Fall 2023 Veterans and the Arts Programming

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Provided by Hylton Performing Arts Center

Based at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus in Manassas, the Veterans and the Arts Initiative has served more than 14,000 military-connected people through in-person and online workshops and special events since 2014. This fall, the Initiative expands its reach in its continued collaboration with Prince William Public Libraries (PWPL), offering workshops at Central Library and Potomac Library.“Now in its second year, the collaboration between Prince William Public Libraries and George Mason University’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative has helped us reach even more military members and their families,” said Deborah Wright, Prince William Public Libraries Director. “We appreciate the opportunity to introduce library services and resources while also offering free programs for them to enjoy.”In addition to a lineup of returning workshops online and in-person at the Hylton Center, the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, in collaboration with Mason Community Arts Academy, is offering a new series for military kids and teenagers where they will learn improv skills in a virtual, collaborative environment.Mason Community Arts Academy (MCAA) Executive Director Mary Lechter said, “As a community outreach branch of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, MCAA is grateful to collaborate with the Veterans in the Arts Initiative to provide programming for this wonderful group of students. I’m excited to add improvisation to our offerings! Simply put, improv is acting without a script, but it’s more than that: students learn to think quickly and strategically as they team up with their classmates to bring short, humorous scenarios to life.”All workshops continue to be open and free to Veterans, Servicemembers, military family members, and military caregivers. In addition to the fall workshops, the Hylton Center’s annual Celebrating Veterans and the Arts is presented through three concerts in November that are supported and sponsored by the Veterans and the Arts Initiative to bring the community together in honor of Veterans Day.

  • First, on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.The U.S. Army Blues: Veterans Tribute performs toe-tapping music for all, including swing, jazz, and patriotic tunes. This concert is free for all.
  • The following weekend, Manassas Ballet Theatre (MBT) performs Colin: Son, Marine, Hero on Nov. 9 to 11, featuring a powerful ballet that tells the story and honors the memory of MBT Artistic Director, Amy Grant Wolfe’s son, Colin.
  • Lastly, Hylton American Roots Series performance Seven Voices – A Tribute to Patsy Cline on Nov. 12 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., featuring Jess Eliot Myhre of the Bumper Jacksons and a group of talented local artists for a genre-spanning evening dedicated to Patsy Cline’s music. Both concerts are supported and sponsored by the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, providing free tickets for Veterans and Servicemembers.

Niyati Dhokai, Program Director for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, expands on further opportunities for the 2023/2024 season: “We are presenting new Veterans and the Arts Initiative workshops this year such as eco-graphic arts, improv, and archival techniques, as well as community favorites such as guitar and photography. This year’s performances are particularly distinctive. For our annual Celebrating Veterans and the Arts fall performances in November, we are honored to host The U.S. Army Blues Veterans Tribute and to support a poignant ballet by the Manassas Ballet Theater, which shares the personal story of MBT’s Artistic Director Amy Grant Wolfe’s son, Colin. We will also be collaborating with Hylton Presents in support of American Festival Pops Orchestra’s concert, American Icons. Through supporting and sponsoring these performances, we aim to bring the community together, as well as to honor military service through the arts.”For more information on the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, including ongoing outreach, research, statistics, team members, and prior work with the Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, visit the Veterans and the Arts Initiative’s webpage.

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