Patrons had their photos made at Wright State University's ArtsGala 2016. The annual fundraiser provides scholarships for students in the arts. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post
Photo: Connie Post

You get to choose your own adventure at WSU’s upcoming ArtsGala

An evening to remember awaits you at Wright State University’s 18th annual ArtsGala on April 8.

“ArtsGala is a widely successful collaborative effort between our art, music, theater, dance and motion pictures programs at Wright State,” Assistant Dean for Community and Student Engagement Jennie Buckwalter said. “All the students, faculty and staff in all of those arts disciplines work together year round to put on one night of fabulous showcased art, and fine and performing arts entertainment for the greater Dayton region.” 

So why should you go? 

There are many reasons why WSU’s ArtsGala is so popular.

“What’s great about this event is, not only is it a lot of fun it’s not a stuffy event at all,” Buckwalter said. “You’re having a wonderful time as you wander throughout the building. It’s highly unique in the fact that you’re not locked to a table and a chair with the same people all night long. You’re moving throughout the space in our [newly] renovated Creative Arts Center experiencing all that we have to offer in the Fine and Performing Arts at Wright State.” 

If you’re not convinced yet, here are three more reasons you should support and attend this nationally-recognized program. 

1. Supporting the students 

Hundreds of students have dedicated their time, passion  and enthusiasm to entertain, amuse and wow their guests. The event’s goal is to raise enough money to provide arts scholarships for students that will provide them with funds to pay for school in the following semesters. Currently, the ArtsGala event has raised more than $2.2 million during its 17-year history. 

“[The scholarship] lets them stay focused on their craft,” Buckwalter said. “It lets them excel in what they do so that they’re better positioned to graduate and be successful when they transition to a career.

One of the highlights of Wright State University's ArtsGala 2016 was scenes from Meredith Willson's classic musical, "The Music Man." The annual fundraiser provides scholarships for students in the arts. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post

“You will not find a more talented bunch out there,” Buckwalter said. “These are the students who we are going to see on Broadway one day.

“Our graduates go on to do amazing things. They’ve worked with Tom Hanks, and they’re on cruise lines, performing in New York City and California,” Buckwalter added. “Of course we have the students who are excelling in their artistry, but they’re going to become educators and that is just as important as well, because they’ll be feeding back into the school system and educating our next generation of artists. 

>> RELATED: 5 things we loved about Wright State's ArtsGala

2. Experience an around-the-world cuisine tour 

A lot of magic will be happening inside the gorgeous new Creative Arts Center. Seven dining rooms will host a different theme from around the world.

Dark chocolate piano party favors were a sweet ending to Wright State University's ArtsGala 2016. The annual fundraiser provides scholarships for students in the arts. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post

“Every room has a different themed food,” Buckwalter said. “We have seven themed dining rooms this year: Mexican, Italian, European, Classic British, French, New York City, All-American Western. Each of the themed dining rooms connects to what the performance is.” 

In one of the rooms you’ll be entertained by a group of actors performing excerpts from Shakespeare’s famous “Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.” In another, you’ll enjoy warm opera tunes with Italian dishes to relish. 

There will be wines, bourbon tastings, and a bar of special themed martinis. 

>> MORE: Wright State's ArtsGala breaks records

3. Engaging with the artists

“Normally art is a very private thing -- you don’t ever get to see the art being developed in progress,” Buckwalter said. 

“You’ll effectively see a painter with a completely blank canvas at the beginning of this event, and every time you pass them in the evening there will be more on that canvas. By the end of the night, you’ll be able to see what they’ve been able to come up with. 

“Many times, when you go and see a performance, you go, you applaud, you leave and there’s a separation between you and the artists. What’s nice about this event is there’s a lot of interaction between the students and our guests,” Buckwalter said. “When the students aren’t performing, they’re mingling with the guests in these dining rooms. They are performing within an arm’s reach of you while you’re sitting there having your dinner.” 

Wright State University's ArtsGala 2016 included "Broadway Show Stoppers."  The annual fundraiser provides scholarships for students in the arts. CONNIE POST/STAFF
Photo: Connie Post

This special occasion is a black-tie event regarded as one of the area’s premier arts events, and draws over 900 guests each year. 

Want to go?

WHAT: WSU Arts Gala

WHEN: April 8 at 6 p.m. 

WHERE: Creative Arts Center at WSU | 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy (marked as CA on campus maps) 

COST: $250 per person, tickets available online

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