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Downtown Norfolk Council

May 2017 Newsletter

May was busy month in NEON, with no less than three grand openings of new businesses in the neighborhood. First off, Bearded Bird Brewing swung open the doors to 727 Granby Street on May 13th to a packed house. Created by a local crew of dedicated beer lovers, Bearded Bird is putting a new spin on the craft beer trend with opportunities for home brewers to bring in their recipes and make small batches in the brewery. Not to mention locating in an old pawn shop has given the space a unique feel, with an old safe storing board games, huge cinderblock walls for murals and a loading dock turned outdoor patio.

As reported in March, ViBe District restaurant Commune now has a second home in NEON. The farm-to-table café opened two weeks ago in the Texaco Building, where Work | Release had been operating as an events and art exhibition space. Work | Release continues to program exhibitions but Commune brings their delicious and innovative food to NEON six days a week, for lunch, dinner and  brunch on the weekends. Just around the corner, celebrating on the same day, Hurrah Players’ cut the ribbon on the Hugh R. Copeland Center, a dream of the theater troupe for many years. The Copeland Center on Wilson Avenue gives Hurrah a scene shop, classrooms and a new performance space. You can’t miss the cheerful yellow bricks and historic art deco doors beckoning theater kids into the neighborhood. Congratulations to Hugh, Katie, Linda and all our Hurrah friends and thank you for believing in NEON from the start!


2017 Call for Artists

For the third year, the NEON District is taking applications to add to the neighborhood’s art scene in time for this fall’s NEON Festival. With all of the exciting business development in NEON, it’s a good time to focus on creating art that complements our new partners. The public art committee, led by Glass Wheel Studio director Cheryl White, aims to beautify a stretch of Wilson Avenue adjacent to the new Hurrah Players’ center and close to the upcoming National Endowment for the Arts sculpture by artist Matthew Geller. Open to local and national artists, the three new projects include:

  1. Renova Center Parking Lot Wall: a mural on the east, west and front sides of a concrete wall to be created with a natural or botanical theme.
  2. Wilson Avenue Shed: a painted design that will wrap around all four sides of a storage shed.
  3. Bob’s Gun Shop Billboard Mural: a mural space on the rear of Bob’s billboard, up for two years then open for another new project.

Images, addresses of each location and the application can be found here. There is a non-refundable application fee of $20.00 which covers submissions for all three projects. Applications are due by Tuesday, June 20. Please share with any artists eager to create their first piece of public art or seasoned veterans adding to their body of work.

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • Tales from the Campfire, Push Comedy Theater, June 3
  • GAS Member Juried Exhibition Gallery Chat, Glass Wheel Studio, June 3
  • Comedy for a Cause, Push Comedy Theater, June 4
  • NEON District Committee Meeting, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 7
  • The Music of Paris, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 8
  • Flaming Heart Date Night, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 8
  • Steven Thorne Duo, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 9
  • Knit in Public Day, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 10
  • Uncle Jack, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 10
  • Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, June 10
  • Wine and Cheese Survey a la Toulouse-Lautrec, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 11
  • On the House, Push Comedy Theater, June 11
  • Third Thursday, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 15
  • 6th Annual Pride Block Party, Scope Arena, June 16
  • Engraved Mug Club, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 17
  • Introduction to Neon Workshop, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 17-18
  • Father’s Day Gallery Talk, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 18
  • Travis Wall's Shaping Sound, Chrysler Hall, June 20
  • Glass Gardens Terrarium Class, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 21
  • Gallery Talk: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 23
  • Love, Loss and What I Wore, Push Comedy Theater, June 23
  • The Wedding Singer, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, June 23-July 16
  • The Upright Senior Citizens Brigade, Push Comedy Theater, June 25
  • Gallery Talk: Thomas Hart Benton, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 30
  • The Art of Yoga, Chrysler Museum of Art, Tuesdays in June
  • Friday Family Fun, Chrysler Museum of Art, Fridays in June

For more events in and around the NEON District click here.


Recent Publicity

Norfolk Pedals into Bike Month with Some Great Events, AltDaily

Chrysler Museum of Art Competes in U.S. Regional Finals Today, The Virginian-Pilot

New Exhibit at the Chrysler Museum Spotlights Naval History and Heroics, AltDaily

Virginia Opera Announces 17-18 Season, AltDaily

May Is Bike Month: Here's More than 20 Events Going on around Hampton Roads, The Virginian-Pilot

Chrysler Museum Loses in U.S. Regional Round of Dance-Off, The Virginian-Pilot

Momedy: Because Motherhood IS a Laughing Matter, AltDaily

Norfolk Considers Digging Down to Add Thousands of Seats to Scope Arena, The Virginian-Pilot

Commune Bringing ‘Authentic’ Food to Downtown Norfolk’s NEON District, Southside Daily

Photographer Captures the Faces of Hampton Roads Shipbuilding, The Daily Press

NEON through a Kaleidoscopic Lens, VEER Magazine

Norfolk's NEON Arts District Continues to Grow, 13 News Now

Art on the Edge: VAF Fringe Festival Returns this Week, AltDaily

Worldwide Piano Performance Art Project Comes to Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot

Bob James, Legend of Jazz-Pop, Plays the Harrison Opera House, The Virginian-Pilot

Grime, Grit and Guts of Local Maritime Workers Highlighted by a Norfolk Photographer, Shown in Four Venues at Once, The Virginian-Pilot

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy Exhibition at the Chrysler, The Virginian-Pilot

Norfolk's Nighttime Glow Bike Ride Is Friday. Here's the Route, The Virginian-Pilot

Cyclists Take to Norfolk Streets for 2nd Annual Nighttime Glow Ride, The Virginian-Pilot

1,000 Glass Art Lovers Can’t Be Wrong: How to Get the Most out of the Glass Art Society Conference in Norfolk, AltDaily

Norfolk's Growing Prominence in the World of Glass Art Will Be on Full Display This Weekend, The Virginian-Pilot

Hurrah Players Has New Building with Classrooms, Dressing Rooms and 180-Seat Theater, The Virginian-Pilot

Norfolk Morphs into Glass Art World During the Annual Glass Art Society Conference, WTKR

Call for Artists: 2017 NEON District Public Art Projects, AltDaily




Property Updates

Put your hand up if you are excited for new sidewalks! The south side of Olney Road between Boush Street and Granby Street is finally looking smooth and walk-able thanks to the City of Norfolk’s Utilities and Public Works departments. New tree pits are awaiting plantings but the streetscape is already looking so much better. The north side of the street will be completed later this summer. Also on the docket for construction is the Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue intersection work, slated to start at the end of the month. It’s going to be a lengthy project, so we will do our best to send regular updates.

NEON’s wayfinding install has fallen a little behind schedule but should be on track for mid-June. Three sign types featuring beautiful photography, graphics and directions to NEON institutions will really help visitors move around the district comfortably. Plus glass in the sidewalk! So far 65 colorful glass discs have been installed along Grace and Boush Streets with more to come on Olney Road. Many thanks to creative concrete guy Kevin Garrison and glass genius Robin Rogers for bringing this idea to fruition.

Looking to buy in NEON? Kellam Galleries has decided to move on from the neighborhood so the building will go up for auction on June 27. Located right next to Glass Wheel Studio, this 4,608 square foot property at 130 W. Olney Road was recently renovated. Click here for more information.


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters from The Museum of Modern Art, Chrysler Museum of Art

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art

Inspiring Impressionism: Japanese Prints from the Chrysler Collection, Chrysler Museum of Art

Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art

Glen McClure: The Shipyard Workers of Hampton Roads, Chrysler Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy, Chrysler Museum of Art

Giampaolo Seguso—The Song of Glass: In the Box, Chrysler Museum of Art

Play Me, I’m Yours, Downtown Norfolk and NEON District

GAS Member Juried Exhibition, Glass Wheel Studio

Andrew Breitenberg, Commune

Reflections: Selected Works by the Studio Assistantship Program, d’Art Center

The Whale, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall


Norfolk Society of Arts Lecture and Centennial Celebration, Chrysler Museum of Art, May 1

The Music of Star Wars, Chrysler Hall, May 4

Date Night & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, May 5

Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Chrysler Hall, May 5

Mother's Day Glass Studio Sale, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, May 6 & 7

The Music of Paris, Chrysler Museum of Art, May 11

Girl-Prov, Push Comedy Theater, May 12

Who Dunnit? & Second Saturday Stand Up, Push Comedy Theater, May 13

Kris Kristofferson, Harrison Opera House, May 14

Bike to Work Day Pit Stop, The Plot, May 19

Glow Ride, The Plot, May 19

For All Intensive Porpoises, Push Comedy Theater, May 19

Mug Club, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, May 20

CMA on Screen: Moulin Rouge, Chrysler Museum of Art, May 20

Berlioz Requiem, Chrysler Hall, May 20

Bob James, Harrison Opera House, May 20

Double Treble & TOO FAR, Push Comedy Theater, May 20

Mom Jeans & Storytelling Night: Surrender, Push Comedy Theater, May 21

Wine and Cheese Survey a la Toulouse-Lautrec, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, May 21

The Improv Riot & Harold Night, Push Comedy Theater, May 26

Couples Therapy & Improvageddon, Push Comedy Theater, May 27

GAS Member Juried Exhibition Local Opening, Glass Wheel Studio, May 27

Suitcase Junket, Commune at Work | Release, May 28

Special Gallery Talk: Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art, May 31

Day of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art and Glass Studio, May 31

A Pint with David Laperrier, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, May 31

CMA on Screen: Monir, Chrysler Museum of Art, May 31

Glass Arts Society Conference, June 1 -3

Glass Jewelry Trunk Show, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 1-3

Jermaine Dupri Presents SoSo Summer 17 Tour, Chrysler Hall, June 1

First Fridays, The Plot, June 2

GAS Member Juried Exhibition Reception, Glass Wheel Studio, June 2

Jerry Seinfeld, Chrysler Hall, June 2

First Friday & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, June 2


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Downtown Norfolk Council | 223 East City Hall Ave, Suite 212 | Norfolk, VA 23510