In its 15-year history, ARTSGALA has raised more than $1.75 million to fund over 500 scholarships for students in the fine and performing arts at Wright State University. Everyone benefits from this unique event. Sponsors and patrons join many community friends to enjoy a spectacular evening featuring the best Wright State has to offer in art, music, theatre, dance and motion pictures and the students benefit from the scholarships raised.
This scholarship money is crucial for our arts programs and students. The funds help departments attract and retain top-notch, talented students without whom we could not maintain our high caliber programs. The arts programs are rigorous and very demanding of students’ time. Many students are in class, training, and rehearsals all day long and have little time for their studies rather than worrying about fully funding their education.
“Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship during my time at Wright State was a beautiful gift. The support was inspiring, pushing me to excel academically and artistically. I would like to thank the ARTSGALA community for their generosity and their investment in me.” —Megan Spencer, Art Alumna ‘13
“I came to Wright State setting out to become the best artist that I could be. I knew I had talent and passion, but I needed a place where my gifts could be strengthened by quality training. Here I was met by incredible teachers and amazingly talented students who inspire me daily and give me tools to perfect my craft. This encouraging environment draws greatness out of anyone with a dream, and the ARTSGALA scholarships gives us the support we need to grow and t hrive. Thank you!” — Jasmine Easler, Acting
“It took me over a year to decide to come to Wright State, but when I did, it was clear that I had made the right choice. Being awarded the ARTSGALA scholarship was the first of many game-changing moments for me here at WSU and such an unbelievably motivating and empowering experience! I am forever grateful for the people who make it possible.” — Stephen Monath, Music
“I knew from the moment I stepped onto campus that Wright State was where I was meant to be. In my short time there I learned continuously, discovered beauty in all the forgotten places, and grew more than I ever believed possible for myself. I’ve always dreamed of pursuing a career in theatre. With support from ARTSGALA I was able to make my dream a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you give and for changing my life!” —Regina Villaver, Theatre Alumna ’13
“I am grateful to be part of such a supportive arts community. I was honored to be selected as an ARTSGALA Scholarship recipient during my time at Wright State. Receiving this support was not only encouraging but also very rewarding as it allowed me to be more focused on my art.” —Ross Hale, Art Alumnus ’13
"Being accepted to Wright State was very exciting for me. Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship meant even more, because it felt like I was being told "You can do it, we have faith in you." It was a great help and encouragement to me throughout my time at Wright State and I am so thankful for the opportunities it provided me."
—Kylene Griffith Terhune, Music Alumna ’13
“Sowing seeds of hope and belief in one’s gift is so important and forms greater generations to come. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
—Lawrence Dunford, Theatre
“The ARTSGALA scholarship is a great opportunity for WSU students to engage in their talents and worry a little less about financial troubles. By receiving my ARTSGALA scholarship my senior year, I was able to focus more energy and creative mind to my studio work. I am very thankful for ARTSGALA, I can’t wait to attend and give back.”
—Stephanie McEnery, Art Alumna ‘11
“The ARTSGALA scholarship had a significant impact on my education, and not just by easing the financial burden, the event itself gave me the opportunity to meet and perform for people who genuinely care about the arts in Dayton. To those who have attended the event, thank you so much for your encouragement and support through my education at Wright State.”
—Joel Thompson, Music Alumnus ‘12
We asked some of our arts alumni what receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship meant to them, and here is what they had to say:
- “Receiving an ARTSGALA scholarship was wonderful because it allowed me to bring my education to the forefront. It’s the gift that allowed me to singularly focus on reaching my goals.”
- “As an independent student supporting myself, paying full tuition and attending classes full time was difficult, but the ARTSGALA scholarship freed me from enough of the financial burden to concentrate on my studies, and even excel at them.”
- “Receiving the ARTSGALA scholarship was an affirmation that I was on the right track in choosing to continue my art education.”
- “I was the first person in my entire family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. My parents worked hard to give us everything we had, so it was very gratifying to receive an ARTSGALA scholarship based on my musical talent.”
- "ARTSGALA scholarship meant opportunity to me! I now get the opportunity to spread such an attitude of unselfish compassion with today’s young people, as I stand before them and share my incredible love for music.”
ARTSGALA scholarships allow our students to graduate with fewer student loans, a big concern in today’s society. They allow them to focus more time and energy to honing their craft, which gives them more opportunities for success upon graduation. Here are just a few success stories of our recent ARTSGALA graduates:
- Blaine Boyd, 2011 BFA Musical Theatre: Blaine is working in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre, their biggest musical theatre producing organization. He has instantly made a name for himself there as a strong singer/dancer. He has a commitment from 5th Avenue Theatre for two more shows, taking him through early 2013. Then, he plans to move to NYC.
- Nicholaus Arnold, 2008 BFA Printmaking: Nicholaus earned an MFA in printmaking from Syracuse University and has been showing nationally. He had a show in Chelsea NYC and another at the DUMBO Arts Center. Along with the Dayton-based art collective Broken Dayton Art Machine, he has helped curate shows across the country in cities such as Syracuse, NY; Knoxville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and Portland, ME.
- Richard “Andy” Miller, 2009 Percussion Performance: Andy earned his master's in percussion performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He played principal timpani and percussion with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, won the 2010 orchestra concerto competition, and performed as section percussion with both the Champaign-Urbana Symphony and Sinfonia da Camera (two regional orchestras). He also had the great opportunity to study and live with master drummer Bolokada Conde, who is revered as one of the world’s foremost Djembe players.