In the Moment: This Saturday 9/27/14: ‘ARTS by George!’ at George Mason University: An Interview with Co-Chair Mark Shugoll

ARTS by George, a signature event gala that supports scholarships and the Great Performance series at George Mason University, has raised more than $1 million.

The co-chairs of this year’s gala are Merrill and Mark Shugoll. This is the second year in a row that they have served as Chairs of the event.

David: How does ARTS by George! help students at the George Mason University?

Mark Shugoll. Photo courtesy of Shugoll Research.
Mark Shugoll. Photo courtesy of Shugoll Research.

Mark: ARTS by Georgehelps in two ways. First, it raises money for student arts scholarships. It may surprise many that Mason has an industry leading arts faculty in everything from music, dance and theater to visual arts, film, and computer gaming. And it attracts hugely talented students that will become the future generation of artists, arts managers and teachers. Many of the students could not afford to attend the university without the scholarships funded by this event. And the event raises money to support the Great Performances at Mason series of international artists in the Concert Hall. The series is often a student’s first exposure to classical art forms and it can create a life-long love of the arts. And Mason students can attend these events for free! It’s a great opportunity.

If you could invite new audiences to attend ARTS by George!, what would you say to them?

This is the most fun gala in the DC area. It’s the gala you’ll want to come to, not go to just out of obligation. You start your evening by attending student showcases. It’s a wonderful smorgasbord of the arts: every 20 minutes you can choose a different performance in a different location. You choose what you want to see: dance, musical theater opera, Peking Opera, orchestra, jazz. You can even see a demonstration of motion capture used in movies like the Planet of the Apes and the Spiderman series. And as you walk around you can sample food from area restaurants, just enough to tie you over until you have dinner at the Grand Buffet under a tent.

Patti Lupone performing ‘Woulda , Coulda, Shoulda’ at 54 Below on July 22, 2013. Photo by Rahav iggy Segev/
Patti Lupone performing ‘Woulda , Coulda, Shoulda’ at 54 Below on July 22, 2013.
Photo by Rahav iggy Segev/

Then you will see an amazing concert by Patti LuPone and have dessert and champagne on stage after the concert along with the star. And don’t forget to stop by the silent auction where you can bid on amazing adventures like a trip to China, a walk on appearance on the hit TV show House of Cards and backstage arts adventures where you meet big stars after seeing their shows.

Note: Meagan Busch, a recent Mason School of Art graduate, is one example of the affection and gratitude that students hold for the George Mason University School of Visual and Performing Arts. She is donating one of her art works for the “ARTS by George!” silent auction. “Donating a piece of art and expressing my gratitude and love of my school is the least I can do.”

'Monkey on Your Back,' January 2014.2011.  Woodcut, Cut Paper and Watercolor, Monoprint (One of a Kind). By Meagan Busch.
‘Monkey on Your Back,’ January 2014.2011. Woodcut, Cut Paper, and Watercolor, Monoprint (One of a Kind). By Meagan Busch.

ARTS by George at George Mason University including the Laski Performing Arts Building, “ARTS by George” tent, and Harris Theatre – 4400 University Drive, in  Fairfax, VA. For information call (703) 993-8888, or see the schedule online.

Student and Faculty Showcases, Buffet, Silent Auctions, and more are from 5-7:30 p.m. Patti LuPone’s performance of Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda performance begins at 8 p.m.


A Chat with Patti LuPone on ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’ on September 27th, 2014 at ‘Arts by George’ at George Mason University by Joel Markowitz on DCMetroTheaterArts.

Read other articles in David Siegel’s column In the Moment on DCMetroTheaterArts.

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David Siegel
David Siegel is a freelance theater reviewer and features writer whose work appears on DC Theater Arts, ShowBiz Radio, in the Connection Newspapers and the Fairfax Times. He is a judge in the Helen Hayes Awards program. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and volunteers with the Arts Council of Fairfax County. David has been associated with theater in the Washington, DC area for nearly 30 years. He served as Board President, American Showcase Theater Company (now Metro Stage) and later with the American Century Theater as both a member of the Executive Board and as Marketing Director. You can follow David's musings on Twitter @pettynibbler.


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