UC Merced Launches Performance Series With Gala Fundraiser

MERCED - "Arts UC Merced Presents …,"the university's first performance arts series, launches next week with its inaugural event, "Embrace the Arts."

"Embrace the Arts," is a fundraising gala that will help to ensure the performance series has staying power, said Gail Benedict, who along with fine arts professor Dunya Ramicova, has been a driving force behind creating the series.

"Arts UC Merced Presents …" is our university's landmark initiative to support the arts both on campus and in the community," Benedict said. "Universities play a crucial role in promoting the educational value of fine arts in addition to the entertainment they provide."

Ramicova, a founding member of UC Merced's arts faculty, has used her existing connection with the arts world to bring internationally renowned opera director Peter Sellars to Merced to help the series in its launch. Sellars, a professor of world arts and culture at UCLA, is known for his contemporary stagings of classical operas and plays.

"Peter and I have worked together for a number of years," said Ramicova, who has designed costumes for some of Sellars' productions. "And the one thing I can share about him is that he has a passion for the arts and a passion for education. I can't think of a better person to help 'Arts UC Merced Presents …' take flight."

"Embrace the Arts," will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at the University House, 2569 Remington Court, in Merced. The gala will include a performance by the Student String Ensemble at UC Merced, in addition to a hors d'oeuvres reception. Gala attendees will also be named founding sponsors of the performance series. Tickets to the event are $50; patrons may also choose to sponsor student tickets at $25 each.

For information: arts.ucmerced.eduor (209) 228-4566.

Tonya Luiz
UC Merced Office of Communications

Media Contact