Center ARTES at CSUSM to Honor Contributors to the Arts


Media Contact: Margaret Lutz |

"Art in Your Heart" is a benefit evening celebrating and advocating Arts Education to ensure San Diego County children have access to an education that includes the arts. Proceeds from the event will go toward delivering art education programs to K-12 schools across San Diego County via the ARTSmobile, a mobile art classroom. The event, hosted by Center ARTES at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) will take place October 24 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at CSUSM's The McMahan House. The afternoon includes a reception, light refreshments, and performances by special guests and CSUSM students. 

"This event will significantly impact our ability to provide arts education to students. Just one dollar can bring an art experience to a student," said Center ARTES Executive Director Merryl Goldberg.  "A one thousand dollar gift would mean we could reach one thousand students."

"My student population is composed mostly of second language learners with little opportunity for outside culture and arts," commented Atalya Aviv, a third grade teacher for Vista Unified School District. "They would benefit greatly from direct [art] experiences!"

In addition to raising funds for arts education, the event will honor three individuals for their significant contributions to the arts: Francis Hunter for Arts Philanthropy, Nuvi Mehta for Artistry, and Nancy Giberson for Arts Education.

Francis Hunter, Arts Philanthropist
Frances Hunter came to Rancho Santa Fe in 1973 and was active on the Board of the Rancho Santa Fe San Diego Symphony Guild, the San Diego Opera Guild, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. Since high school music has been her passion and the Chamber Orchestra has been a vital part of her life.  Hunter has been a subscriber to the Chamber Orchestra since its inception and a major donor to its education programs. In 1997 the Hunter family embarked on a project of vital importance - the renovation of the Old Music Building at Whitman College in Washington State. It is now known as the Frances Geiger Hunter Conservatory.
Nuvi Mehta, Director of Special Projects, San Diego Symphony
Nuvi Mehta has an extraordinary gift for capturing the minds and hearts of his audiences.  The L.A. Times likens him to a young Gary Cooper, saying, "His old-fashioned Hollywood charisma extends to an eloquent and theatrical way of speaking that is almost entirely lost today..."  A regular guest of the San Diego Symphony, Mehta has recently been appointed Director of Special Projects of the San Diego Symphony, where he hosts a new series called "Symphony Exposed" introducing a new generation to classical music. Named Artistic Director of the Ventura Music Festival Association in August of 2003, Mehta has also been Music Director of the Marquette and Nova Vista Symphonies, the International Russian Music Piano Competition, an assistant of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and apprentice conductor with the Knoxville Symphony. Mehta also carries his passion for music into the classroom where his children's music education programs have brought inspiration to thousands of elementary school students.

Nancy Giberson, Assistant Superintendent, San Diego County Office of Education
Nancy Giberson is a strong supporter of arts education, playing an important role in creating the San Diego Arts Network which has been recognized at the state level. Giberson has supported the California Music Educators Association for several years both as a contributor and an avid attendee of events and performances. She is a past chair of the Cultural Counsel of Santa Cruz County and several other performing arts organizations. Giberson comes from a family of singers and musicians and has been involved with ballet, as well as playing the flute and piano. Prior to her tenure at the San Diego County Office of Education she was assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Before that she served as principal of Torrey Pines High and taught at Oak Crest Middle School, both in the San Dieguito Union High School District.

To purchase tickets, contact Arlene Cratsa at 760-750-4408 or

What:  "Art in Your Heart" Benefit and Awards
When:  October 24, 2009 from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: The McMahan House at CSUSM, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos
Tickets: $200  Patron Ticket ($170 is tax deductible) and includes premium reserved seating.
            $125  Associate Ticket ($95 is tax deductible)
            $75  Friend Ticket ($45 is tax deductible) 

A ten percent group discount is available for those purchasing ten or more tickets. 

About Center ARTES
Center ARTES was founded at Cal State San Marcos by Dr. Merryl Goldberg in 2003. Her vision was to create an organization dedicated exclusively to arts education in K-12 schools. Center ARTES is dedicated to restoring arts education to the public schools through teacher training, placing artists in schools to work with children and teachers directly and working with school districts on strategic planning, research, and evaluation. Center ARTES has partnered with San Diego County Office of Education to become a hub for arts education as they unite schools, develop art partners, and bring teachers and parents together.

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is fifteen miles east of the ocean; just thirty miles north of downtown San Diego.