CSUN’s VPAC aims to raise $1 million from grand Opening Gala

Elano Pizzicarola

After over two years of construction, the much-publicized Valley Performing Arts Center will celebrate its Grand Opening Gala on Saturday Jan. 29.

Vance Peterson, CSUN vice president for University Advancement said the black-tie event was “a historic occasion for Los Angeles and certainly the Valley.”

The invitation sent to the public called the $125 million project “a dream turned reality.”

Peterson listed and detailed the evening’s phases, which will allow attendees to mingle and enjoy live performances.

The gala will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception in the Grand Atrium Lobby.

Attendees will be greeted by a red carpet in the facility’s adjacent courtyard.

Local leaders including Congressman Brad Sherman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and State Assembly member Bob Blumenfield are expected to attend.

“That’s what we’re planning on currently,” Peterson said. At 7 p.m., guests will prepare for the Great Hall Inaugural Celebration Performance. Live performances from jazz to classical spoken word, dance, and opera are scheduled. Entertainment artists like Nancy Cartwright, Brian Cox, CSUN Jazz “A” Band, Tyne Daly, Davis Gaines, Dave Koz, Andrew Lunsford, Gillian Murphy, Monica Mancini and the Northridge Singers will also be performing.

The night will conclude with a tented and heated “dinner dance” on the neighboring Manzanita Lawn where the Cowling Band will cover music from the ‘70s to ‘90s. Catering company. Along Came Mary, will provide hor d’oeuvres and drinks.

VPAC aims to raise more than $1 million from this event .

“It’s been going well. We’re north of a million as we speak in terms of total gifts and commitments,” Peterson said.

Despite 550 individuals already expected to attend and up to a possible 150 more, Peterson said he is not worried about traffic flow and the lines of people waiting to enter the facility.

“We can handle that size crowd,” he said.