Hylton Performing Arts Center

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The 8th Anniversary Gala

Honoring Julie and Buck Waters

The 8th Anniversary Gala was held on the evening of Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia. The evening opened with a warm welcome by Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Center and Dean of George Mason University's College of Visual and Performing Arts, which was followed by a special presentation on behalf of the U.S. Congress by Congressman Gerry Connolly in honor of Julie and Buck Waters. 

Approximately 320 guests enjoyed a dinner, sponsored by Compton & Duling, L.C. Following dinner, Rick Davis returned to thank the guests in attendance and remark on all of the progress being made on the growth of the Hylton Center. George Mason University's President Dr. Ángel Cabrera also gave remarks, recognizing the advancement being done on the Science and Technology Campus of George Mason University and the importance of the Hylton Center to the campus, University and the community. Julie and Buck Waters were then presented with their award by Eileen Kennedy, Director of Development at the Hylton Center.

The Gala then featured a live auction, where three items were auctioned off, including a Carnival Caribbean Cruise, a Viking European Cruise, and a Conducting Experience Package with American Festival Pops Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Conductor Tony Maiello. Niyati Dhokai, Program Manager for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, led an address about the Initiative, followed by a quick video. The auctioneer then led a “Raise Your Paddle” to raise funds for the Initiative, which raised over $31,000. After the auction, guests joined an After Party, sponsored by KO Distilling, which included craft cocktails, sweet and savory bites, music and dancing with local band Keynote, and a jazz lounge with Mason Music’s Darden Purcell. Guests also enjoyed and bid on pieces in the Gala’s first Silent Art Auction which featured pieces of art of various mediums from local and regional artists, including George Mason University alumni.

All of the proceeds raised will support the performances and programs at the Hylton Center, including our educational programs and Veterans and the Arts Initiative. A portion of the proceeds will also support the Hylton Center’s Endowment, ensuring artistic excellence now and in the years to come.

A Special Thank You to our 8th Anniversary Gala Sponsors & Committee.

Photos of the 8th Anniversary Gala.

Thank you to our dinner sponsor!




Honoring those Who Have Honored Us with Their Service:

  • 1st Anniversary Gala Highlights: Honoring Senator Charles J. Colgan
  • 2nd Anniversary Gala Highlights: Honoring Alan C. Merten and Sally L. Merten
  • 3rd Anniversary Gala Highlights: Dr. Randall Edwards, Dr. Marvin L. Gillum (in memoriam), & The Honorable Kathleen K. Seefeldt
  • 4th Anniversary Gala Highlights: Didlake, John O. Gregory, and Carol Merchant Kirby
  • 5th Anniversary Gala Highlights: Novant Health and Dean William Reeder
  • 6th Anniversary Gala Highlights: NOVEC and Sally Lay
  • 7th Anniversary Gala Highlights: Honoring Mary and Hans Postma