Thursday, May 7, 2020

Habitat for Humor

Habitat for Humanity hosts virtual stand-up comedy brunch show on Saturday, May 9.

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Richmond Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Council has its own definition of BYOB: Build Your Own Brunch.

This Saturday, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is hosting a virtual comedy show and brunch as a fundraiser for its Women Build program. Every spring, the program builds a home in the Richmond area to improve someone’s housing situation; the build is also focused on encouraging women to come out and get involved with Habitat for Humanity.

As the pandemic has at least postponed this year’s planned project, the Women Build Council decided to host a virtual comedy show and brunch to keep their volunteers engaged and raise money for its projects.

“We were kind of joking that everybody needed a good laugh, so we tried to add a comedy element to it,” says Whitney Guthrie, Richmond Habitat for Humanity’s director of community engagement.

Hosted by local stand-up comedian Alida Harper, the hour-and-a-half show will feature sets by Liz Carr, Elani Nichelle, Beth Tucker, Bria Beddoe, Sarah Ahmed and Gigi Modrich. The latter is a Washington, D.C.-based comic who was part of the First Nations Comedy Experience, which can be viewed on Amazon Prime. Those involved say the sets will be PG-13.

As for the Build Your Own Brunch component, audience members will receive recipes for brunch foods, as well as instructions for cocktails and mocktails. For audience members who don’t wish to cook, audience members will also receive a list of restaurants currently offering brunch.

“We’re hoping to let folks know about a good cause and a great way to get engaged in their local community while having a good time,” Guthrie says.

Richmond Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Council’s Virtual Comedy Show & Brunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 9. For more information, go here.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Virtual Richmond Night Market to be held Saturday, May 9

Featuring a special acoustic set by local reggae artist Mighty Joshua.

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2020 at 4:00 AM

After a successful April edition, the Virtual Richmond Night Market Experience will be held again this Saturday, May 9 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., live at @richmondnightmarketva.

The second edition will include live painting with Richmond artist S. Ross Browne, as well as artisans and vendors participating from Puerto Rico to Richmond. The creative kids hangout will be powered by VPM/PBS and Brooklyn-based DJ Monday Blue will be on the virtual main stage. There will also be a special acoustic set by Richmond reggae artist, Mighty Joshua.

"We record from Canvas and allow attendees to virtually go into the galleries and art spaces of 20 participating artisans that we will be visiting virtually in Richmond, Va, Philadelphia, PA, Brooklyn, NY and Puerto Rico," says co-creator and media manager Melody Short via email.

According to a press release, last month's edition found an audience of over 13K and impressions of 62K on Instagram the week and day of the Virtual Richmond Night Market with one local artist finishing the evening with $1,400 in sales, doubling those sales by the end of the week and still working to fulfill additional orders received through the Virtual Richmond Night Market Experience.

“We are very proud of our decision to pivot and not postpone the kickoff of Season 2 of the Richmond Night Market. Under standard operations, we are a night market that draws a crowd of over 1200 people each 2nd Saturday of the month, all gathering in celebration of art, community and commerce locally," said co-founder Adrienne Cole Johnson in a press release. "We were committed to keeping each component of the Richmond Night Market and placing great emphasis on the commerce experience to allow our platform to leverage the global reach thanks to social media and ultimately create additional brand exposure, engagement and sales for participating artists."

For more information regarding media/press inquiries,sponsorship opportunities, featured artisans, or additional details, contact Melody Short at 212.518.4776 or via email at melody@richmondnightmarketva.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Richmonder Creates "Efficient Map" To Viewing Our Murals

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Richmond is known for its amazing murals.

And as people try to find ways to keep themselves sane under quarantine, one 35-year-old native Richmonder and mechanical engineer is doing his part to help provide an artful activity.

Blake Casavant has painstakingly created a Google Map of the best 100 plus murals in Richmond with the bonus of providing the most efficient route to view them, "though it can be slightly tweaked," he points out.

"Can you think of a better way to practice social distancing while also allowing you to get out of your house?," he asks.

We sent him a few questions via email to learn more:

Style Weekly: How did you come up with this idea?

Blake Casavant: I don't have an arts background, nor am I involved in the arts right now, but I've always admired the vast number of murals around RVA. Despite this, it wasn't until some non-Richmonders pointed out the grandiosity of it all that I was able to realize how much I have taken it for granted.

So, one day, when I had a bit of free time, I decided to try to find a listing of all the murals RVA had to offer yet was unable to find a truly comprehensive one. When I searched for "Best of" lists in Richmond, they all seemed to be lacking, specifically if it didn't have the Bernie on their list. So, I began to combine a number of lists I was able to find as well as add various ones that I’ve seen walking or driving around town, and the next thing I knew I had over 100. I live in Carytown bordering the Fan so they’re not hard to find.

How do you envision people using it?

I hope people will use this list to do a self-guided tour and perhaps explore RVA in a sort of scavenger-hunt. If they'd like, they can see an image of what each one offers so that they're able to pick and choose the ones that interest them.

We are all in a social distancing quarantine yet I'm sure many are antsy to get out and do something but there are simply not many viable options. Frankly, can you imagine a better way to get out of the house while also practicing the safety protocols than to do drive around and look at all that Richmond has to offer?

The streets are empty these days so you don't have to rush to take a photo of one. On a Friday afternoon recently, on a normally busy road, I was able to stop my car to a complete halt in front of mural and not have any cars ruin the view or make me feel rushed. When will we ever have that luxury again? Hell, gas prices are almost encouraging us to drive around so why not do so with a purpose?

Any other aspects of it that were interesting to you? Did you learn anything unexpected while doing it?

You'd be amazed how many incredible murals you'd find just driving down back alleys. There are hundreds upon hundreds of simple ones that people have done just on garage walls and doors.

These are truly impressive pieces of art you would expect to see prominently displayed. Knowing that these are ones that have not been commissioned or funded professionally helps me fully appreciate the artistic prowess Richmonders have. It seems like I see a new one each week.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Reynolds Gallery's Launch Project Seeking Emerging Artists

Taking submissions for two-month solo show through Sept.1

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Emerging visual artists are to Richmond like emerging singer-songwriters are to Nashville. While many of these new artists are disproportionately centered around the art mecca of VCU and its tentacle-like reaches, intriguing art is being made by undiscovered talents young and old throughout the greater Richmond area.

Reynolds Gallery hopes to capitalize on that talent with a new initiative: The Launch Project, a two-month solo exhibition from November to December for one artist on the second floor of its gallery.

Reynolds already works with emerging artists—think of the Fountainhead Fellows program each spring—but last fall, the team decided to take it a step further. Associate Janie Hall, who is spearheading the project, explains: “This is an additional way to make sure that no one is slipping through the cracks. There are other artists out there who may not have had access to the traditional artist’s education.”

The Launch Project is open to artists of any age (yes—even adolescents) who don’t have gallery representation and live in the greater Richmond metro area. Interested applicants can submit up to 10 images of their work for review and the deadline has been extended to Sept. 1. In return, the accepted artist gains assistance with writing an artist and exhibition statement along with professional curation and sales of their art.

“We’ve noticed [with] emerging artists is that sometimes they need help with professional presentation skills,” says Hall, noting “the details of approaching a gallery and working through getting formal representation.”

For more information, visit www.reynoldsgallery.com.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Henrico Student Wins Scholarship For COVID-19 Art Portfolio

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Big congrats to high school senior, Jasmine Mason! During a time when everyone seems down, for good reason, Mason is turning heads with her striking art work, which just won her a major national scholarship award.

Jasmine, currently finishing up her senior year at Henrico High School's Center for the Arts, was recently awarded the gold medal in the 97th annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the top honor in the nation's longest running scholarship program for creative teens.

Jasmine Mason
  • Jasmine Mason

Mason won for her striking portfolio "Waiting ..." in which she "investigates life and the act of waiting through the documentation of real situations in her community where her neighbors wait for everyday necessities" during the pandemic.

She was one of only 16 students selected in the country and she will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship, one which has been previously earned by the likes of Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and Andy Warhol.

Style reached out to Mason via email to learn a little more:

Style Weekly: How do you feel about winning and where do you plan to use the scholarship?

Jasmine Mason: Growing up in a lower-middle-class black family, I always learned not to get my hopes up very often, so when I found out that I won, it was a very surreal moment, and I still can’t quite describe how I feel. I plan on using the scholarship at Columbus College of Art and Design.

How did you come up with the idea for the series? What community is featured?

As a senior in the art program that I’m in, seniors have to create a portfolio of eight cohesive pieces that explore an exciting theme. When I was choosing subjects to paint, I noticed that all of my subjects had two things in common: they were all waiting, and they were all ethnic. Upon learning this, I decided to investigate this idea further. Through my investigation, I learned that the city of Richmond/Henrico, where I live, is deeply segregated by economic status. At the same time, predominately white people in the west end are privileged enough to have personal transportation and higher-paying jobs, predominantly ethnic people like me in the east end use public transport and have 9-5 lower-paying jobs.

What did you feel like you learned while doing this project?

Working on the project, I learned disenfranchised communities are always waiting for change and are continually overlooked.

Why do you think art is important and what do you want to do as a career?

I think art creates a visual language that transcends different languages and cultures [to] bring different opinions and ideas together.

I plan on owning an architecture company and designing community centers that help disenfranchised neighborhoods improve.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Concerts at Home

Richmond Grid launches live house show concert series online today.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 1:32 PM

In the coming months, an unprecedented number of Americans will be spending more time at home ... or at least we hope the severity of our situation has finally broken through the anti-science, over-politicized noise.

Tough times are ahead and some of us are definitely going to need the power of music to keep our spirits up.

Kicking off this afternoon, Richmond Grid is hosting a Virtual Happy Hour House Show series featuring well-known local musicians performing live in or around their homes, for your online viewing pleasure.

If you can, hook up some speakers to your computer, kick back and tune in to Grid's Instagram or Facebook live today at 5 p.m. for the inaugural show by singer and songwriter Saw Black.

Prabir Mehta, who will perform for the series on Wednesday, March 17, notes that most musicians have had gigs canceled - in many cases, through the summer. He adds that venues are making the right decision to shut down, save lives and prevent a larger medical catastrophe.

“I'm also looking forward to eventually hearing songs about this time period,” he says. “Music is awesome, it can connect crowds, cheer up people, and even capture historic moments so well. “

For those unfamiliar, Grid is a quarterly magazine with "co-created stories" that its website says are designed to focus on the positive, "to celebrate how we live, work and play in the region." As part of this "different form of journalism," Grid also offers a full-service branding agency.

We sent a Q&A by email to Grid's Paul Spicer to learn more about the series:

Style Weekly: How did the idea come about?

Paul Spicer: The idea for coming together to celebrate music and community was initially inspired by the people of Italy who have joined together in song from their windows, balconies, and rooftops during these challenging times. We wanted to find a similar way to connect with neighbors here at home, despite our physical distance, to show our collective spirit. Ultimately, we wanted to show that you can’t cancel community. You can’t cancel connection. And you certainly can’t cancel the music that brings us closer to one another, even while our current situation requires that we remain apart.

With that in mind, I immediately reached out to Claire Prendergast, a Richmond Grid team member who has been involved in the local music scene for years. Claire jumped on the idea and quickly went to work reaching out to Richmond’s diverse and talented community of musicians.

What has the music scene's reaction been to the idea?

As always, Richmond’s music community proved that it’s more than willing to collaborate and give back. Every artist we’ve talked to about the idea for a virtual happy hour and house show was excited to share their time and music with others. Our local musicians know better than anyone that music in itself is healing. It’s something that touches all of us. It’s collective. It’s communal. And it brings us all together and binds us…which is something we need now more than ever.

Again, I can’t thank Claire Prendergast enough for helping make this happen. And of course, a huge thank you to Richmond’s talented musicians for using their talent to make each day a little brighter for everyone.

How are you promoting it?

We refer to Grid as a solution-oriented platform, which means that we’re constantly trying out new ways to celebrate Richmond and push the community forward. To make that happen, we experiment a lot, rely on grassroots promotions, and connect with Richmonders as authentically and organically as possible. For the virtual happy hour house show, we’re simply inviting Richmonders to join us on Facebook and Instagram for live performances. As the project unfolds, we may add new ways to creatively connect.

Any other bands/announcements I can add?

Virtual Happy Hour start times will vary depending on the musician, typically anywhere from 3:30 pm to 6 pm. The artist will take over Richmond Grid’s Facebook and Instagram to perform live in a spot that inspires them. They define the show and have complete creative control. An artist may decide to play from their living room, by a fire in their backyard, in their home studio, on their front porch, or other spots in and around their home that inspires them. Here’s what we’re looking at so far…

Saw Black will perform today, Tuesday, March 17, at 5 pm.

Prabir will perform tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, at 3:30 pm.

Marcus Tenney of Butcher Brown will perform on Thursday, March 19, from 4 pm to 5 pm.

Kenneka Cook will perform on Friday, March 20. We’re still nailing down a specific time.

Eddie Prendergast of Mikrowaves will perform at 4 pm on Saturday, March 21.

Paulo Franco will perform on Sunday at 5 pm.

Høly River, formally Lobo Marino, will play on Monday. Time to be announced.

We’re also finalizing a time for Regan Sprenkle next week.

In addition, we have some other big announcements to make next week, so stay tuned for some RVA favorites who will be joining us.

What do you think is the ultimate importance or value of something like this?

Our hope is that the virtual happy hour will encourage everyone to take a moment in the day to create beauty and joy during difficult times. Just because we’re practicing social distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t encourage connection. We hope our friends and neighbors will take a break from the news for a moment, pour themselves a local beverage if they’re so inclined, log-in to listen, share with others, sing along if they’d like, leave a positive comment for RVA, applaud someone who needs it, and connect with others in creative ways even while our current situation demands that we remain apart.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Wilco and Sleater Kinney Playing Altria Theater, Aug. 19

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Two headliners beloved in rock circles are joining forces for a summer tour: Wilco and Sleater Kinney will be performing at Richmond's Altria Theater on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. The special guest opener is Nnamdi.

Tickets range from $59.50 to $89.50 and go on sale March 13. You can get more info here.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

RVA Music Scene To Be Featured on World Cafe Series

NPR-distributed program broadcasts nationally March 23-27

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Planning to be stuck inside with the coronavirus blues?

That illness that sounds like something you catch from tainted bottles of Corona bought for 25 cents at the Tijuana border? (Don't worry, Corona beer sales are actually up 5%)

Good news! You'll still be able to check out the NPR-distributed daily music and interview program, Sense of Place from World Cafe, which will be featuring the music scene of Richmond, Va. from March 23-27.

The show is broadcast on 214 radio stations nationwide and the World Cafe team is based at WXPN/Philadelphia. Locally, World Cafe can be heard on listener-supported WNRN 88.5 FM (Richmond) weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

According to an email, the Sense of Place series "visits musical hotspots around the globe to capture each city’s sights and sounds, and records studio sessions with local musicians and interviews with musical influencers. The resulting week-long feature is heard on World Cafe and online (past sessions are archived at World Cafe on NPR Music)."

Here's what the producers had to say in a press release:

Among other highlights, it will include interview/performance sessions with Richmond artists Sleepwalkers, Natalie Prass, Illiterate Light, and Saw Black; a visit to the Richmond location where members of heavy metal band GWAR rehearse and build their stage props; visits to In Your Ear and Spacebomb Studios; and an introduction to the central Virginia music scene from WNRN host Desiré Moses.

Raina Douris said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better time in Virginia on our ‘Sense of Place’ trip! From the live shows, to touring GWAR’s studio, I’m so excited about what we were able to bring back for all of our World Cafe listeners.” Added Kalleo, “There’s such a rich history of music and culture in Richmond, and I can’t wait to share some of its stories with the World Cafe audiences.”

Monday, March 2, 2020

Steve Martin and Martin Short Returning to Richmond

Backed by Steep Canyon Rangers at Altria Theater on June 20.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Comedy legend Steve Martin and Martin Short will be returning to Richmond to perform at Altria Theater on Saturday, June 20, backed by the Grammy-winning bluegrass band, the Steep Canyon Rangers.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets go on sale this Friday, March 6 at 10:00AM at the Altria Theater Box Office, online at AltriaTheater.com or Etix.com, and by phone at 800-512-ETIX (3849). Tickets start at $32. Additional fees apply.

Here's more from the press release email:

Steve Martin and Martin Short’s “The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment” is a show that redefines the form in unexpected and profound ways, from two of the funniest, most influential and acclaimed talents of the past century.

Their humor is often subversive, but it is always a joyous self-deprecating romp from two comedy masters driven to make each other laugh as much as the audience. The jokes come at you at a rapid-fire pace with little set-up and big punch lines as they mock Hollywood and the fickle nature of celebrity, but the comedy truly soars when they lovingly (and relentlessly) roast each other.

Martin and Short’s chemistry and timing on stage reflects a friendship forged over three decades which developed when they met for the first time on the set of the 1986 film “Three Amigos.” These two titans of comedy have been touring together since 2015, when they launched their first live show entitled “A Very Stupid Conversation.”

The Funniest Show in Town at the Moment follows Steve Martin and Martin Short’s celebrated sold-out tour An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. The show was filmed for a Netflix special that earned rave reviews and garnered four Emmy® nominations. Fueled by comedic precision and anchored in a lifelong friendship, Rolling Stone called the special “wryly hip but unexpectedly touching,” with the New York Times describing it “gleeful and satisfying.”

Tenacious D Performing in Richmond on Oct. 5

Band focusing its Purple Nurple Tour on swing states this fall.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Tenacious D, the goofy/serious musical project of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, is coming to Richmond on Monday, Oct. 5 at the Dominion Energy Center.

The group's Purple Nurple Tour this fall will feature support from Wynchester, the project of Kyle Gass Band vocalist Mike Bray and Tenacious D touring and session guitarist John Konesky, according to Brooklyn Vegan website.

The band released a message that the tour was focusing on swing states during the upcoming election.

“Donald Trump has proven to be the most divisive, corrupt and dangerous President in the modern history of this country, and we simply cannot stand for another four years of his administration! Now is the time to elect a REAL leader!” With that in mind, Tenacious D has put together The Purple Nurple Tour – Twisting Hard To The Left! – whose shows go on sale this Friday, March 6, at 10 am local time. Tickets can be purchased at TenaciousD.com.

“In 2016, six states were decided by 2 percentage points or less, and ten states were decided by 4 percentage points or less. Swing states played a pivotal role in the outcome of that election, and they will again in 2020. Knowing that, we looked at each other and agreed: just like the tale of Post-Apocalypto, it is time for Tenacious D to RIDE and help save the world from Trumpian destruction. With great rock comes great responsibility.”

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