Hylton Center Gala Raises More Than $200K

Guests at the Hylton Center Gala enjoy dinner on the Merchant Hall stage. 

The Hylton Performing Arts Center celebrated its 13th Anniversary Gala on April 28, and what an exciting evening it was! In addition to honoring community leaders Carlos Castro and the Jacquemin Family Foundation, more than $200,000 was raised in support of Hylton performances and programs, including the Education Initiative and Veterans and the Arts Initiative.10% of the net proceeds will also fund the Hylton Center’s Endowment, ensuring artistic excellence now and in the years to come.

The festivities kicked off with a reception and live music by the Dirty Gold Brass Band, a talented student ensemble within George Mason University’s Green Machine enterprise, followed by dinner on the Merchant Hall stage. Guest speakers included Rick Davis, Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Hylton Center executive director; Gregory Washington, president of George Mason University; Carlos Castro, president, CEO, and founder of Todos Neighborhood Market; and John Jacquemin, CEO of the Jacquemin Family Foundation and current member of the George Mason University Foundation Board of Trustees.

Exclusive access to Mason’s Green Machine Pep Band was the coveted prize at this year’s live auction, with two lucky winners taking home a Green Machine Pep Band Experience package. The spotlight then turned to the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, as Caleb Green, military Veteran and member of the acclaimed vocal ensemble Voices of Service, took to the podium to speak about the impact of the arts on the lives of Veterans. A spirited “Raise Your Paddle” live fundraiser for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative followed, raising more than $39,000 in less than 10 minutes in support of the Initiative’s free programming for Veterans and the military community. The evening concluded with a rousing after-party featuring a variety of music from both The Green Machine’s Green and Gold Soul ensemble and a jazz duo with vocalist and Mason Director of Jazz Studies Darden Purcell, accompanied by her faculty colleague, pianist Wade Beach.

This momentous occasion would not have been possible without the dedication of Hylton Gala volunteers! Members of the Friends of the Hylton Center operated the registration table, assisted with set up, and ensured every guest who attended received a warm Hylton welcome.

The Hylton Center’s 13th Anniversary Gala was also made possible due to the generous support of many regional businesses and individual donors, including Presenting Sponsor Compton & Duling, L.C. Catering was provided by Susan Gage Caterers, with signature cocktails by MurLarkey Distilled Spirits. Learn more about this special event.