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Hylton Performing Arts Center Announces 4th Anniversary Gala “Step Into the Limelight”

Contributed by Hylton Performing Arts Center

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6 p.m.


Didlake, Inc.

John O. Gregory

Carol Merchant Kirby

MANASSAS, Va., Feb. 25, 2014 – The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas announces its 4th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6 p.m. This highly anticipated annual event raises funds for the Sen. Charles J. Colgan Community Arts Benefit Fund, which enables local arts organizations to perform at the Hylton Center and make it their artistic home.

The Hylton Center’s 4th Anniversary Gala honors Didlake, Inc.John O. Gregory and Carol Merchant Kirby for their leadership in bringing the Hylton Center to Prince William County and the Northern Virginia region. This year’s gala theme is “Step Into the Limelight.”

The black tie optional event will commence at 6 p.m. with a reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer featuring jazz music performed by George Mason University’s School of Music. An elegant dinner is presented at 7 p.m. on stage in Merchant Hall, followed by a tribute to this year’s honorees. The evening continues as guests have the option of dancing to the big band sounds of Swing Machine in the Didlake Grand Foyer or listening to – and even joining in on – jazz favorites performed by the Darden Purcell Quartetin a jazz club setting in the Gregory Family Theater.

The 4th Anniversary Gala is co-chaired by Susan Allen, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1994 to 1998; Nathan Gilbert of Fauquier Bank; and John M. Jacquemin, president of the Jacquemin Family Foundation, Inc.

Individual tickets to the 4th Anniversary Gala are $300 each. Table sponsorships are also available. For more information about the 4th Anniversary Gala or to purchase tickets, please contact Emily Robinson at [email protected] or (703) 993-7719.

About Didlake, Inc.

Didlake, Inc.’s mission, “creating opportunities that enrich the lives of people with disabilities,” permeates everything that they do. Didlake, Inc. provides contract and rehabilitative services, offering life-enriching opportunities for people with disabilities in the region. Didlake, Inc. is a key community partner for the Hylton Center, placing constituents in employment and volunteer positions at the Center. Didlake, Inc., and its CEO, Rex Parr, are deeply engaged in the region. Didlake, Inc. is the namesake of the Didlake Grand Foyer at the Hylton Center.

About John O. Gregory

John O. Gregory is a lifetime resident of Manassas. Former chairman of Gregory Construction, Inc., Mr. Gregory has played an important role in shaping the landscape of Manassas and Prince William County. In 2009, Mr. Gregory named the Hylton Center’s flexible theater space the Gregory Family Theater, in honor of his late wife, Angela, and his late son, Scott. Former GOP Chair of the City of Manassas, Mr. Gregory has made a lasting impact on not only the Hylton Center, but the region at large.

About Carol Merchant Kirby

Carol Merchant Kirby led Merchant’s Tire, Inc. as both owner and former chair, gaining the company recognition in Working Woman magazine in 2001. Mrs. Kirby created the concept and developed the Hopkins Candy Factory in Manassas as a Center for the Arts. Mrs. Kirby is also the founder and charter president of the Virginia Main Street Program for downtown revitalization in Old Town Manassas, serving on the board for 20 years. Mrs. Kirby is a Hylton Center Executive Board member and a former member of the George Mason University Board of Visitors. Carol Merchant Kirby and Peter Kirby’s gift to the Hylton Campaign honored Carol’s mother and father, Mae and Caton Merchant.

About the Hylton Performing Arts Center

Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,123-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, has quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of civic collaboration and commitment to the arts.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.

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