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(Photo of Lea Salonga by Raymund Isaac)

The annual ARTS by George! benefit, presented by George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), returns in 2024 with multiple award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga as the headliner. The philanthropic event raises vital support for student scholarships in visual arts, dance, music, theater, game design, film, and arts management, as well as for the Mason Community Arts Academy, Green Machine Ensembles, and the Great Performances at Mason season at the Center for the Arts. ARTS by George! takes place on Saturday, September 28 on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University. ARTS by George! 2024 event tickets and sponsorships are available for purchase now on the event website.

The evening begins at 5 p.m. with hundreds of CVPA students and faculty collaborating in a series of behind-the-scenes showcase performances and exhibits, and it culminates in a performance from Lea Salonga at 8:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Titled An Evening with Lea Salonga, the headlining concert features songs that the Tony Award winner has made famous throughout her four-decade career on Broadway and in animated films.

Sandy Spring Bank is the presenting sponsor, and the event is co-chaired by Mason Arts Board members Annie Bolger and Steven Golsch. Guests will enjoy a buffet dinner, a variety of student showcases, a ticket to An Evening with Lea Salonga, an onstage champagne toast following the concert, and free garage parking. Each ticket includes a charitable donation portion directly supporting student scholarships and community arts programs.

ARTS by George! has raised more than $4.1 million for the arts at Mason since 2006. Support from the event makes it possible for Mason Arts to attract and retain top student talent, as well as to provide arts education and cultural experiences for all ages to the entire region.

Best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Miss Saigon (1991), Salonga is celebrated around the world for her powerful voice and perfect pitch. She also is recognized by fans of all ages as the singing voice of Disney’s Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II. On Broadway, Salonga has appeared in: Les Misérables (1993–1996) as Éponine—the first Asian woman to play the role—and in the 2006 revival of the show as Fantine; the 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song as Wu-Mei Li; Allegiance (2015–2016) as Kei Kamura; the 2018 revival of Once on This Island as Erzulie; and Here Lies Love as Aurora Aquino (2023). Most recently, she starred in the West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical revue, Old Friends (2023–2024) alongside fellow Broadway star Bernadette Peters.

Salonga’s talents extend to the screen where she can be seen on MAX’s Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin and Sony’s Yellow Rose, and heard on Netflix’s Centaurworld and FX’s Little Demon. She has released 14 albums and toured all over the globe, performing sold-out concerts in landmark venues such as the Sydney Opera House, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Esplanade in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok, and Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition to being the first Asian actress to win a Tony Award, Salonga has received numerous accolades for her contributions in the field of musical theater, including Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theatre World Awards; the honor of “Disney Legend” from the Walt Disney Company; a Time100 Impact Award from TIME Magazine; and the Gold Legend Award from Gold House.

Ticket and Sponsorship Information for ARTS by George! 2024:

Individual benefit tickets are $350 per person and include entry to the student showcases, dinner, An Evening with Lea Salonga, champagne reception, and free garage parking.

Sponsorship packages begin at $2,000. To reserve tickets, become a sponsor, or for more information, please contact Susan Graziano at [email protected], 703-993-4188, or visit the ARTS by George! website.

Standalone tickets to only the 8:30 p.m. performance of An Evening with Lea Salonga are $50–$100 and will be available for purchase on Thursday, August 1 through the Center for the Arts website.

The Presenting Sponsor for ARTS by George! 2024 is Sandy Spring Bank.

ARTS by George! 2024 Co-Chairs: Annie Bolger and Steven Golsch.

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