(MANASSAS, VA)— The Hylton Performing Arts Center officially opened the Education and Rehearsal Wing with a ribbon cutting celebration December 3, 2019. The $13.5 million expansion on George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus, added 17,000 square feet and includes two rehearsal halls, six practice rooms, two classrooms, and two additional lobby spaces, allowing the community to utilize the Hylton Center in an expanded way to educate, rehearse, perform, and collaborate.

The invitation-only opening featured remarks by Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Center and Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Chairman of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Bishop Lyle Dukes, as well as performances by Mason Music and Opera students.

The Wing completes the original vision for the Hylton Center, finalizing its footprint with a design informed by nearly a decade of programming experience and a clear understanding of what this region requires in order to excel as a sophisticated arts community.

“The opening of this new Wing not only means an expansion of educational offerings at the Hylton Center, but also the opportunity for this community to fully enter into the entire life-cycle of artistic creation,” shares Davis. “In this new Wing, we will educate—both through our partnerships in the community as well as through Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, as well as rehearse, perform and collaborate. We look forward to filling these halls and spaces with artistic energy, synergy, and creation.”

The Wing features two impressive new spaces—one rehearsal hall the floor size of the Merchant Hall stage and the other the footprint of the Gregory Family Theater, which will enable arts groups to stage full-scale rehearsals or performances. The spaces feature flexible seating, advanced acoustic treatments, and sprung dance floors.

The outfitted practice rooms and classrooms will empower students and artists of all ages to learn and perfect their craft at the Hylton Center, under the tutelage of George Mason University’s nationally renowned professors, Lifelong Learning lecturers, and professional artists.

Groundbreaking for the expansion took place September 15, 2016, when former George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera shared the following remarks: “This campus is where STEM becomes S.T.E.A.M.—Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Discoveries of all kinds are being made here, and with this new wing, even more musicians, actors and dancers will have the opportunity to develop their skills and pursue their artistic passions.”

All of the spaces in the new Education and Rehearsal Wing will also play a role in serving community events—from corporate meetings and conferences to galas and celebrations. For more information about facility rentals visit http://hyltoncenter.org/rentals or contact Sales and Community Outreach Manager Susan Landess at 703-993-9344.

The Education and Rehearsal Wing expansion was funded in part by $6 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia, championed by the late Virginia Sen. Charles J. Colgan, as well as the generous support of many private donors, including a generous gift of over $7.5 million from the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation. The smaller rehearsal space is named the Ballard Postma Studio in recognition of a gift from Hans and Mary Postma of Haymarket, Va. Ballard is Mary Postma’s family name. These early contributions spurred momentum for the Hylton Center’s Capital and Endowment Campaign, which is now more than 75% of the way towards achieving its goal of $31.5 million. Other major contributors to the Capital and Endowment Campaign include Buck and Julie Waters; Bennett, Atkinson, and Associates P.C.; the Wall Foundation; NOVEC; Claire Machosky-Ullman and Al Ullman; Micron; Donald Coulter and Rosemary Enright; the Parr Family; Eileen Roberts; and Jim and Barbara White.

The campaign, in addition to raising the funds for the Education and Rehearsal Wing, has also raised funds for the Hylton Center’s Endowment, ensuring artistic excellence for generations to come.

The Education and Rehearsal Wing also features two commissioned pieces of art specifically designed for the space, created by Mason School of Art alumnus Nathan Loda and Manassas-based visual artist David Labrozzi.

For more information on remaining opportunities to support this campaign and gain recognition in the new Wing, contact Director of Development, Eileen Kennedy at 703-993-6092 or ekenned9@gmu.edu.

High-resolution Images of the Education and Rehearsal Wing available upon request.


About the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass, and masonry, the 102,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. The Hylton Center Education and Rehearsal Wing opens December 2019—adding 17,000 square feet of space for rehearsals, classes, and performances and allowing the artists and arts educators of our community to fully facilitate the entire life-cycle of artistic creation. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, has quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of civic collaboration and commitment to the arts.

About George Mason University
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 37,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.

For more information, visit HyltonCenter.org


Kirstin M. Franko
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
George Mason University - College of Visual and Performing Arts
Center for the Arts | Hylton Performing Arts Center
703-993-8794 | kfranko@gmu.edu