Center for the Arts Sponsorships Mean Business

Posted: August 24, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski and Ellen S. Acconcia

The Center for the Arts has made a significant contribution to the cultural atmosphere of Northern Virginia since 1990, and now it is drawing attention from the corporate world as well. Promoting its new Arts@Mason Means Business campaign, the Center for the Arts is partnering with businesses to create corporate sponsorship of performances or series. Companies such as First Horizon Bank and UBS Financial Services have already become patrons for this upcoming season, and many other corporations are considering taking center stage.

Participation in the Arts@Mason Means Business program ranges from $2,500 to $25,000. Companies can choose to sponsor one performance, a series of performances, or scholarships for students within the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). “One of the unique things about this program is that companies can target their financial participation in ways that best match their business objectives,” says Brian Marcus, CVPA associate dean for development.

UBS Financial Services, a premier investment banking and securities firm, is the most recent company to participate. The company is sponsoring the 2004-05 Magnificent Music Series, which includes performances by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Venice Baroque Orchestra. “Both UBS and George Mason’s Center for the Arts combine excellence in their respective endeavors with a passion for service to the community,” notes Bill Reeder, CVPA dean. “We are extremely pleased to welcome UBS as our newest partner in bringing world-class symphonic music to the citizens of the region.”

First Horizon Bank was the first participant in the Arts@Mason Means Business program, and it is the full-season sponsor of the 2004-05 Great Performances at Mason. Another sponsor, Sallie Mae, donated $25,000 toward scholarships. Because of their contribution, one student from each of the four departments of CVPA–dance, music, theater, and art and visual technology–will be granted a $5,000 scholarship. The remaining $5,000 will be contributed to the Dean’s Emergency Fund to help students with Mason-related costs whose financial statuses change during the course of an academic year.

“These sponsorships are important financial support for the arts program at Mason and also important scholarship support for students,” says Megan Thorton, CVPA coordinator for the program. “Everyone benefits from them.”

Even the employees of the corporate sponsors can reap the rewards of the program. Privileges and benefits for corporate members can include complimentary tickets, advertising, priority seating, and backstage tours. For more information about the program, call Thorton at 703-993-4188.

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