ida Portland

Bob Purks

Bob and Pat Warakomky

Judy Weltz


TICKETS FOR ARTS BY GEORGE! (includes student performances and exhibitions, food, beverages, Sutton Foster concert and champagne and dessert reception on stage with the artist) are $200/person. Contact Deborah Páez Hoesly at or 703-993-4188 or visit to order tickets and/or inquire about sponsorship opportunities and benefits. Like ARTS by George! on Facebook:


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

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. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.