Scottsdale Arts Gala includes Matthew Morrison concert

Matthew Morrison (photo by Nathan Johnson)

The multi-talented Matthew Morrison will provide entertainment during the Scottsdale Arts Gala 2018, an all-encompassing arts experience that includes visual and performing elements of the organization’s four operating branches on Dec. 1.

Along with a performance by Mr. Morrison in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, there will be a reception at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where two exhibitions will be on display.

Additionally, Scottsdale Public Art has commissioned a new art installation for the center by artist Jeff Zischke. Works by students participating in various Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach programs will be shown throughout the night.

Mr. Morrison has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe awards throughout his career, which has included television roles on “Glee,” “The Good Wife” and “Grey’s Anatomy” as well as Broadway appearances in “Hairspray” and “Finding Neverland,” which earned him two Drama Desk nominations and a win in the category of Favorite Actor in a Musical through’s Audience Awards.

He made his Broadway debut in “Footloose,” was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “The Light in the Piazza” and received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for “10 Million Miles.”

Mr. Morrison also appeared in the Tony-winning revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center Theater.

The Scottsdale center for the Performing Arts is at 7380 E. Second St. (photo by Sean Deckert)

The night will feature a live auction that includes a cultural trip to Cuba, among other prizes, according to a press release. The April 2019 trip, through Cuba Rhythms and Views, features visits to artist and dance studios, jazz cafés and the Havana Biennial.

Cuba is the featured country for Scottsdale Arts’ Discovery Series throughout the 2018–19 season. The series includes a variety of Cuban music and dance performances, art exhibitions, films, lectures and more.

Zischke’s “radiate” is a temporary sculptural light installation designed specifically for the Center’s Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium. It uses overlays of projected hues to change perceptions of light and color with an ongoing animated presentation. The result is a seemingly ever-changing light show, which will provide a dynamic atmosphere for the gala.

On display at SMoCA during the reception will be two exhibitions, “Double Agents: Carla Fernández and Pedro Reyes” and “NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967–1999).”

Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach will also have two exhibitions on display at the Center, including “Artists’ Children,” which features the work of 27 young artists whose parents are also visual artists, and “More than Movement,” a photography exhibition.

“More than Movement” is a photographic and archival essay that explores the life and work of dancer and educator Frances Smith Cohen.

For more than 60 years, Ms. Cohen has used her art as a means of self-expression and as an effective educational tool. The exhibition explores her work with Arizona Wolf Trap, Center Dance Ensemble’s “Snow Queen” and the Arizona Young Artists’ Competition.

Attendees are invited to experience the gala in its entirety with the complete package, which includes an hors d’oeuvres and cocktail reception at SMoCA, an exquisite plated dinner in the atrium and the Morrison concert in the theater. Or they can choose a medium option with the Cocktails & Concert Package, which includes a SMoCA reception and the performance. And, if they just want to catch Mr. Morrison in concert, a performance-only option is also available.

Tickets for the complete package are $500 each or $5,000 for a table of 10. It begins with the reception at 5 p.m. and continues with dinner at 6 p.m. and the concert at 8:30 p.m. Complimentary valet parking is available for complete package ticketholders.

Cocktails & Concert Package tickets, which include a reception at SMoCA and the Mr. Morrison performance, are also available for $150 each. It begins with the reception at 7 p.m. prior to the concert at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Mr. Morrison concert without any of the other festivities are $75.

Proceeds from the Scottsdale Arts Gala benefit the dynamic and diverse performances, exhibitions and arts education and outreach programs presented by Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Education & Outreach. A portion of each Scottsdale Arts Gala purchase is tax-deductible.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit, or call the box office at 480-499-8587 or Scottsdale Arts Development at 480-425-5347.

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