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Tickets are available for sale online through 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25. 

If you wish to attend the event, you can purchase tickets the night of at the Forbes Center Box Office.  Dress for the event is business or cocktail attire.

IN/ovation: Student Arts Celebration
Benefiting the Sparks Scholarship Fund

March 26, 2022 • 6:30-9:30 p.m. • Forbes Center for the Performing Arts


Student and Alumni Artwork  •  The Marching Royal Dukes  •  Poetry  •  Student Music Performances   •  Student Theatre and Dance Performance  •  Live and Silent Auctions

Join us for this premier student showcase in honor of Dr. George Sparks
6:30 p.m. | Art Auction Preview & Reception

Gather with fellow artists and patrons for hors d'oeurves and drinks as we preview exclusive student and alumni art pieces before the silent auction. Also featuring the Student Music Quartet.

7:30 p.m. | Remembering George Sparks

As the inaugural dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Dr. Sparks was a passionate advocate for student artists and made scholarships his No. 1 fundraising priority. JMU community members will offer their remembrances.

8 p.m. | Remarks, Performances & Auctions

President Jonathan R. Alger and Provost Heather Coltman will start us off with remarks following a welcome by Dean Rubén Graciani.

Special performances include:

  • A welcoming clarinet solo by Šarūnas Jankauskas
  • Poetry by Joanne Gabbin
  • Inspiring performances by Theatre and Dance Students, the School of Music Orchestra, the JMU Jazz Ensemble, theMadison Singers and the JMU Chorale, and the Marching Royal Dukes

The night’s events will include personal remembrances of Dr. Sparks’ warmth and generosity and an exciting live auction for Alumni artwork and a Musical Theatre or Opera Walk-On.

Help make the arts accessible to all aspiring Dukes

Event proceeds benefit the George E. Sparks College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship Endowment. Contributions to this fund help make students’ dreams of a coveted JMU arts degree a reality. The seed to grow such a scholarship fund in CVPA was planted in February 2020 in honor of Dean Sparks and his belief in the potential of our students. Now in his memory, we want that seed to grow into his dream of sustainable scholarship funds. 

"I believe that as artist-educators we find new ways to use the power of the arts to connect, reflect, and grow. I am carrying forward the vision of our founding Dean, Dr. George Sparks, who had an unwavering commitment to making the arts accessible to all."

— Rubén Graciani, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts

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