WASHINGTON CENTER ANNOUNCES 2019 EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS
AWARD WINNERS: JILL CARTER, R.L. RAY VIOLIN SHOP
The 4TH Annual CENTER Stage Awards & Gala will be held at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The event is a fundraiser for the Washington Center and an opportunity to celebrate local artists and supporters of the arts. “This year’s gala will have a mid-century modern feel,” says Jill Barnes, Executive Director. “Think Palm Springs or Mad Men season one.”
In celebrating local arts, the gala features a selection of local groups who regularly perform at the Center and call the Center “home.” Barnes says, “We have such a depth of arts in our community, and we’re proud to be able to feature local performing artists during the gala. It’s an eye-opening display of how vast the cultural talent is here, and the gala is an opportunity for them to gain new audiences and appreciation.”
During the gala, the Excellence in the Arts awards will be given to those whose work, support, and creativity help build a vibrant cultural community. This year’s Achievement in the Arts awards will be awarded to Jill Carter. Jill Carter is a consummate technical set design expert. Her work has appeared on many stages throughout the Pacific Northwest and around the world for over 20 years. “Her sets have transported artists and audiences to new places,” says Barnes. “She has made a successful career as an artist herself, and mentored countless youth and students.”
This year’s Commitment to the Arts award will be awarded to R.L. Ray Violin Shop. R.L. Ray Violin Shop has been operating in Olympia since 1999. The artists at R.L. Ray are world-class craftsmen who make, maintain, and repair instruments and their impact goes far beyond their business. The shop believes strongly in providing philanthropy through scholarships and organizational support. Barnes says, “The generosity of R.L. Ray Violin Shop has made it possible for students to attend music school, summer camps, master classes and more.”
In addition to cocktail hour, full dinner, awards ceremony, live auction, and entertainment, this year’s fund-a-need will help raise money for the latest gold-standard audio equipment technology.
Tickets are $125 per person through July 5 and are currently on sale at the Washington Center by calling (360) 753-8586 during Box Office hours, or online 24-hours a day at www.washingtoncenter.org.