Prepare to Be Dazzled at ARTS by George!

Posted: September 7, 2010 at 1:04 am, Last Updated: September 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm

By Jill Graziano Laiacona

The evening will open with a showcase of students' artistic talents. Photo by Amy Joseph

On Saturday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m., Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) will celebrate the fifth anniversary of ARTS by George! — an annual benefit to provide 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.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the fifth anniversary of ARTS by George!” says 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.”

The anniversary celebration will be the first major event to be held in the newly expanded de Laski Performing Arts Building. Other venues for the celebration are Mason’s Harris Theater and a tented plaza next to the performing arts building.

Joel Grey. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

What promises to be a spectacular evening will begin with a multidisciplinary showcase of the remarkable talents of Mason students and faculty members.

Upon arrival, attendees will 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 evening will culminate 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 Master of Ceremoniese in the Broadway and film versions of “Cabaret.”

Immediately following the performance, guests will be welcomed onto the stage for a champagne and dessert reception with Grey.

The evening’s festivities also include a silent auction of unique arts-related items and experiences.

Items up for bid include

  • Artwork created by Mason faculty members, students and alumni
  • Private tours with Mason faculty members at museums and galleries in Washington, D.C., and New York.
  • Consultations with CVPA administration for businesses and nonprofits
  • A photo taken with Joel Grey at ARTS by George! and a framed print
  • Private music lessons with Mason School of Music faculty members
  • Bed-and-breakfast stays in destination towns throughout Virginia
  • Shopping sprees in Middleburg and Charlottesville, Va.
  • Golf with Dean Reeder
  • Ticket packages to Washington Capitals and Mason Patriots basketball games
  • Clothing by fashion designer Nanette Lepore
  • A five-night stay at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas Resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Guests at ARTS by George! will sample a gourmet buffet. Photo by Amy Joseph

The newly expanded de Laski Performing Arts Building allows this year’s ARTS by George! to be presented in 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.

ARTS by George! is generously supported by many area individuals and businesses. Arts supporters Don and Tota Conwell are the event co-chairs, and sponsorship co-chairs are Carolyn Peterson, Larry Kelly and So Jung Lim.

Tickets for ARTS by George! are $200 per person. Admission includes student performance showcases, food, beverages, the Joel Grey concert and the dessert reception onstage. Contact Deborah Paez at or 703-993-4188, or visit to order tickets and inquire about sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

Write to mediarel at