Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen announces 2021-2022 season

To include indoor and outdoor performances.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 4:00 AM

An Afternoon of Oktoberfest w/ the Sauerkrauts will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.
  • An Afternoon of Oktoberfest w/ the Sauerkrauts will be held on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 3 p.m.

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is returning to the stage with tickets for the first half of its new Center Season going on sale on Monday, July 26 at 9 a.m. Tickets can be found at www.artsglenallen.com or 804-261-ARTS.

The Center Season performance series features theater, music and dance events with tickets starting at $10 and performances to be held in the Center’s indoor theater with the addition of the outdoor matinees which were hosted during the summer.

“[2020] was a tough year for all of us. We are delighted to be gearing up for a new season with our standard indoor theater shows. But we are moving forward with some of the learnings of the past year … one of which is that people love outdoor concerts in our spacious field adjacent to the main building and people are ready to enjoy the arts in person,” says the Center’s President, Kathryn 'K' Alferio. “With great concerts and wonderful exhibits and classes, we are ready to welcome back our audiences.”

The outdoor concerts are general admission with food and beverages for sale at the event, according to a release. Patrons are invited to bring a blankets and lawn chairs.

Here is the the first half of the Cultural Arts Center’s Center Season's lineup:

The Taters - Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Cost $30

Outdoor concert- An Afternoon of Jazz with Cloud 9 - Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. $20

Richmond’s Finest with Commonwealth Bluegrass Band and the Richmond Symphony - Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. $40

Outdoor concert - An Afternoon of Oktoberfest w/ The Sauerkrauts Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. $20

Music Theatre International’ s "All Together Now!" - in conjunction with Henrico Theatre Company. A global event celebrating local theatre to be held Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. $10 with donations encouraged.

Henrico Theatre Company presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with performances: Dec. 10 at 7 p.m., Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. $15

Masters of Soul Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. $40

According to the press release, "the new season will also include new art exhibits throughout the Center’s four onsite galleries and a fresh array of Fall art classes for all levels, starting at $25. Registration is now open for Fall classes at 804-261-ARTS. Highlights include: floral design, photography, jewelry design for kids and teens, portrait drawing and more.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

PICK – The Conciliation Lab’s "BlackList"

A celebration of Black voices in American theater on July 10 and 11.

Posted By on Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 7:00 PM

As the pandemic increasingly feels relegated to the rearview mirror and public life resumes, Richmonders may find that a few things have changed during their social hibernation.

Last summer, Richmond theater company TheatreLab announced it would merge with The Conciliation Project, a social justice theater company aimed at addressing racial and social inequality. Though the merger process is still legally in process, the newly-formed The Conciliation Lab is hosting its first event ever later this week with “BlackList: A celebration of Black voices in American theater” on July 10 and 11.

First hosted by The Conciliation Project and TheatreLab in 2015, this two-day event will feature work from August Wilson, Lorraine Hansberry, Suzan-Lori Parks and James Baldwin. On July 10, a “Black Market” featuring goods sold by Black, woman-owned businesses will be held, as will an open mic hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Black Theatre Association.

On July 11, a special performance by the Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company will take place, as well as an additional “BlackList” performance. The second night will close with the announcement of a scholarship in support of a current or college-bound African American theatre student, and the unveiling of The Conciliation Lab’s 2021-22 season.

Tickets are $10-20. For more information, visit theconciliationlab.com.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Richmond Folk Fest announces first round of artists

Large outdoor festival returns Oct. 8-10.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 4:00 AM

The Richmond Folk Festival, one of the Virginia's largest music festivals, returns for its 17th anniversary the weekend of Oct. 8 - 10 along the downtown riverfront.

Today it announced its first round of musical artists. Without further adieu, here are those artists, with some videos.

Plena Es (bomba y plena) Sunrise, Florida

Rare Essence(go-go) Washington, D.C.

Sean Jones “Dizzy Spellz” feat. Brinae Ali (jazz, hip hop, and tap dance) Baltimore, Maryland

Joanie Madden & Cherish the Ladies (Irish) Yonkers, New York

Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (bluegrass) Charlestown, Indiana

Nava Persian Trio (Persian santour) Albuquerque, New Mexico

“This year more than ever we may find reason to celebrate each other's traditions and cultures,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events at Venture Richmond, in a press release. “We are looking forward to showcasing downtown Richmond’s riverfront once again for a beautiful weekend of music, food and crafts to provide an open, outdoor, safe space for people to enjoy the Richmond Folk Festival.”

There will also be an interactive scavenger hunt from June 18 until Labor Day weekend. For more details, visit www.richmondfolkfestival.org.

Also, in case your missed them, every Saturday at 5 p.m., "Richmond public radio VPM stations 107.3 FM & 93.1 FM will broadcast favorite performances from the past 13 years of the Richmond Folk Festival as well as the three years the city hosted the National Folk Festival (2005-07)."

Here are the artists featured on those broadcasts:

July 3 Bombino

July 10 Jeff Little, Lulo Reinhardt

July 17 Nathalie Pires

July 24 Le Vent du Nord

July 31 Debashish Bhattacharya

Aug 7 Joshua Nelson

Aug 14 Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

Aug 21 Marcia Ball

Aug 28 Dale Ann Bradley

Sep 4 Lurie Bell, Andes Manta

Sept 11 Amargue Bachata Quintet with Andre Veloz

Sept 18 Ahava Raba with Yanky Lemmer

Sept 25 Sona Jobarteth

Oct 2 Maggie Ingram, Frank Newsome, Paschall Brothers, Clinton Fearon

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Groundbreaking Public Art Installation at City Hall this Thursday, July 1

Will be largest installation on a municipal building in the country using augmented reality.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2021 at 4:00 AM

If you're downtown this Thursday, July 1, make sure to look up.

A major public art installation is being unveiled at Richmond City Hall at noon which will be the largest public art installation on a municipal building in the country using augmented reality.

The second installment of the Freedom Constellations project, the temporary installation features two 160-foot-tall portraits of Ta’Dreama McBride and Clyde Walker made in collaboration with artist and Performing Statistics Creative Director Mark Strandquist.

McBride and Walker are youth leaders from RISE for Youth, a state campaign that "promotes the creation of healthy communities and community-based alternatives to youth incarceration," according to an email from organizers. And the cool part: The portraits will come alive using augmented reality when viewers hover their phones over the portraits from a distance.

“Ensuring young people live in thriving communities and receive the help they need rather than harsh punishment for their mistakes is what RISE for Youth is all about," says Executive Director of RISE for Youth Valerie Slater in a release. "And we will continue to provide collaborative opportunities for our youth to lead the work of shaping a bold new future full of hope and free of youth prisons.”

Performing Statistics is a national cultural organizing project based in Richmond "that uses art to model, imagine, and advocate for alternatives to youth incarceration. They work with youth impacted by the juvenile justice system in the United States to illustrate and build a world where no youth are locked up."

They were invited by the City of Richmond’s Mayor’s Office and Department of Human Services to install the project at City Hall, according to the release. The installation will remain through Nov. 30, 2021.

“Covering the sides of city hall with interactive portraits of youth fighting to create a Richmond where all youth are free is exactly the kind of monumental public art that Richmond needs in this moment,” says Mark Strandquist, lead artist for the project and creative director at Performing Statistics. “These young leaders have given us all a huge gift. To build the beautiful future they deserve we must collectively imagine it, illustrate it, and design it, and youth need to be part of that process. They’ve shared a blueprint for a Richmond where all youth have the support they deserve. It’s up to all of us to help make that future a reality.”

The release also notes that "though the portraits will be visible for miles away, the augmented reality can be viewed on the northwest corner of 9th Street and Marshall Street, directly in front of the John Marshall House whose mission is to, 'engage the public about the life and legacies of the Great Chief Justice, his Richmond home, and the enslaved people who labored here through historic preservation and education,' according to their website."

“We were immediately excited to host this project because this house is where Chief Justice John Marshall deliberated cases that would ultimately shape and codify the American judicial system, with its flaws and inequity steeped in racism,” says Director of Museum Operations and Education Jennifer Hurst-Wender in the release. “We find common ground with this project as we embrace an unflinching examination of history and seek ways to work together towards a more just and equitable future.”

Performing Statistics is hosting a rally for the unveiling of the project at noon on Thursday, July 1 where the public "will hear more about the project, learn about community and city efforts to engage youth, watch a demo of the augmented reality experience, and hear from youth leaders from RISE for Youth."

To learn more about Performing Statistics, please visit www.performingstatistics.org.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Richmond Ballet announces its 2021-22 season

Includes the return of holiday favorite, "The Nutcracker."

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 4:00 AM

The State Ballet of Virginia, the Richmond Ballet, announced today its 2021-22 season, which includes the return of a cherished holiday favorite, "The Nutcracker," that has been described by national critics as one of the best in the country. There will 10 performances (Dec. 11-23) and that month will be the last chance for audiences to see the current "Nutcracker" production because the Ballet will be updating costumes and sets next year, according to a press release.

Another highlight comes in February when the Ballet tackles the greatest love story of all time, "Romeo & Juliet," with passionate choreography by Malcolm Burn. Season subscriptions are now available by calling the Richmond Ballet Box Office at 804.344.0906 ext. 224. Single tickets will go on sale in August. Visit richmondballet.com for more information.

“We are extremely grateful to the audiences who joined us during the extraordinary 20/21 season, and we cannot wait to welcome even more patrons back to the theatre in the fall,” stated Richmond Ballet Artistic Director Stoner Winslett in the release. “The health and safety of our patrons, dancers, and staff remains our number one priority, and we are working with our medical task force to finalize our 21/22 protocols. We will continue to monitor the latest CDC and local government guidelines, making any changes or adjustments as needed. As we enter a new season of hope and resilience, I invite our community to reconnect, rediscover, and reawaken with Richmond Ballet.”

Here's the rest of the details, including the complete season line-up, from the press release:

The season’s four Studio Series performances will provide a glimpse into the vast variety of works performed by the Richmond Ballet dancers. Treasured works from the Ballet’s repertory, including Ben Stevenson’s "Three Preludes," Colin Connor’s "Vestiges," George Balanchine’s "Allegro Brilliante," and Stoner Winslett’s "Echoing Past," will be paired with world premieres by audience-favorite contemporary choreographers. Richmond Ballet Associate Artistic Director Ma Cong and former Richmond Ballet dancer Tom Mattingly will bring their fresh ideas to the studio in the fall. Studio Three in March will celebrate the creativity and innovation of women with an evening of new works by three female choreographers, Jennifer Archibald, Nancy Paradis, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska. The season closes in May with Studio Four, featuring "What’s Going On?," a world premiere by Val Caniparoli which will take a cutting edge look at some of today’s most provocative societal issues.

2021-2022 Richmond Ballet season


Sept. 14-23, 2021

"Three Preludes" (Stevenson/Rachmaninoff)

"Pas de Deux" from "Vestiges" (Connor/Nyman)

"World Premiere" by Ma Cong


Oct. 26-31, 2021

"Allegro Brillante" (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky)

"World Premiere" by Tom Mattingly

THE NUTCRACKER with Richmond Symphony

Dec. 11-23, 2021 (Winslett/Tchaikovsky)

ROMEO & JULIET with Richmond Symphony

Feb. 18-20, 2022



March 22-27, 2022

"New Works" by Jennifer Archibald, Nancy Paradis, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska


May 10-15, 2022

"Echoing Past" (Winslett/Mendelssohn-Hensel)

"What’s Going On?", a world premiere (Caniparoli/various artists)

Thursday, June 24, 2021

PICK: The Rumble After Party at Cobra Cabana on Saturday, June 26

Bands include High Voltage, Mel Machete (debut), Mick's Jaguar and Evening Shadows.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 4:00 AM

If you're into BMX, you probably know about the Rumble in Richmond on Saturday, June 26. Billed as "a day of stoke and BMX," it's headlined by the Vans Old Skool dirt jump contest at RVA BMX, a pro-am contest with celebrity judges and $2,500 in cash prizes.

While that bike day should be sick and Style will be there to get some action photos, there's also a big after party with some kickass rock music at Cobra Cabana in Carver. The restaurant and venue will have a day party starting at 3 p.m., and four rock bands that begin playing later at 7:30 p.m. and who just might help restore some faith in the good 'ole fashioned, sweaty rock so many of us have been missing in our lives.

Bands on the bill include the AC/DC cover band High Voltage; the debut gig from killer local rockers Mel Machete -check 'em out below, sounds like sweet mid-'70s or early '80s guitar rock in your grill with shake appeal; as well as Mick's Jaguar, self-billed as a Thin Lizzy and Sex Pistols love child from NYC; and Evening Shadows, a punk band from Wilmington, NC feat. members of Valient Thorr and Strike Anywhere.

We really want to see Mel Machete, which includes local rock luminaries such as Mike Cipollone, owner of Fuzzy Cactus, as well as Paul Kirk and wild lead singer, Mel Medina (both of Sick Bags), as well as Seanzy O'Dell on bass and Gunner Timmerman on drums. Below you can check out their feral blast of sexy panther rock, "Boneyard Boogie," recorded by Adrian Olsen at Montrose Studios. Should appeal to fans of old school punk groups like The Bags and more recently, Sheer Mag from Philly.

Proceeds from the show will be going to RADshare, the nonprofit sponsoring the Rumble which is dedicated to educating and empowering local youth through celebrating bike culture.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

PICK: A Night of Longing - Miramar at the Hotel Greene's Crown Room on Tuesday, June 22

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 4:00 AM

One of the city's finest musical jewels, Miramar finds a perfect setting for its beautiful music at the luxurious Crown Room, the Hotel Greene's Grand Ballroom, on the night of Tuesday, June 22.

The group's richly melodic and meltingly lovely music flows from Puerto Rican boleros, bittersweet love songs drenched in poetic longing that were initially performed in artistic salons. But that hasn’t stopped the band from vastly expanding its sonic palette. Miramar toured large halls in Russia last spring, just as the world was shutting down, and it headlined a streamed concert with the Virginia Symphony last October (see video below). Also its appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert is well worth seeking out.

At the core of the band's sound is the closely paired vocals of Rei Alvarez (Bio Ritmo) and Laura Ann Singh (Quattro Na Bossa), augmented with the brilliant keyboard arrangements and playing of Marlysse Rose Simmons (Bio Ritmo). While the group can expand its romantic magic to fill the Dominion Energy Center's Carpenter Theatre or a Russian opera house, hearing the subtle interplay in the close, elegant art deco setting of the Crown Room setting should be ideal.

Simmons says the Crown Room show "will definitely feature new songs as we prepare to record [a new album] ... been trying to do that for a while. The new album will be all original songs." This gig will also feature Cameron Ralston on bass and special guest master guitarist Sebastian Cruz from New York city (originally from Colombia).

Simmons also notes that she and Singh will be performing every other Wednesday at the Hotel Greene alternating with Alvarez as DJ.

A Night of Longing- Miramar at the Crown Room will feature two sets, the first at 7 p.m. and another at 9 p.m. Advanced reservations are available at the Hotel Green website, $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

PICK: Miguel Carter-Fisher's "Negative Shapes" at Eric Schindler Gallery

Art opening held on Friday, June 11. Exhibition runs through July 9.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2021 at 4:00 AM


Well-known local artist Miguel Carter-Fisher will have an opening for his new show, "Negative Shapes," at the Eric Schindler Gallery on Friday, June 11 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Special guest guitarist Dylan Barrows will perform a new composition written for this exhibition titled "The Warmth of Silences" at 8 p.m.

Carter-Fisher, the son of the late local painter Bill Fisher, studied painting and philosophy at the University of Hartford before attending the New York Academy of Art. Since returning to Richmond, he has taught at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Milk River Arts, Bon Air Juvenile Corrections Center through Art 180, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He is currently an assistant professor and studio arts coordinator at Virginia State University, according to his website bio.

Here is his artist statement on the new show:

What is the shape between memories and the present? Identity and the body? Embraces and resentments? Children and parents? Longing and fear? Intimacy and detachment? Our ancestry and our future?

In drawing, a negative shape is the space between objects. Although it is the contour of a void, perceiving this shape is essential to understanding the relationship between things.

There will be a virtual show on Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m. on the Eric Schindler Gallery Facebook page, and an open House, Saturday, June 12, from 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibition runs through July 9.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Feature doc "How the Monuments Came Down" screening at Maymont, June 10

VPM and Virginia Film Office-funded film explores Richmond history through Confederate monuments.

Posted By on Fri, May 14, 2021 at 4:00 AM

Christy Coleman, former director of the American Civil War Museum, is featured in the doc and was a story advisor.
  • Christy Coleman, former director of the American Civil War Museum, is featured in the doc and was a story advisor.

A major new film documentary, "How the Monuments Came Down," which explores Richmond's history through the lens of its Confederate monuments, will premiere on Thursday, June 10 at Maymont in partnership with Afrikana Film Festival, Maymont and the JXN Project. Funded by VPM and the Virginia Film Office, it was made by Emmy-winning directors Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, whose previous works have aired on PBS.

The directors' Field Studio and VPM announced that the premiere will be a socially distanced outdoor event featuring pods. It will include a special pre-screening discussion with Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams and the film's four story advisors: Christy Coleman, Julian Hayter, Enjoli Moon, and Joseph Rogers.

Directors Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren
  • Directors Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren

The screening on June 10 in Maymont will have gates open at 7 p.m. and there will be food trucks on hand with music from Butcher Brown at 7:30 p.m.

According to a press release: "The program will begin promptly at 8:30 p.m. with a pre-screening discussion, followed by the film, and conclude at 10:45. Tickets are $10 and should be purchased in advance at this link. Each ticket will secure a pod on the Carriage House Lawn that accommodates up to four people, and each pod will be distanced from the others in an effort to encourage safe viewing for all attendees. In the event of rain, the premiere will take place on Wednesday, June 23."

Here's a trailer for the film:

Here's more from the press release:

"'How the Monuments Came Down' begins with scenes from last summer, when streets shook with protests against systemic racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The filmmakers reveal the deep historical roots of this moment, grounded in the competing traditions of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond since the end of the Civil War. A diverse cast of 30 Richmonders — including history-makers, descendants, scholars, and activists — tells this story, supported by a vast visual record of Richmond’s history never before presented in a single work.

Throughout, this epic story of struggles over power and justice is driven by individual narratives with names both familiar and likely new to most viewers: Robert E. Lee, James Apostle Fields, Jubal Early, Maggie Walker, Curtis Holt, Arthur Ashe, Chuck Richardson, and Janine Bell are some of the many people whose lives and work help to illustrate why Confederate monuments came to powerfully shape Richmond’s landscape — and why people demanded they be taken down."

Most recently, Ayers and Warren produced two seasons of the VPM series, "The Future of America's Past," a history on-location show hosted by historian Edward L. Ayers, president emeritus of the University of Richmond. They also made a documentary short, "Woke Vote," which covered Black millennial political activists mobilizing voters in the South.

The new documentary included a mostly local team, as the press release notes, including "story advisors Christy Coleman, a nationally renowned museum professional who led the American Civil War Museum for 12 years; Julian Hayter, an historian at the University of Richmond and an authority on Richmond’s political history; Enjoli Moon, Founder and Creative Director of Afrikana Film Festival, Co-Founder of The JXN Project, and Assistant Curator of Film at the ICA; and Joseph Rogers, a public historian at the American Civil War Museum, descendant of a key character in the film, and a progressive organizer."

"The film is principally a work of history," the release notes. "And yet, through its documentation of last year’s uprising for racial justice, it is also a historical source preserving moments in Richmond’s history that will never be seen again."

Friday, May 7, 2021

Gallery5 goes to all-Virginia products to lower carbon footprint

Also holding 50 Mile Fest art show during month of May.

Posted By on Fri, May 7, 2021 at 4:00 AM


Local nonprofit arts organization Gallery5 announced today that it will moving to using all Virginia products "as a climate resiliency and local economic decision."

It also plans to make major changes to better connect with Virginia businesses in order to lower its carbon footprint -- and will be remaining Virginia-only bar from now on.

By switching to a Virginia-only bar, Gallery5 says it will be saving at least 10,230 miles per order. This adds up to "at least 122,796 fossil fuel miles worth of energy saved when we make our bar orders. This is for just one bar order though." They usually make 4 to 5 orders a month when operating at full capacity.

"This is definitely a more costly way of doing business for us, especially as a small community supported non profit, but that's the point I think," said Prabir Mehta, chair of the board of directors for Gallery5. "I hope that the folks who support us financially appreciate that we're using the funds responsibly. We know people have loved Gallery5 for sixteen years now, but we need to make the organization as good as we can at every capacity, including our environmental impact."

Every year in May, the community art space looks to focus on resources and sustainability issues. They also announced that in celebration of these changes, they would be holding the 50 Mile Fest art show from May 7 through May 29 which will feature local artists displaying their works with a theme of "environmental concerns, regional sustainability, native wildlife and places that promote advocacy."

"This is something we've wanted to do for a while, but didn't know when the right time to make the move would be," Mehta said. "Like many things, sometimes you just have to do it to get the process rolling. So, we had a talk with the staff, I explained the numbers and how we could make a big positive impact during such tense times. Everyone was on board and our staff quickly got to researching Virginia product options."

Today's press release noted that "Gallery5 is also adding some local packaged snack items to the bar as well. Our patrons can now enjoy many cocktails, beers, and wines from around Virginia, but they can also now enjoy locally made pimento cheese, hummus, locally grown peanuts, and other snacks which will rotate on and off our menu seasonally."

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