Hylton Performing Arts Center Gears Up for New Education and Rehearsal Wing

Posted: November 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm, Last Updated: November 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Print Friendly

By Catherine Probst

Opened in 2010, the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the Prince William Campus is ready for expansion. Creative Services photo

Opened in 2010, the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the Prince William Campus is ready for expansion. Creative Services photo

Since it opened in May 2010, the Hylton Performing Arts Center has won the hearts of many in the community. Settled on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, the Hylton Center has become a place where local and international artists and their audiences feel equally at home.

In just three short years, the Hylton Center has attracted thousands of attendees and has realized more than $1.5 million in ticket sales, $1.1 million in rental fees and $2 million in contributed support. In addition, more than 1,300 families in Prince William, Manassas and across Northern Virginia have joined the Friends of the Hylton Center to financially support these programs.

As the Hylton Center enters its fourth year, the facility is ripe to undergo a significant transformation that will fulfill the original vision for the building and meet the growing needs of the community.

Funds from the Commonwealth and Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation to Support Construction

The center will add a new 18,000-square-foot Education and Rehearsal Wing, funded by a $6 million allocation from the Commonwealth of Virginia and a $2.5 million gift from the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation, which also provided major support for the initial construction.

“The Hylton Center is becoming the ‘creative commons’ of a vibrant region more quickly than we had anticipated, and it continues to fulfill both its vision and mission in remarkable ways,” says Rick Davis, executive director of the Hylton Center. “With the new Education and Rehearsal Wing, we are excited to bring more opportunities to the center to fully engage our education initiatives, as well as respond to the needs of the university, the region’s schools and the community.”

With plans to be fully operational with the new wing in summer 2015, the center has launched a campaign to raise an additional $15 million to realize another aspect of the original vision — a permanent operating endowment fund. The Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation has generously pledged $5 million as a challenge grant toward that goal.

Formally named “The Next Stage for the Hylton Performing Arts Center,” the campaign will ensure that the Hylton Center is able to operate on a fiscally sound basis and, along with the Education and Rehearsal Wing, will finally realize the original vision for the center.

Arts Education to Be Center’s Focus

Securing input from a variety of stakeholder groups — the Hylton Center Executive Board, community and resident arts groups, and Mason faculty — a plan was devised for the new addition that would ensure arts education as the center’s central focus.

Specifically, the addition will provide educational and rehearsal spaces to support the current and emerging programs of the Hylton Center, as well as academic programs of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and local community arts groups.

“As both a social and business hub for the community, the addition to the Hylton Center will greatly enhance the existing performance venue and support spaces while functioning as an arts education and training center in the region,” says Brian Marcus, associate dean for development and alumni affairs in CVPA. “The Education and Rehearsal Wing will allow new works to be conceived and realized at the Hylton Center, as well as allow for deeper engagement with the community.”

To learn more about the “The Next Stage for the Hylton Performing Arts Center” campaign, contact Marcus at 703-993-8607 or bmarcus@gmu.edu.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

Leave a Comment