Wright State prepares for in-person return of festive ArtsGala

ArtsGala 2022 will feature more than 450 student performers in 13 unique performances.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

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ArtsGala 2022 will feature more than 450 student performers in 13 unique performances.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wright State University’s ArtsGala returns in-person Saturday, April 9 in the Creative Arts Center.

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The Creative Arts Center is transformed into a display of every type of art, from movies and music to acting and singing for ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

The Creative Arts Center is transformed into a display of every type of art, from movies and music to acting and singing for ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Combined ShapeCaption
The Creative Arts Center is transformed into a display of every type of art, from movies and music to acting and singing for ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

A black-tie optional event presented by the College of Liberal Arts, ArtsGala offers patrons a refreshing chance to enjoy student performances in theatre, dance, motion pictures, music and visual arts. All proceeds go toward scholarships for WSU’s fine and performing arts students. The event has raised nearly $3 million for arts scholarships during its 22-year history.

“The scholarships have a double benefit for the students,” said Joe Deer, WSU artistic director. “It puts them right in front of the people who are supporting and helping them get through their education and it’s also a beautiful demonstration of what the students are learning and doing here. You cannot turn a corner in the Creative Arts Center without seeing the students working at such a high level.”

This year’s special programming include:

  • Percussion Ensemble performance
  • Selections from “Sweet Charity”
  • Live artistic creation by student artists in the Stein Gallery “Art Experience”
  • Making a scene: film students recreate the set of “BIG”
  • “Broadway’s Greatest Hits,” “Disney Rocks!” and “Oh, Woo Me, Woo Me!” (Shakespeare and romance)
  • Chamber Orchestra performance – “Music By Moonlight”
  • “An Evening At The Opera”
  • Dance performances – student choreography and performances

“We are completely dedicated to providing accessible education,” Deer noted. “Any student who is up to the standards we’re expecting of incoming students, and we accept them, we want to be sure they receive an education. The only way to do that is through institutional support and this kind of fundraising for scholarships.”

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Mark Antony Howard, an ArtsGala scholarship recipient, performed at the 2018 ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Mark Antony Howard, an ArtsGala scholarship recipient, performed at the 2018 ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

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Mark Antony Howard, an ArtsGala scholarship recipient, performed at the 2018 ArtsGala.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Many fine and performing arts students, especially those who are out of state, are grateful for this annual affair both artistically and financially.

“ArtsGala is a wonderful opportunity for us to do what we love most – create art,” said Anna Hunter, a sophomore theatre design/technology major with a concentration in stage management and props from Fort Collins, Colorado. “Through song, dance, galleries, and so much more, we can share our work and passion with the community in a unique way that inspires all areas of theatre, dance, motion pictures, art and music to collaborate in a way that we usually would not. The scholarships allow students to fully focus on their passions within our Creative Arts Center without the financial stress that higher education can put on young adults. As an out of state student, this scholarship is the reason I am able to study theatre design and technology full-time.”

Another WSU student shared a similar sentiment.

“I am very appreciative of ArtsGala and the scholarships that it provides, which have aided me in obtaining my degree,” echoed Hillary Allison, a junior dance major from Fort Wayne, Indiana. “It’s encouraging to know Dayton has such a supportive arts community.”

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In addition to more than 450 student performers showcased in 13 unique performances, the evening, which begins at 7 p.m., will include elegantly themed dining rooms, a cigar tent and piano bar, and top-quality wine, craft beer, bourbon and specialty cocktails. There will also be a silent auction offering over 100 items such as artwork by Wright State faculty, students, alumni and local artists as well as a wide variety of wines and an assortment of luxury gift baskets, gift cards and dining certificates. Anyone who cannot attend in person is encouraged to support the ArtsGala Scholarship Fund by bidding on silent auction items online.

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Silent auction in the Robert and Ellaine Stein Galleries.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Silent auction in the Robert and Ellaine Stein Galleries.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

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Silent auction in the Robert and Ellaine Stein Galleries.

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

Credit: © Wright State University Photo

“ArtsGala is my favorite night of the year,” said Linda Caron, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, in a release. “I think the most fun for members of the community is that they not only see the talent of our arts students but get to talk with them and hear about their hopes and dreams. Students are in awe that people they don’t even know care about their future and their success.”

“I am excited because this (year) will be my first ArtsGala,” said Maddy Wiseman, a junior vocal performance major from Sidney, Ohio. “I’m thrilled to get to perform with my peers to earn money for our program. Scholarships especially help us continue to pursue our passions. The scholarships help to lift some of the financial burdens we face.”

Organizers remind patrons that in accordance with recent updates to CDC guidelines, guests are not required to wear masks or be vaccinated. However, guests with extenuating health circumstances are welcome to wear masks and observe social distancing in the open areas of the Creative Arts Center.

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Select art students work on various visual arts for patrons to observe and engage with.

Credit: Jay Herndon

Select art students work on various visual arts for patrons to observe and engage with.

Credit: Jay Herndon

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Select art students work on various visual arts for patrons to observe and engage with.

Credit: Jay Herndon

Credit: Jay Herndon

Deer is hopeful the community is eager to gather and enjoy a celebratory, inviting atmosphere in support of the students and their artistry.

“It seems that everybody has been building up energy and excitement about getting to be in front of live audiences, getting to be with each other again,” he said. “This spring, I powerfully feel people are feeling safe, they’re ready to engage, and they want to celebrate their release, their freedom. ArtsGala is an amazing cause and people are ready to party.”

Tickets for ArtsGala range from $300-$550. To purchase tickets or receive more information, call 937-775-2233 or visit wright.edu/artsgala.

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The Creative Arts Center comes to life each year at ArtsGala.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The Creative Arts Center comes to life each year at ArtsGala.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
The Creative Arts Center comes to life each year at ArtsGala.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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