Friends of the Hylton Center:
May-August 2012 Newsletter
Were you in Merchant Hall when Brian Stokes Mitchell put down the microphone, strolled to the footlights (or where the footlights would have been in the old days) and offered us a taste of the unamplified Broadway of generations past? His “unplugged” version of “This Nearly Was Mine” thrilled and brought more than a few tears to the packed house. That truly “enchanted evening” brought our Hylton Presents season to a spectacular close and also afforded us, at the Second Annual Gala, the opportunity to celebrate the long and transformative tenure of Alan and Sally Merten at George Mason University. As you no doubt know, Dr. Merten retires this summer after a highly successful 16-year Presidency, during which the Prince William Campus and the Hylton Center became vital contributors to Mason’s growing regional, national, and international reputation for innovation and excellence. At the Gala, the Mertens were honored by resolutions both Federal (presented by Congressman Gerry Connolly) and State (presented by Senator Charles Colgan), tributes from Gala co-chairs Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and Mike Vanderpool of the Manassas law firm Vanderpool, Frostick, and Nishanian, P.C., and letters from US Senator Mark Warner and former Governor Tim Kaine.
Speaking of Senator Colgan, one of the great purposes of the annual Gala is to nourish the Colgan Community Arts Fund, which helps the Hylton Center continue offering access to our first-class facilities to local and regional arts organizations at rates far below market, which is central to the Hylton Center’s mission. The Resident Arts Partners – Manassas Ballet Theatre, Manassas Chorale, Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Vpstart Crow, Prince William Little Theatre, and Youth Orchestras of Prince William – all had marvelous seasons and presented impressive work to growing audiences. We are so proud that they have chosen to make the Hylton Center their artistic home, and I personally want to encourage you to make a “New Season’s Resolution” (no dieting involved) to sample the work of at least one new-to-you resident ensemble in the coming artistic year.
Thank you for being a Friend of the Hylton Center. It signals something quite profound: namely, that you value the contribution the arts make to a better world, both on an individual and community level; that you understand that ticket sales alone cover less than 60% of the cost of bringing great artists to the Center; and that you are willing and able to put tangible support behind these values. We take your Friendship seriously and want you to know just how essential it is to the sustained success of this place we all love.
Finally, on a more personal note, in a couple of months I will celebrate my first anniversary (or birthday?) as Executive Director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. I am every day more impressed by the sense of purpose, of meaning, of impact that I sense in the responses to our work from the communities we serve. This is a place that clearly matters and it is an honor (and lots of fun) to lead it. Be in touch – see you this summer and next fall – and thanks again for your Friendly support!
– Rick Davis, Executive Director
Did You Renew Your Friends Membership?
If your Friends of the Hylton Center membership has expired, please consider renewing for the coming year. Your contributions help continue the fine performances we have been enjoying, encourage participation in the arts, and expand educational opportunities for area students. In short, the Hylton Center is a valuable community resource for Prince William County, Manassas, and the surrounding area and the Friends are an integral part in making it all happen. Please renew today by visiting http://hyltoncenter.org/support/. If you have questions, or are not sure if you need to renew at this time, please contact Emily Robinson at 703-993-7719 or email@example.com.
2012-2013 Hylton Presents Season Preview
As you know, one of the many perks of being a Friend is an exclusive invite to the season preview. If you haven’t attended the event in previous years, it is a special event in which the upcoming season is revealed. What makes this evening so special is that the Friends are the first to learn about the exciting offerings for the new season, not to mention the great food and conversation. This year’s presentation by Tom Reynolds, Director of Artistic Programming, Marketing & Audience Services, featured a brief description of each scheduled performance along with a video highlighting the amazing variety awaiting us next season. Thanks to all who attended the event. We’re eager to see all of our Friends at intermission next season. If you missed the preview this year, please watch your Hylton Center e-mail for your invite to the 2013-2014 season preview. It’s a nice evening out with friends (and informative too)!
2nd Anniversary Gala Honoring
President Alan and Mrs. Sally Merten
Thank you to all those who attended the Hylton Center’s 2nd Anniversary Gala on May 5th, 2012. The evening’s proceeds went to the Senator Charles J. Colgan Community Arts Benefit Fund, which helps support our Resident Arts Partners. The Hylton Center hosted 340 guests for a lavish cocktail reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer, an elegant dinner and program honoring retiring George Mason University President Alan G. Merten and Mrs. Sally L. Merten in the Gregory Family Theater, followed by a riveting performance by the magnetic Brian Stokes Mitchell. The evening was a rousing success – thank you to all those who were in attendance!
What is the Copper Circle?
The Copper Circle was added to the Friends of the Hylton Center membership program this year. The Sponsor ($1,000-$2,499) and Benefactor ($2,500+) levels are part of the Copper Circle, the Hylton Center’s elite group of donors. Most notably, the Benefactor level now includes the added benefit of naming an orchestra level seat in Merchant Hall, along with annual access to the Lovey Hammel Lounge (a benefit for all Copper Circle members). Please contact Emily Robinson at 703-993-7719 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining or upgrading to the Copper Circle.
Meet Our Friends!
The Friends of the Hylton Center would like to introduce one of our members, Jan Alten. Jan is a long time resident of Manassas, moving here from Richmond in 1973 with her husband Peter. She has a long history of community service promoting the arts and education. Her work to increase awareness of educational television inspired her to create the character Big Bird’s Grandmother. To bring the avian grandmother to life, Jan both designed and constructed a costume to wear at civic events. Her talents helped to make the fledgling WCVE educational television channel in Richmond a success. Jan’s career has taken her in many other directions as well. She was a regional manager for Weight Watchers, worked with the American Red Cross, and became the manager and finally the owner of the Opera House Gourmet Food and Wine shop in Old Town Manassas.
Jan and Peter are both enthusiastic supporters of the Hylton Center, enjoying both the Hylton Presents Series and the Manassas Ballet. Jan’s background in dance makes the ballet a favorite, but she enjoys almost all forms of music as well as theater.
Jan tells us that the Hylton Center is a great asset to the local community because it brings the performing arts to the people. She believes that having a local performing arts center eliminates the tedious traffic of a drive to Washington and the difficulty and cost of parking. These savings in time and money allow more families to enjoy great music, dance, and theater. Also, Jan notes, there are great restaurants in the area to enjoy before or after an evening at the Hylton Center.
Did You Know?
…that ticket sales cover less than 60% of the cost of bringing great artists and companies to the Hylton Center? YOU, the Friends of the Hylton Center, help provide the resources and volunteer support that enable the Hylton Center to provide world-class arts experiences and educational programs to the community.
…that there are 32 restaurants of all varieties within 1.75 miles of the Hylton Center? Expanding outward to about 3.5 miles adds many more, including downtown Manassas with choices from Carmello’s to Okras. Just let your server know you have tickets to the Hylton Center so you won’t be late, and enjoy!
…that you can have a “night out” at the Hylton Center? First, you have that quiet dinner at one of the restaurants close to the Hylton Center. After dinner, take a leisurely drive over to the Hylton Center. Note the wide-open parking, because you are there an hour before the performance for a Pre-Performance Discussion and Gallery Tour in the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery. Impress your special someone with a great seat for the performance because you are a Subscriber and receive seat selection priority. At intermission, join the Friends in the Friends Hospitality Area or, if you are Sponsor ($1,000-$2,499) or Benefactor ($2,500+), in the Lovey Hammel Lounge, for snacks and a cup of coffee or glass of wine. After the performance, stroll out to the car and suggest perhaps a late night drink or dessert.
Heritage Hunt Hosts “April Fool’s Fun and Games”
The Heritage Hunt Performing Arts Center Council hosted “April Fool’s Fun and Games” on April 1st in the Heritage Hunt Clubhouse Ballroom. The event raised $1,340 for the Friends of the Hylton Center Hospitality Area in the Didlake Grand Foyer. A sign with the Heritage Hunt name is proudly displayed for many events at the Hylton Center and speaks well for Heritage Hunt’s community service.
Regency Arts Group Trivia Night
In March, The Regency Arts Group sponsored a Trivia Night fund raiser for the Hylton Center. Fellow Regency residents gathered for an evening of trivia and, judging from the laughter, the event was a huge success. Pictured are the smiles of victory after a particularly hard question. Thanks to all who participated. The Regency Arts Group sponsors all Pre-Performance Discussions of the Hylton Presents series, and also purchased the beautiful podium used for many Hylton Center lectures and events.
The Membership Committee is Recruiting!
If you are interested in attracting others to support the Hylton Center, please consider joining our membership committee to promote your favorite performing arts center. The Membership Committee meets once per month and provides important volunteer assistance for the Friends. If you are interested in joining the Membership Committee, or if you would like more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Emily Robinson at 703-993-7719 or email@example.com.
Wine Pairings in the Lovey Hammel Lounge
I know there have been many evenings when you picked up a tasty snack in the Lovey Hammel Lounge or the Friend’s Hospitality Area in the Didlake Grand Foyer and wondered which wine would enhance the flavor of that sweet or savory treat. Well ponder no more, because choosing a match from the Alma de Chile wine selection is easy when you consider one of these traditional pairings.
A Hershey's® Milk Chocolate bar will go very well with the lighter or fruity reds, or perhaps a Syrah. If you dig down deep in the jar for the hard-to-find dark chocolate, the Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice. If you want to live on the wild side, try a Merlot or Syrah.
But what if you must have the salty peanuts, or the peanut bar? There is an answer here too, and it is the Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, really. But if you want the very best pairing for this snack, just pickup a beer, wrap it in a napkin, and relive those college days..... And, oh by the way, did you know the snacks are donated by the Heritage Hunt folks?