Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Vol. 62: September 2018 Newsletter

Rick Davis, CVPA Dean at Mason UniversityDirector's Corner

Feel the earth move...and other signs of change

With a nod to the great Carole King, we feel the earth move under our feet every day now as heavy equipment rearranges the landscape where our long-awaited Education and Rehearsal Wing will soon start rising.  Big machines with treads and buckets, workers with hardhats and safety vests, and piles of dirt and gravel are doing a kind of mechanical ballet outside our front door, and it’s a thing of beauty. This expansion of our capacity to create, teach, and serve our communities of artists, students, and the public will transform so many aspects of the way we work today.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you can explore some of the details of the project—for right now, let’s just say (or sing) that we feel our hearts start to trembling....

There are other things that make us tremble (with excitement), such as the approach of a new season.  Arts Alive! — the season’s traditional fall kick-off (oh yes, that activity is also starting back up, Go Packers and Local Teams!) — is one of many casualties of the uncertainties of Florence (great city, lousy storm), but there is much else to anticipate. Hylton Presents and Hylton Center EXTRA! both have blockbuster openers for the fall (see elsewhere in this newsletter for details) and our great Resident Arts Partners and Affiliates are preparing an autumnal smörgåsbord (my Midwest roots are really showing in this paragraph!) — a feast with infinite variety — reaffirming what a vibrant arts scene — what a great community — we have the privilege of serving.   

Soon after that, we’re off and running with the whole panoply of the 2018-19 season—across the board, our strongest, most diverse, and innovative yet—that somehow will magically unfold right next to a busy construction site with no interruptions!  Enjoy this jam-packed edition of the newsletter to get all the details.  And excuse—no, celebrate—our dust!

Rick Davis
Dean and Executive Director

The Hylton Center is Expanding!

Hylton Center is expanding

You may have noticed some changes to the grounds surrounding the venue recently. These changes mark the official start of construction of the new Hylton Center Education and Rehearsal Wing. During this period of growth, you will notice modifications to both the interior and exterior of the building. The Hylton's dynamic calendar of performances will continue to bring you first-class performing arts experiences from across the world and around the corner. If your visit to the Hylton Center will be impacted by construction, we will be sure to communicate that information to you on the Hylton Center website and often via emails such as this one.

This construction is the direct result of the Hylton Center fulfilling its vision to "be the creative commons of a vibrant region, inspiring the community to express its voice by participating in the Center’s work as artists, audiences and lifelong learners." The Hylton Center serves the region around it in ways that its founders never could have imagined, directed by the needs of an evolving and expanding community.

The new Education and Rehearsal Wing will provide approximately 14,000 square feet of new space for rehearsals, classes, and performances. Once completed, the entrance to the Hylton Center will feel more expansive and feature a seamless flow into the new space from the Didlake Grand Foyer.

As the Hylton Center steps into the next stage of its life as the region's premier performing arts center, we are asking you to partner with us to ensure artistic excellence in its performances and programs. For more information on how you can make an impact in realizing this vision, please contact Eileen Kennedy, Director of Development: Ekenned9@gmu.edu or visit HyltonCenter.org/campaign/

The 2018/2019 Season is Here!

Capitol Steps troupeThe month of September kicks off an unbeatable showcase of talent with performances by The Capitol Steps, Aga-Boom, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, and Jeffrey Siegel. The Capitol Steps (9/22) return to Merchant Hall for an evening of side-splitting political humor and tickets are selling fast, so act now! Jeffrey Siegel also brings his popular Keyboard Conversations® concert with commentary back to the Hylton this month in A Bernstein Birthday Bash (9/29) that, among other works, highlights two pieces by composers who inspired Bernstein: Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Copland's El Salon Mexico.

If great family entertainment is what you're looking for, be sure to explore the Hylton Family Series fall line-up. This child-friendly series, designed to introduce young people to performing arts, welcomes Aga- Boom (9/29) with their unique style of physical comedy that blends silly slapstick with European theatrical whimsy. Then in November, prepare to be "bow-wowed" by Mutts Gone Nuts (11/11). From frisbee and barrel tricks to dance and jump rope routines, these lovable canines rescued from shelters will win you over in a comedy dog-thrill show as seen on television's The View, Ellen, or The Late Show with David Letterman.

We are also excited to share that in its second year, the American Roots Series is thriving! So much, in fact, that all four performances are close to selling out. Check out this down-home concert series featuring bluegrass, blues, folk, country, and more and grab your tickets before they're gone. Learn More.

Take in a Musical Matinee

Gourmet SymphonyFor those who enjoy an idyllic afternoon in the company of good food, music, and friends, Matinee Idylls returns with a fresh, new season that begins with the Hylton debut of Gourmet Symphony (10/2), followed by A Taste of Opera (11/13). Gourmet Symphony presents a multisensory experience by pairing classical masterworks with creative cuisine in a complementary program that features D.C.'s most talented artists led by conductor John Devlin. In November, A Taste of Opera returns with a program of beloved works performed by talented young professionals who are up-and-coming in the world of opera. Learn More.

An EXTRA Special Performance

Will AckermanTickets to Hylton Center EXTRA! Will Ackerman (10/6) are on sale now. Be sure to get your tickets to this Grammy Award®-winning recording artist and producer who brings his musical vision and "thorough love of the mystery of making music" to Merchant Hall for a reflective, heartfelt performance. Ackerman, the founder of Windham Hill Records and six-time Grammy Award® nominee, will be joined onstage by genre-bending guitar sensations Shaun Hopper and Vin Downes in this special Hylton Center EXTRA! musical event! Learn More.

Celebrating Veterans and the Arts

veterans and the artsSince 2014, the Hylton Center's Veterans and the Arts Initiative has served as an arts and community hub for local Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and community members through free activities and events that feature the arts. Learn more about these upcoming workshops:

Also be sure to mark your calendars early for the Hylton Center's 4th annual Celebrating Veterans and the Arts event this fall. Enjoy an interactive afternoon of celebration and arts experiences for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, military caregivers, and the community on November 10 from 4-7 p.m. This free event features community-based resources, interactive music and visual art workshops, an exhibition of Veteran artwork, and more! Activities will be followed by a family-friendly 8 p.m. ticketed concert featuring country music artist William Michael Morgan. Learn More

Exclusive Benefits, Uncommon Experiences

The Copper Circle of the Friends of the Hylton Center joins individuals and organizations who are passionate about all forms of art – and who want to keep the arts accessible to all.  In addition to ensuring that the Hylton Center continues to serve as the creative commons for the region, this group also enjoys exclusive benefits and uncommon experiences, that include:

  • A celebration opening of each new season at the annual Copper Circle Dinner
  • Wine, beer, coffee, soft drinks, and refreshments with guests and friends in the Lovey Hammel Lounge during all Hylton Presents performances (compliments of Alliant Wealth Advisors)
  • Concierge ticketing and seating assistance
  • Commemoration of their support by naming a seat in Merchant Hall.  (Benefactor level and above)

For as little as $84 per month, you can join this group of arts enthusiasts whose philanthropic support ensures that the Hylton Presents and Hylton Family Series continue to remain vibrant and affordable today and for future generations.

Learn more or contact Jacque Connor at 703-993-7150 or jconnor8@gmu.edu for more information.

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