In the months leading into my Mason career, my mother and father often reminded me to attempt to get all of the perks from my out of state tuition. I found a perfect venue for that at the GMU Center for the Arts.

Any holder of a Mason ID is able to get at least one free ticket for most performances featured at the venue. The Center of the arts, apart from featuring Mason’s very own theatrical and musical ensembles, pulls in the likes of the American Symphony Orchestra and even the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi. Indeed, the College of Visual and Performing Arts has a selection that’s just as diverse as Mason itself.

Continuing on that point, the College of Visual and Performing Arts selects the program for the year, and strives to create “an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that enhance and strengthen each other.” Certainly a very admirable goal, I would say.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts has aptly named the program of artists who pass through Mason “Great Performances at Mason” and great they are. Mind you, however, this is not like attending an event at the Patriot Center, which recently sat a little under 6,000 at the recent Wale show, with the capacity to fit a lot more. The Concert Hall seats just 1,935.

When I discovered that “Great Performances at Mason” was so accessible to students, I got very excited. I’ve always been a fan of classical music, and I was able to be exposed to my first live performance here on campus.

What the Center for the Arts offers is not for everyone, but I recommend that full advantage should be taken to go out and see at least one performance. Information can be found online at Taking advantage of these free tickets from the Center of the Arts is not only rewarding, but allows you to indulge in one of the many perks George Mason’s tuition has to offer.


1 Comment

  1. Calderonista says:

    Great insight into one of Mason’s distinctive signature assets.  Mason was (and is) ahead of most of American higher ed in making such a wide range of artistic experiences available to students at “no extra charge” — and I’ve seen many lives enhanced by taking a chance on an unfamiliar art form, cultural tradition, or ensemble and becoming a lifelong fan equipped with new ways to encounter and enjoy the world.  I should also mention that a similar program with the same benefits is available at our beautiful new Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus.  There is some overlap between “Great Performances at Mason” and “Hylton Presents” but also a number of unique events in a really beautiful setting.  Come on out!