Mason Gross School to receive honor at May 19 State Theatre gala

The Mason Gross School of the Arts will receive the State Theatre Leadership Award in the Arts on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at the State Theatre’s 24th Annual Benefit Gala. The gala begins with a 5 p.m. reception at The Heldrich Hotel, followed by the awards ceremony and gala concert at 6 p.m. featuring singer and pianist Michael Feinstein at the State Theatre. The event concludes with an 8 p.m. dinner dance at The Heldrich.

state theatre facadeAccording to State Theatre representatives, the State Theatre Leadership Award in the Arts is presented to a person or organization making a significant contribution to the performing arts in New Brunswick and New Jersey.

“The Mason Gross School of the Arts has been an essential partner with the State Theatre in the arts renaissance that anchors New Brunswick’s community renewal,” says Mark W. Jones, State Theatre President & CEO. “Dean Stauffer and the Mason Gross faculty are rich and incomparable resources that help drive the State’s artistic quality, community service and program expansion. Dean Stauffer and his faculty provide sources of inspiration, collegiality, developed sensibilities, wisdom and generous hearts to me and the State Theatre staff and Board of Trustees as we fight the good fight to make the arts an essential part of every American's life.”

Mason Gross School Dean George B. Stauffer says the honor is especially gratifying coming from a next-door neighbor and long-time arts partner.

“The State Theatre Leadership Award in the Arts means we’re doing something very right, and it’s happening here in our own neighborhood. That’s satisfying,” Stauffer says. He points out that the Mason Gross School engaged with the City of New Brunswick from the outset, operating the Visual Arts Department out of an old department store in the downtown area and then situating its central operations on Livingston Avenue’s Theatre Row.

Stauffer says the school, a member of the New Brunswick Cultural Center, maintains a steadfast alliance with the city.

“While we are eager to send our students on to the national and global stage, we are firmly committed to their engagement with New Jersey and with the City of New Brunswick in particular, as they create, perform and exhibit in the downtown area and collaborate with community partners,” Stauffer says. “The State Theatre Leadership Award affirms this mission.”

More details about the 24th Annual Benefit Gala are available at