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Downtown Norfolk Council

September 2017 Newsletter

It’s hard to believe, but this fall the NEON District launches the third NEON Festival. In 2015, the festival began with a few people thinking about ways to make the neighborhood come alive and it has grown into a district-wide celebration of many different visual and performing arts, with so many partners and activities it gets hard to remember it all. This year is shaping up to be just as grand, with two full nights on Thursday and Friday, October 19 and 20, 2017.

Thursday kicks off with a special (and free!) Third Thursday program at Chrysler Museum and Glass Studio and d’Art Center. Then Friday pumps up the volume with live music and art exhibitions at the Hugh R. Copeland Center, Glass Wheel Studio, Bearded Bird Brewing and Commune, ending in a big dance party in the Plot Beer Garden. All this fun is proudly presented by Business Consortium for Arts Support, and generously supported by Sway Creative Labs, Glass Wheel Studio, Work Program Architects, with beer served exclusively by O’Connor Brewing Company.

Check back with us on the event page for programming announcements. In the meantime, here are some other festival events you won’t want to miss on Friday, October 20th:

  • Norfolk Public Art Commission ribbon cutting Friday with live music from the Rhythm Project
  • Glass Wheel Studio’s printmaking activity and extended hours for the current exhibitions
  • Plot Beer Garden, with food trucks, live music, performances and O’Connor brews on tap
  • Work Release Gallery at Commune opens a new exhibition The Art of Dying
  • Hurrah Players preview the The Lion King Experience
  • Governor’s School for the Arts’ Wearable Arts fashion show, jazz combo and chalk art
  • Spark, AIGA Hampton Roads’ poster exhibition in Magazine Lane
  • Pop-up galleries in Bearded Bird Brewing, the Copeland Center and Zeke’s Beans & Bowls


2017 Public Art

In conjunction with the annual festivities for the NEON Festival, there is always a big push for new art in the district. Each fall, artists are encouraged to complete projects in time for the celebration so thousands of visitors can see the area change and grow from year to year. For 2017, the NEON’s public art committee published an open call for three projects and also solicited new works by several regional and national artists. Please welcome the following artists and pieces to the NEON’s ever-expanding collection:

  • Matthew Geller, Art and Rising Tides, sculpture on Olney Road
  • Danielle Shaffer, NEON Fiber Garden, yarn bombing on W. Wilson Avenue
  • Mensah Bey, Ajent of NEON, mural on Bob’s Gun Shop billboard
  • Jacob Eveland, OXOXO, mural on Slone Chiropractic Clinic
  • Aimee Bruce, Solidarity, mural on W. Wilson Avenue
  • Ryan Lytle, The Chase, yarn sculpture on the Virginian-Pilot’s fence
  • Tamika Bright-Stubblefield, A Series of Fortunate Events, yarn bombing on E. Wilson Avenue
  • Kelsey Witt, Daisies, mural on Renova Center’s parking lot wall

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • Samson and Delilah, Harrison Opera House, October 3
  • The Book of Mormon, Chrysler Hall, October 3-8
  • NEON District Committee Meeting, Amplified IT, October 4
  • Tickle My Ears, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 5
  • If Looks Could Kill Exhibition Opening, Zeke’s Beans & Bowls, October 6
  • Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, October 6
  • Picturing Innovation: The First 100 Years at NASA Langley Opens, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 7
  • Flaming Heart Date Night, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, October 12
  • Friday the 13th Paint Nite and d'Art Fundraiser, Bearded Bird Brewing, October 13
  • Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, October 14
  • Uncle Jack, Bearded Bird Brewing, October 14
  • The Feldman Chamber Music Society: Trio Con Brio Copenhagen, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 16
  • Nothing Sketchy: A Seminar with the FBI, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 18
  • NEON Festival: Third Thursday, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 19
  • NEON Festival: d’Art Fair, d’Art Center, October 19
  • NEON Festival, The Plot, October 20
  • A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, October 20-November 12
  • The Best of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Chrysler Hall, October 21
  • The 666 Project, Push Comedy Theater, October 21-29
  • Afternoon Tango, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 22
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Chrysler Hall, October 22
  • Norfolk Society of Arts Lecture: Frank Lloyd Wright at 150, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 25
  • An Evening with the Artists Joey Kirkpatrick and Flore C. Mace, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 26
  • Ronnie Milsap, Chrysler Hall, October 27
  • Engravers’ Mug Club, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, October 28
  • Family Day: Out of This World!, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 28
  • Introduction to Neon, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, October 28-29
  • Bees Knees Speakeasy, Harrison Opera House, October 28
  • Halloween Costume Bash, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 31
  • The Art of Yoga, Chrysler Museum of Art, Tuesdays in October

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


Recent Publicity

14 Things to Do If You're New to Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot

A Radiant Celebration of Art, Visit Norfolk

Local Review: Assassins at Generic Theater, AltDaily

Virginia Opera Opens Season with Samson and Delilah, AltDaily

6 Nights of Comedy: Norfolk Comedy Festival Returns this Weekend, AltDaily

3 Questions with NEON District Mural Artists: Carl Medley & Charles Rasputin, Visit Norfolk

Cosmic Symphony: VSO to Present Holst’s The Planets! Across Hampton Roads, AltDaily

Explore 100 Years of NASA History at The Chrysler, AltDaily

Call for Submissions: SPARK Poster Exhibition 2017, AltDaily

Taste Norfolk, Va., by Neighborhood, USA Today

A Gift That Keeps Giving. Art Collectors Give the Chrysler Museum of Art the Largest Gift Since 1971., The Virginian-Pilot

Virginia Opera's Samson and Delilah Sets Bible Tale in 1930s Germany, The Virginian-Pilot

A Behind the Scenes Look at the Design of Virginia Opera’s Samson and Delilah, Coast Live



Property Updates

Last week we caught site of construction crews installing brand new lights on Olney Road. They are the kind you see all over downtown – black streetlamps with the acorn fixture that help with pedestrian safety and visibility. This means that the end is near for all the work on Olney. One of the last remaining items to get it in tip top shape is tree planting, which is scheduled for this week. There are also three new bike racks on the block near the Texaco Building and Glass Wheel Studio.

On September 19th, the NEON District Committee and a number of passionate community members gathered together to discuss and make plans for future development on the so-called Cofer Lot, located at 140 W. Olney Road. It was a great session, with lots of interesting ideas thrown on the table: things like rotating sculpture displays, murals on the ground, ways to retain and move water through the site and options for greenery, shade and play. Skateboarding was a hot topic, with almost all stakeholders adding skate-able elements to their charrette designs. Work Program Architects led the group through a very useful visioning exercise and built consensus on what the public wants to see. Their report will be presented to the NEON District Committee this November. In the end, the neighborhood agreed that a public, creative and multi-faceted greenspace is high on the NEON’s list of priorities.


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art

In the Box: Elena Damiani’s Dust Tail, Chrysler Museum of Art

Root and Flower, Chrysler Museum of Art

Trains of Thought by Emily Bartelt and Navid Rahman, Glass Wheel Studio

See Worthy by Jennifer Caldwell & Jason Chakravarty, Glass Wheel Studio

HueTopia: A Fool's Paradise, Glass Wheel Studio

Compelling Images, d’Art Center

The Book of Mormon, Chrysler Hall

Samson and Delilah, Harrison Opera House


The Muckrakes and The Lazy Dangers, Commune, September 1

Tales from the Campfire, Push Comedy Theater, September 2

Kain Tayo! A Filipino Brunch, Nouvelle, September 3

Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing, September 3

Laser Background, The Seeers, The Wimps, You're Jovian, Commune, September 3

Roebuck, Bearded Bird Brewing, September 3

A Pint with Mike Morgan featuring Saving Daylight, Bearded Bird Brewing, September 6

Girl-Prov & Teacher’s Pet, Push Comedy Theater, September 8

CMA On Screen: Pilchuck, A Dance with Fire, Chrysler Museum of Art, September 9

The Mighty and The Metal Benefit Show for YWCA, Bearded Bird Brewing, September 9

6th Annual Norfolk Comedy Festival, Push Comedy Theater, September 12-17

Writing Workshop & Storytelling Series, Bearded Bird Brewing, September 13

Opening Party: Rene Lalique, Chrysler Museum of Art, September 14

Locals Only & How the West Was Improvised, Push Comedy Theater, September 14

Lalique Inside and Out, Chrysler Museum of Art, September 15

NEON Mural Tour, The Plot, September 16

See Worthy & Trains of Thought Exhibition Opening , Glass Wheel Studio, September 16

Men for Hope Celebrity Weekend Extravaganza, Chrysler Hall, September 17

Upright Senior Citizens Brigade, Push Comedy Theater, September 17

Storytelling Night: Awkward, Push Comedy Theater, September 17

Compelling Images Opening Reception, d’Art Center, September 21

From a Five-Time Grammy Winner to Holst’s The Planets, Chrysler Hall, September 23

Musical Improv & Too Far, Push Comedy Theater, September 23

Norfolk Forum: Tom Brokaw, Chrysler Hall, September 26

Virginia Opera’s Prism, Commune, September 29

Unforgettable: The Music of Nat King Cole, Chrysler Hall, September 30

Good Talk: The Brad McMurran Show, Push Comedy Theater, October 1


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