This event supports the OU Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts students by raising much-needed funds for student scholarships, travel grants and other opportunities to enhance students' educational and artistic development.
Recruited nationwide, the students of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts are among the best and brightest in the country and the opportunities they receive at OU are essential to their development as professional artists.
The evening’s events begin with entertainment in the newly renovated Elsie C. Brackett Theatre followed by dinner and a program in the Sandy Bell Gallery of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, on OU’s Norman campus. This year’s event co-chairs are Anne McCurdy, Lindy Ritz and Chuck Thompson.
Five distinguished OU graduates will give special presentations as part of the evening's festivities. This year’s alumni guest list includes Christopher Rice, Barron Ryan, Gloria Groom, Brett Young and Iqbal Theba, each representing the five schools within the college.
Rice, a graduate of the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre, is currently performing in the hit Broadway musical, "The Book of Mormon." He also created and stars in the viral tap dance video series ”Tappy,” which has more than 3 million views and has been featured on "Good Morning America," the "Meredith Vieira Show" and more.
A graduate from the School of Music, Ryan is a classical pianist by training. In 2013, he debuted his solo album, Classical with Attitude, featuring jazz-infused classical music. He also draws upon his love of jazz and ragtime to create performances that are as sensitive as they are scintillating with his unique “classic meets cool” style to many sold-out concerts throughout the United States.
Groom was named the first senior curator at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. An expert in French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, Gloria has been published extensively and has curated and co-curated 11 exhibitions at the Art Institute. She spearheaded the creation of the Art Institute’s first two online scholarly catalogues, which provide in-depth curatorial research and conservation science to a global audience. She received her B.A. from University of Oklahoma and M.A. and Ph.D. from UT-Austin.
Young is in his fourth season with Texas Ballet Theater in Dallas and has performed principal and solo roles since his first year in the company. A graduate of the School of Dance, his list of accomplishments includes performing the lead roles in Val Caniparoli’s "Lambarena" and Ben Stevenson’s "Mozart Requiem."
Raised in Pakistan, Theba came to the United States as a college freshman at OU where he earned a degree in engineering. While in college, however, he realized his true passion was acting and returned to OU to study at the School of Drama. After receiving his degrees, Theba moved to Los Angeles where he has been a working actor ever since. His big acting break came in his role on the NBC pilot "Death and Taxes." Theba also was a series regular on "The George Carlin Show." His longest-running role was Principal Figgins in the Fox television series Glee.
“The 25th annual Arts! Arts! Arts! Gala promises to be a stellar event planned by a dedicated and imaginative committee and our co-chairs,” said Mary Margaret Holt, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. “With the participation of five distinguished graduates, the evening pays tribute to the opportunities provided by 25 years of scholarships, travel grants and generous support of the students and faculty of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. We are indebted to all past attendees of Arts! Arts! Arts! and we invite them to join us for this very special celebration.”
Reservations are required for the gala, and tickets may be purchased online at ou.edu/finearts/support. For more information and for accommodations on the basis of disability, contact Helen Green, public relations coordinator in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at (405) 325-8698.