A Look Backstage
Just as an audience is captivated by the merging of unusual
notes and off-beat percussion, visitors to the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia
Community College will be mesmerized by the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall
and Arts Center. The facility took center stage in Northern Virginia in September,
2001 with the opening of its breathtaking 981seat Mary Collier Baker Theater,
the beautiful Wachovia Forum, the intimate Margaret W. and Joseph L. Fisher Art
Gallery and Internet-ready seminar rooms.
discussions between the college and local arts groups in the early 1990's led
to the concept for a premier performing arts center on the Virginia side of the
Potomac River. As plans for the Center developed, details were added to the design
so that the building could accommodate large performance groups and off-Broadway
theater companies, yet remain affordable for local non-profit groups.
for the Schlesinger Center began in 1993 and was led by the Campaign Management
Committee for the Alexandria/Arlington Cultural Center. Among the leaders of the
Campaign committee was Rachel M. Schlesinger, a violinist and board member of
the Arlington Symphony. Mrs. Schlesinger's love of music began at an early age
and continued through her education at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, MA, her
marriage to former Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy, Dr. James R.
Schlesinger and the birth of her eight children. Mrs. Schlesinger worked tirelessly
to raise money for the Center, but never saw the dream become a reality - she
died in October 1995.
In 1996, Dr. Schlesinger donated
$1 million to name the Center in his wife's memory. Dozens
of local corporations, foundations and individual donors
generously contributed additional funds to build the kind
of first-rate facility that audiences in this area have
come to expect.
If you would like to make a donation, please contact John
Ruffino and the Northern Virginia Community College Educational
Foundation at 703/323-3023 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.