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Downtown Norfolk Council

July 2017 Newsletter

The intersection of Brambleton Avenue and Granby Street sees 30,000 cars a day but very little pedestrian traffic. Crosswalks are faded or long gone, there are no walk buttons to push and it can be daunting facing down all those cars. However, the main entrance to the NEON District is about to get a big makeover thanks to the City of Norfolk and Virginia Department of Transportation. Crews have already been out marking the pavement and construction should start in early August. If you remember the other intersection improvements on Brambleton, the work will take a considerable amount of time, around eight months, due to lane closures and the high amount of traffic.

So what makes this intersection so different? Because it is the main gateway into NEON, crosswalks will be installed in a gray and black zig zag pattern in a nod to the geometric designs featured around the neighborhood. The north and south entrances will both spell out NEON in the brick pavers, officially welcoming pedestrians into the arts district. Plus the large traffic junction box will be available for an upcoming art project in 2018. The improvements also include new traffic lights, ADA-compliant ramps, push button signals and a pedestrian island on the west side. It’s long been a goal of Downtown Norfolk to reunite its two halves into one easy-to-walk community and happily, it’s becoming a reality. When NEON volunteers painted this intersection two years ago with bright colors, it was in service of this very idea.


NEON at Burning Man Nights

It’s the art exhibition everyone’s been talking about and now NEON gets to share in the glow. The Art of Burning Man at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens has been wowing Norfolk all summer with its incredible art installations and interactive programming with community partners. Coming up, it’s the NEON District’s turn to step out of the neighborhood and collaborate with the Hermitage on a Burning Man Night. Partners from around the district will take over the Hermitage grounds on Thursday, August 10th from 7 to 10 pm. You’ll be able to experience your favorite activities from NEON live on site: improv from Push Comedy Theater, live sketching by d’Art Center artists, a creative photobooth hosted by Glass Wheel Studio artists, sunset yoga from the Bhav Brigade and yarn bombing with Hookdeedoo. There is a strong creative community within NEON but Norfolk has amazing arts organizations all over the city. NEON at Burning Man Nights will bring you the best of both worlds! Our thanks to the Hermitage for graciously allowing us to crash the party.

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • NEON District Committee Meeting, Amplified IT, August 2
  • Tickle My Ears, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 3
  • Date Night & Sketchmageddon!, Push Comedy Theater, August 4
  • Tales from the Campfire & The Pre Madonnas, Push Comedy Theater, August 5
  • CMA on Screen: Thomas Hart Benton, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 5
  • Brew Crew Homebrew Off, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, August 5
  • Trompe L'oeil Exhibition Opening, Glass Wheel Studio, August 5
  • Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, August 6
  • Good Talk: The Brad McMurran Show, Push Comedy Theater, August 6
  • Gallery Talk: Giampaolo Seguso, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 9
  • Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, August 12
  • Third Thursday, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 17
  • Low Key Starved with Heidi Peelen, Push Comedy Theater, August 18
  • The War Work That Artists Do, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 19
  • NEON Mural Tour, The Plot, August 19
  • Gallery Talk: Thomas Hart Benton, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 23
  • Assassins, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, August 25-September 17
  • Last Look: Having a Ball, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 26
  • Afternoon Tango, Chrysler Museum of Art, August 27
  • Friday Family Fun, Chrysler Museum of Art, Fridays in August

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


Recent Publicity

A New Chapter, Virginia Business

Brambleton and Granby Intersection to Get Special Look for NEON District, The Virginian-Pilot

Umpire to Artist: See George Sosnak's Unique Work on Baseballs at the Chrysler Museum of Art, The Virginian-Pilot

Reality Is a Big Part of David Blaine's Illusions, The Virginian-Pilot

Now Hiring: Daily Operations Coordinator at D’Art Center, AltDaily

Largest Exhibit of Its Kind Shows Playful Side of Glass Prints at Norfolk's Chrysler Museum, The Virginian-Pilot

Praying for a Champion: Brewery Could Take Over Historic Church at the Edge of the NEON, AltDaily

Dwell on Dreams: Virginia Symphony Orchestra to Perform Entirety of Music from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, AltDaily

Changes Coming to Two Norfolk Intersections, WAVY 10

10 Reasons Why Millennials Love Opera (and Maybe Just Don’t Know It Yet), AltDaily

Norfolk's NEON District Sees Growth but Wants More, Inside Business



Property Updates

As Unplugged and Sanctuary continue building out spaces in the 800 block of Granby, it sounds like they will have new neighbors in 814 (the former vape shop) and 804 (what was a part of Alchemy). NEON streets will definitely feel livelier once all retail spaces in that block are full. If all goes according to plan, we’ll update you on the new tenants next month. Across the district and close to the Chrysler Museum and Glass Studio, there is another new business hoping to put down roots in NEON--and in a historic former church no less. Champion Brewing recently submitted a request for a special exception and to rezone 739 Yarmouth Street to allow craft breweries. It has been continued to the August public hearing but if you’re interested in supporting this alternative use, sign a petition here.

Pedestrians in the NEON should be happy to read that new ADA ramps were installed on sidewalks around the district, making it much easier to get around. The Olney Road streetscape project is very close to nearing completion, with finished sidewalks and tree pits in between Glass Wheel Studio and the Texaco Building. Just up Magazine Lane, foundation work for the new residential building on Virginia Beach Boulevard has started. Have questions about any of the construction in NEON? Just send us a note at


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

Having a Ball: Striking Portraits of America’s Pastimes by George Sosnak, Chrysler Museum of Art

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

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art

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

Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy, Chrysler Museum of Art

Trompe L'oeil, Glass Wheel Studio

Charged, Work | Release Gallery

Getting NE ON, d’Art Center

Assassins, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall


Colorful Coasters, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 1

Tales from the Patriot’s Campfire & The Bright Side, Push Comedy Theater, July 1

The Wedding Singer, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, July 1-July 16

Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 2

Tats for Tails, Fuzion Ink, July 7

RDis Art Show, Zeke’s Beans & Bowls, July 7

PC Duo, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 7

Live at Commune: True Body & Topics, Commune, July 7

Bring It! Live, Chrysler Hall, July 7-8

David Blaine Live, Chrysler Hall, July 9

Sound Sculpture Performance, Glass Wheel Studio, July 15

Painted Baseballs, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 15

Brett Williams & Who We Are Not, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 15

Getting NEON Reception, d’Art Center, July 20

Visiting Artist: Micah Evans, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 20-23

Live at Commune: Demons, Dumb Waiter, Wandcarver, Commune, July 21

NEON Mural Tour, The Plot, July 21

Comedy’s Most Wanted, Chrysler Hall, July 22

Skye Zentz, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 22

Open Mic Night, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 27

Live at Commune: Galaxy Dynamite, Stereo Bloom & More, Commune, July 28

The Improv Riot & Harold Night, Push Comedy Theater, July 28

Monir Closing Weekend, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 29

Pop Up Yoga at the Plot, The Plot, July 29

Musical Riot & Improvageddon, Push Comedy Theater, July 29


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