New Faculty Board Gathers to Celebrate the Arts

Posted: April 1, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason’s newly formed Faculty Arts Board (FAB) is hoping to attract Mason faculty members who love the arts with offers of special preperformance dinner lectures, half-price tickets, and receptions with the artists. The goal, according to its president, Lenore Weitzman, Robinson Professor of Sociology and Law, is “to foster a community of Mason faculty, who, as perennial students of the arts, always want to learn more, by offering them special opportunities to participate in the extraordinary range of educational and cultural programs at the Center for the Arts (CFA).”

On Saturday, April 2, before the Kirov Orchestra featuring Grammy-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman performs, FAB is sponsoring “dinner with an intellectual twist,” according to Weitzman. The dinner will feature talks about Russian culture and music by Julie Christensen, associate professor of Russian, and Linda Monson, associate chair, Music. Christensen will provide the historical and cultural background for the evening, and will discuss the explicit “Russian agenda” of the works on the program. Monson, who has toured throughout the United States and Europe as piano soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician, will introduce and discuss the music the Kirov Orchestra will be performing.

FAB was the brainchild of eight energetic professors: Weitzman; Marion Deshmukh, associate professor, History and Art History; Ariela Sofer, professor and chair, Systems Engineering and Operations Research; Paula Gilbert, French, and Women’s Studies; James Bennett, professor, Economics, and Faculty Senate chair; Harold Gortner, professor, Public and International Affairs; Elizabeth Chong, associate professor, Nursing; and Mark Jacobs, associate professor, Sociology and Anthropology. The board is encouraging new Mason faculty to attend the April 2 Kirov concert with the promise of free tickets–if accompanied by a FAB member or by becoming a FAB member.

FAB has already hosted two successful events. Last November, FAB members attended the Dresden Philharmonic concert and a preperformance dinner and slide presentation on Dresden’s cultural history by Deshmukh, as well as a humorous introduction to the music by Glenn Smith, professor, Music. After the Mark Morris Dance Group performance in February, FAB hosted a reception with Morris and his company.

FAB plans to hold events next season in conjunction with three CFA performances. In addition to discounts on season tickets, members also receive priority processing for subscription tickets, priority seating for tickets to additional events, and advance notification of additional performances and special programs.

The faculty involved in FAB are enthusiastic about its success in the few months since its founding. From the very first event, there has been “a special electricity and enthusiasm…and an exciting sense of community,” says Weitzman. “It really is FAB!”

For more information on FAB and its upcoming events, contact Julie Green, College of Visual and Performing Arts’ director of development, at 703-993-8641.

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