Enjoy an evening of art, music, and theatre
by Wright State students

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ARTSGALA Scholarship Alumni

Over the past 15 years, ARTSGALA has raised over $2 million to support scholarships for our fine and performing arts students.

Below are the testimonies from just a few of our former ARTSGALA scholarship recipients.

Art & Art History

Andrew Dailey

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2004, 2005
Degree Obtained:  Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2005

Where are you now and what are you doing?
After WSU, I went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Miami University in 2009. In 2011, I was honored with an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.  I continue to create art and actively exhibit on a regional and national level.  I currently work as the Cultural Arts Program Supervisor for City of Kettering at Rosewood Arts Centre in Kettering, Ohio.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
It meant many things. It helps me pay for school, but more importantly, the sense of recognition from the scholarship encouraged me to work even harder towards my goals.

Maria Elkins

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2006
Degree Obtained: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Printmaking, 2006

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am currently living in Beavercreek, and I make art quilts and teach how to make portrait quilts.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
Receiving the scholarship not only helped me pay for my classes, but it also was a confidence booster, reaffirming that I was achieving success with my art and that others appreciated it.

Shannon Grecula

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2008
Degree Obtained: BFA with Graphic Design Certification, 2009

Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am a Guest Services Representative at the Dayton Art Institute.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship gave me the opportunity to be more confident in my work and aided me financially so that I could fully focus on developing my artistic practice at Wright State University.

Julia Trimboli

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2011
Degree Obtained: Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2012

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I moved from Dayton to Portland, OR after completing my BFA in 2012. Since then, I have traveled the West Coast and also took a trip to Japan. I currently live in Portland and work for Collage, a locally owned and operated art supply retailer.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you?
Because of the scholarship I received, I was able to afford to travel to Europe with Glen Cebulash, Diane Fitch, and 15 colleagues for a study abroad class in the Winter of 2011. It was the most memorable trip of my life thus far, and I gained valuable life and art history experience.

Music

Megan Christman

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2011, 2012
Degree Obtained:  Music Education, 2015

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am currently an elementary music teacher for the West Clermont Local Schools District. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
My scholarships all meant so much to me because I managed to come out of Wright State completely debt-free.  Wright State gave me so many great opportunities to perform and learn that I could not get at other colleges, and the ARTSGALA Scholarship contributed to my success.

Emily Hiltner

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2012
Degree Obtained:  Music Performance (Oboe) and Music History, 2014

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am currently working on my master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma in oboe performance.  Getting the ARTSGALA scholarship meant that I could afford to buy a professional instrument. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you
It encouraged me to keep practicing and getting better so that I could eventually be a teacher at a university.

Douglas Lane

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2012, 2013
Degree Obtained: Music Education, 2014

Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am still living in Dayton. I teach private music lessons and brew for The Dayton Beer Company. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the ARTSGALA Scholarship meant earning a great education. Without it, I wouldn't have had the life-changing experiences that I had at Wright State University. The ARTSGALA Scholarship helped me become a better-rounded person, and without it, I wouldn't be living out one of my dreams.

Theatre, Dance & Motion Pictures

Kelsey Celek

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2009
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Acting/Musical Theatre, 2010

Where are you now and what are you doing?
I am the Head of Education/Director of Student Theatre for Quincy Community Theatre in Quincy, Illinois.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you?
It was a valued measure of support that showed Wright State believed both in me and in the work I was doing.

Brittany ‘DeLee’ Cooper

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2012, 2013
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Acting, 2014

Where are you now and what are you doing?    
I am now in the midst of a move to Cleveland, OH, where I will begin my first year as an Actor-Teacher with Great Lakes Theater.  I am also a company member with Pointillism Jazz Consort based in Akron, OH where I have done several cultural arts projects as both a dancer and an actor. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
Receiving the ARTSGALA Scholarship meant a great deal to me.  Without financial support from scholarships like this one, it is likely I would not have been able to pursue a degree in the arts.  I feel very fortunate to have my degree and share my passion for theatre though my work!

Paige Dobkins

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2013, 2014
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Acting, 2015

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am living in NYC and getting ready to begin working on Carnival Cruise Line's Ecstasy as the lead female singer. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the scholarship meant everything to me. It meant that I could not only continue to pursue my dream, but that others believed in me as well, which helped me to strive for even bigger and better things. 

Law Dunford

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2012, 2013, 2014
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Acting, 2015

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am living in Mt. Adams, working as a new acting intern at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. I will be understudying Broadway and Regional theatre actors, touring children shows, teaching acting workshops, and working on getting into graduate school for acting.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship meant that I could work fewer hours and devote more time and energy to my craft. As a husband and father of an amazing daughter, time and money are of great importance. My ARTSGALA scholarship became that extra help to keep me focused on my family and craft, and saved me financially from having to take out private loans. I am grateful and I hope to return the favor in years to come.

John Faas

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2004
Degree Obtained: BFA in Acting and Musical Theatre, 2008

Where are you now and what are you doing?  
I am the Vice President-Development for The Human Race Theatre Company. Prior to The Human Race, I served as Director of Development for Muse Machine, and Development Manager for Victoria Theatre Association and Dayton Opera. During my time at WSU, I acted in multiple productions including Inherit the Wind Parade, Pirates of Penzance, Carousel, The Philadelphia Story, Merrily We Roll Along, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, States of Independence, The White Rose and ARTSGALA 2004.

I frequently take up the baton as a local musical theatre music director and pit conductor/musician. I  played the piano for over 20 years and have been associated with over 20 local theatre productions. Professional career highlights include directing Zoot Theatre Company's first ever musical-The Rocky Horror Puppet Show, playing keyboards for Avenue Q produced by The Human Race Theatre Company, conducting The Human Race's production of The Drowsy Chaperone at Victoria Theatre on the Broadway Series, assistant-conducting the regional premier of Band Geeks!, and music directing the Dayton Premiere of Spring Awakening produced by Encore Theatre Company. This past November 2014, I conducted and music directed The Human Race Theatre Company's production of the Broadway Classic - MAME!

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
The ARTSGALA scholarship was critical to my being able to stay in school. As a self-supporting student, any financial assistance was greatly needed.  Being a recipient of this scholarship was an honor and one of my proudest awards to date.

Kathleen Ferrini (Will be changed to Zion starting November 21, 2015!)

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2011
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Musical Theatre Emphasis on Acting, 2012

Where are you now and what are you doing?   
After I graduated I moved to Chicago and studied improvisation and comedy through Second City's Conservatory Program, graduating in January 2015. I was in commercials, short films, and a variety of sketch comedy groups. I moved back to Cleveland in June and am currently a host on a Christian radio station called Brian and Kathleen Mornings.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
The ARTSGALA scholarship recognized my talent. I really appreciated having that affirmation.

Jason Hardwick

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2004
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Motion Picture Production, 2006

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I'm currently living in Los Angeles, where I am an editor for the Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman produced show, The EIGHTIES, for CNN. This is the third season of the show that I have worked on, which began with the Emmy-nominated, The SIXTIES.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
It meant quite a lot, honestly. If I hadn’t received the ARTSGALA scholarship, I might not been able to complete and/or pay for my senior film, Left of Center. It also allowed me to focus the majority of my attention on that film, rather than having to work a full-time job concurrently.

Allison Kelly

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2010
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Acting with emphasis in Musical Theater, 2012

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am a professional actor and musician, living in New York City. I have a national commercial currently running on most major cable channels, as well as print work in magazines such as People, Shape, Cosmo, and Glamour. I also work in theatre, both originating roles in new works in the NYC area, and working on shows I love such as Ring of Fire and Twelfth Night. I am a member of SAG/AFTRA and an Equity Membership Candidate. 

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
The ARTSGALA Scholarship allowed me to leave Wright State debt free, which was crucial for me to move to New York. With the help of ARTSGALA patrons, I could continue to get amazing training from Wright State and hit the ground running in the career of my dreams. I am so grateful for the time I spent at Wright State! The department is a beautiful sum of its parts- a compassionate, stellar faculty in a beautiful facility, allowed to grow because of the support of its patrons. Thanks for helping me make my dreams come true! Go Raiders!

Alison Reny

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2008
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Dance with a Marketing minor, 2008

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I was offered a position at The Toledo School for the Arts as soon as I graduated from WSU in 2008. I am now starting my eighth year on the dance faculty and founded my own company at the school called Limitless Dance Company. This company is made up of high school dancers who want to continue on in dance at the college level. My alumni are in college dance programs across the country, including Juilliard, Marymount Manhattan, Loyola Marymount, Wright State University, Point Park, and Eastern Michigan. I also travel throughout Michigan and Ohio to teach master classes and set choreography. I have worked with Bowling Green State University on a dance production and was an adjunct professor of dance at The University of Findlay.  

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship was a huge surprise for me! I was so honored to receive such an important scholarship and finished my junior and senior year with this much needed financial support! One of my favorite performances each year was ARTSGALA, because we were able to interact with the donors and supporters of the arts! I think it is so important for people to support the arts, because it really does change people's lives, and I cannot imagine my life without it! I felt that during the last two years of my WSU education I owed it to these donors to work even harder and become the absolute best I could be. I also think the ARTSGALA scholarship showed me how important it is to be a donor now in my life. Whenever I can, I try to support my students financially in their endeavors so they are able to reach their goals and dreams! Every day I go to work I cannot believe how lucky I am to have a job in the arts that I absolutely adore, and it is 100 percent due to the amazing program at Wright State University and the ARTSGALA scholarship!

Claire Summers

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2011, 2012
Degree Obtained:  BFA in Theatre Design & Technology, 2014

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am currently living in New York City where I spent the last year freelancing as a stagehand and carpenter at organizations such as the Signature Center at Pershing Square, The New York University, and Theatre for a New Audience. I am currently an employee of the props department at Blue Man Group (Astor Place Theatre) and the Technical Supervisor at the New School for Drama (Parsons).

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
Receiving an ARTSGALA scholarship meant I could focus on my studies and hone my leadership skills in so many different capacities in the Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures Department at Wright State. I was given the opportunity to focus entirely on my craft, instead of having to overexert myself by holding down a job and managing my schooling. I could not be more grateful for the opportunities provided thanks to the ARTSGALA scholarship.

Victoria Sutton

ARTSGALA Scholar:  2011, 2012, 2013
Degree Obtained:   BFA in Theatrical Design and Production with an emphasis in Stage Management, 2014

Where are you now and what are you doing? 
I am a production assistant for the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. We do approximately 31 shows a year between our resident company and player company between 2 spaces.

What did receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship mean to you? 
It showed how much the work that I was doing for the department meant. I was an assistant on ARTSGALA for three years and it meant a lot to me that all my hard work was being appreciated. It also allowed me to focus on my work at school and not have to worry about how I was going to pay for my degree. I was able to focus on taking assignments that would help me grow as a stage manager, which gave me a leg up in finding a job after graduation.