One of Wright State’s most anticipated annual events is just around the corner.
The long-awaited 20th annual ArtsGala will be held on April 13 in the Creative Arts Center from 6 p.m. to midnight.
“ArtsGala is a featured fundraiser for Wright State,” said Jennifer Buckwalter, assistant dean for the College of Liberal Arts and in charge of overseeing the entire ArtsGala.
With 2019 marking its 20 years of celebration and appreciation of so many different art forms, the ArtsGala has had a special impact on Wright State students as well as the Dayton community.
“It’s a highlight [of] arts event for the community and it’s a wonderful way to showcase all our students in the fine and performing arts,” said Buckwalter. “This is a way they can show off all of their talent to the Wright State family as well as to the broader Dayton region in one night, all together for six hours of spectacular, fast paced energy and excitement and entertainment.”
“It’s important to our community because it gives the community an opportunity to give back and support our students and do it in a way that is fun and impactful. Everyone who is there that evening who either bought a ticket, came via a sponsorship or is volunteering is getting to see the students performing all night long knowing that every dollar they invested into the event is turned into scholarship support for our students,” said Buckwalter.
Creating an event for both its guests and performers to benefit leaves such a significant impression; it gives the event more meaning and importance as to why it is taking place.
Guest are not only enjoying the art, they are supporting the student performers.
“Scholarships go to the students performing that evening. These serve as a way to recruit talented and promising students into the program; they are also used for continuing students to make sure they have all the financial resources they need to graduate successfully,” said Buckwalter.
The ArtsGala supports its students in more ways than just scholarships. It is a night of recognition and acknowledgement of the hard work that has been put in.
“The event is unique to have so much collaboration amongst all the different fine and performing arts for one spectacular evening. It requires a lot of dedication, passion, energy and cooperation. It’s so validating to the students to see so many people in the community coming to support them at an event like this,” said Buckwalter. “Knowing all the time they have invested in their studies and all the time they’ve invested into planning for this night and see the entire building full of these people that spent money to be there and support them. The financial and scholarship support matters, but beyond that, the validation and support that there are that many people watching [them] do what [they] love and are passionate about. [For the students,] you can see it fills them up inside and is a proud moment for them to realize that what they’re doing matters.”
Besides the quality entertainment that guests are guaranteed, this event is like no other.
With the sizable amount of options that guests are given, it’s like a bunch of different events wrapped in one.
“There is nothing like ArtsGala out there. You’re moving at your own pace throughout the whole Creative Arts Center. In every space you go to there is different dining and student entertainment. You move around freely and experience what you want. There is way more entertainment than one can fit into their evening; we always leave people wanting more,” said Buckwalter.
Over the years, the ArtGala’s population has grown.
Starting from an attendance of around 300, recent events have hosted about 800 guests.
Averaging around $200,000 in proceeds annually, collectively, ArtsGala has raised $2.7 million in 19 years.
“It’s been tremendous in terms of what we’ve been able to do for the students,” said Buckwalter.
One of the many exciting things that takes place during the event is the silent auction.
“We have well over a hundred items. We’ll have lots of different artwork, restaurant certificates, spa packages, gift certificates, a hot air balloon ride [and more]. All the proceeds directly from that go to fund the scholarships as well,” said Buckwalter.
With this year being its 20th year, the ArtsGala has some exciting surprises in store for its guests.
“You don’t want to miss this year’s ArtsGala. It’s six hours of the most fun you’ll have in the year because you’ll be experiencing dance, art, music, theater and lots of wonderful food and have the opportunity to visit with your friends in the community and know that you’re supporting an amazing cause, which is scholarship support for Wright State students,” Buckwalter said. For more information on the event schedule, silent auction and tickets, visit the ArtGala’s page on Wright State’s website.