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College of Arts and Sciences second 'Shine On' fundraiser promises surprises for guests

Videos, animation, music and more brought audience members to their feet at last year's "Shine On" fundraiser for New Mexico State University's College of Arts and Sciences. This year, Creative Media Institute's Mark Medoff, the show's producer, says the audience can expect a much wilder ride on Saturday, April 14, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and show at 7 p.m.

Mary Benanti on stage speaking into microphone with large screen behind her displaying a photo.
New Mexico State University women's studies professor Mary Benanti performs a monologue she prepared explaining her journey and the inspiration that led her to academia at the College of Arts and Sciences "Shine On" celebration in April last year. (Submitted Photo)

"I can promise 'Shine On 2' will not be anything like a traditional fundraiser where people don't want to come in the first place and can hardly wait for it to be over," said Medoff. "Thanks to eight months of work by a lot of people, this will be a unique evening, combining by no accident large elements of both the arts and the sciences to raise awareness of the College of Arts and Sciences."

The theme of "Shine On 2: A Teaching/Learning Experience" will include live audience participation along with animation, musical performances and videos.

Medoff, who will again emcee the show, is keeping some aspects of the event under wraps, but one main attraction will be a series of videos in which six pairs of strangers sit down to discuss compelling questions about teaching, learning and life in general.

The pre-show reception will include videos of outstanding alumni on screens in the lobby of the Las Cruces Convention Center with music from various artists including NMSU alumnus Mike Cano, a member of the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States.

"We knew we had to top last year's performance. Mark's vision and drive have inspired faculty, students and community members to work hard for months to create a memorable evening for everyone who attends 'Shine On 2,'" said Ken Van Winkle, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of the fundraiser.

Van Winkle also hinted at surprises in store for the audience and shared one more detail about the stage setup. A mammoth 32-foot by 16-foot canvass is being erected to display videos throughout the evening.

"People are still talking about last year's 'Shine On' and this show definitely takes it up a notch," Van Winkle said.

Tickets to "Shine On" are $50, will be available through April 4 and may be purchased online at https://shopcart.nmsu.edu/shop/colas/product/724 . Dress is semi-formal. For questions or reservations call 575-646-6178.

Watch videos of last year's "Shine On" event at http://artsci.nmsu.edu/gallery/shine-on

Proceeds from the fundraiser support the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Fund for Excellence, which provides grants to students and faculty members.