The Center for the Arts at George Mason University announced today the decision to suspend the presentation of traditional, live, professional public performances or events inside its Fairfax venues through fall of 2020. This includes its annual Great Performances at Mason Series, the Family Series, as well as external event rentals in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, Harris Theatre, the deLaski Performing Arts Building, and TheaterSpace.
As part of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, and situated on Mason’s Fairfax campus, the Center along with all Mason performing arts spaces have been dark since March 13 in an effort to decrease the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19.
In a recent message Rick Davis, Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, shared, “Armed with as much information as we could gather on the science, public health, and risk mitigation aspects of the virus required to be in place when attending or participating in a performance, we concluded that there is no good way to provide a safe, comfortable, and artistically satisfying environment inside our spaces as long as the current social distancing guidelines are in effect.
“We like to say that the arts create community, and in moments like we’re going through right now as a country, that has never been truer, more vital, or more challenging. But these moments also have a way of inspiring creativity, and we are working hard to find meaningful ways to connect with you, our community, until it’s safe and comfortable to return to our venues.”
Although the Center’s 30th Anniversary season may not begin as originally planned, it is pursuing creative opportunities for digital programming, and exploring and safe and artistically satisfying options for in-person programming for the remainder of 2020. Davis will be joined by Adrienne Bryant Godwin, the Center’s director of programming for Looking Ahead: A Conversation with the Center for the Arts June 23 at 7 p.m., in an effort to share more about the decision and provide an opportunity for questions from patrons. For details: http://cfa.calendar.gmu.edu/looking-ahead-a-conversation-with-the-center-for-the-arts.
For a collection of Frequently Asked Questions from the Center, visit: https://cfa.gmu.edu/covid-19-new.
Launched on April 2, Mason Arts at Home is a digital platform which features livestreams from guest artists; releases of previously recorded content; opportunities to experience work by Mason’s talented alumni, students, and faculty; as well as interactive activities from across the college. To view the playlist, visit: bit.ly/masonartsathome.
Current ticketholders for events scheduled in fall 2020 will be contacted with ticket options as soon as information is available regarding either postponements or cancellations.
The Center will continue to monitor public health conditions in coordination with guidance from George Mason University, the Virginia Department of Health, and the CDC. George Mason University is providing updates, information and resources at https://www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus. To view a recent message from Mason’s Interim President Anne Holton, visit: https://www2.gmu.edu/news/586261.
The Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, which is also operated by Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, has suspended professional performances and events through 2020 as well.
The Center for the Arts is the premier destination for the arts in Northern Virginia. Each year, the Center welcomes hundreds of thousands of community members into its 2000-seat Concert Hall. The centerpiece of artistic programming within the Center, Great Performances at Mason, is an annual season of national and international artists, featuring the best of classical music, opera, jazz, global music, dance, theater, and more. As a part of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Center hosts many student and faculty performances presented by the Schools of Music, Theater, and Dance as well as events for School of Art and the Film and Video Studies, Computer Game Design, and Arts Management programs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts serves arts enthusiasts of all ages in the greater Washington, D.C. area.