I’ve lived in the Tidewater for three years now. I am still surprised at the amount of things to do, the delicious food to eat, and the commitment to the arts, culture and knowledge that lives in this corner of Virginia.
The Slover Library is world-class. The Children’s Museum of Virginia and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra are here, not in northern Virginia. There are outdoor festivals every weekend, all summer long. Broadway comes to you. The Tidewater supports the opera, glass artists, performing artists and more.
I could keep going, but all this is to remind ourselves how lucky we are. The largest of the Tidewater celebration of the arts starts this week and lasts for the next two months, from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach, in venues big and small. The Virginia Arts Festival is celebrating it’s 20th year with an Opening Night Party on Friday, April 8, beginning at 5:00 on the MacArthur Center Green at the corner of Freemason St. and Monticello Ave. There is parking in the MacArthur Center North Parking Deck. There will be beer and food trucks for the hungry and thirsty, but even better, a performance by Semi-Toned, Exeter University’s award-winning all male a cappella group.
Sources tell me that “Semi-Toned is famed for their dry humor, tight harmonies and even tighter trousers.”
The Opening Night Party will also feature the debut of the Virginia Arts Festival Bells. This 23-bell carillon will serve as a “roving ambassador” for the Festival’s 20th season. You will get a chance to try the bells out for yourself. The Opening Night Celebration is free to the public.
The Festival’s opening weekend continues with two performances of Spring for Dance at Chrysler Hall, Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 10 at 3 p.m. These spectacular performances of ballet duets and ensemble pieces will be presented by dancers from seven internationally renowned dance companies: American Ballet Theatre, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Richard Alston Dance Company, Tokyo Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Lula Washington Dance Theatre. The dancers will be accompanied by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. More on this later. I’m hoping to interview some of the dancers this week.
Spring has come to the Tidewater. Let’s celebrate this fabulous 20th season of the Virginia Arts Festival together.
For more information on the more than 80 events planned for the Virginia Arts Festival all over Tidewater, go to here.