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Downtown Norfolk Council

October 2017 Newsletter

Just as the NEON District continues to fluctuate with new businesses opening and old friends departing, the NEON Festival itself changes year to year. Returning to the tried and true format of two evenings full of celebration, this year’s festival echoed the district’s coming out party in 2015. There was a lot to unveil back then and it’s been a steady stream of new art projects since. In total, there are now almost 60 art pieces to be seen around the district. For only three years of a public art program, we are pretty proud of that. In case you missed a mural tour or can’t seem to find that one wall, check out the public art map at the newly redesigned

One highlight of this year’s NEON Festival was the addition of pop up art galleries hosted by local businesses around NEON. Bearded Bird Brewing, the Hurrah Players’ Copeland Center, Zeke’s Beans & Bowls and the LGBT Life Center all displayed works by local artists, plus WHRO’s Emerging Leaders hosted a digital art gallery at NEON tech firm Amplified IT and Norfolk State University MFA students curated their own show in a vacant space on Granby Street. All in all, the pop up spaces allowed more than 25 local artists to share their work. Additionally several artists were on site guiding visitors in making their own mini works of art, like street art-inspired t-shirts by Boston muralist Cedric Douglas or homemade block prints by Glass Wheel Studio artists. There was so much to do and see at the festival that it was gratifying to see art fans take home their own little piece of NEON. After all, that’s why we put on the NEON Festival and continue to advocate for the neighborhood – to make a home for art and creativity in Norfolk that is accessible, inclusive and exciting.


Thank You!

None of this would be possible without the support from a few special people and organizations who continue to donate time, resources and energy to the NEON District and the events we produce. For the past three years, Business Consortium for Arts Support has come to the table with enthusiasm and unwavering support as the NEON Festival’s presenting sponsor. Also for the third year in a row, Chrysler Museum of Art and Glass Studio joined forces with Downtown Norfolk Council in producing the NEON Festival. Sway Creative Labs continues to make NEON look good, creating all the beautiful materials that help the festival reach new audiences. This year the NEON Festival also had generous support from Work Program Architects, Glass Wheel Studio and Rutter Mills while the Plot’s beer garden was made possible by the fine people at O’Connor Brewing Company. Thank you all, and thank you to the dozens of community partners, volunteers, artists and performers who donated so much to make the NEON Festival a wonderful annual event.

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • NEON District Committee Meeting, Push Comedy Theater, November 1
  • Straight No Chaser, Chrysler Hall, November 1
  • Tickle My Ears, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 2
  • Visiting Artist: Jay MacDonnell, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, November 3-5
  • Mann's World Family Tour, Chrysler Hall, November 3
  • Date Night & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, November 3
  • A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, November 3-November 12
  • Brew Crew Homebrew Off, Bearded Bird Brewing, November 4
  • Tales from the Campfire & Monocle, Push Comedy Theater, November 4
  • Reformation Festival, Chrysler Hall, November 4
  • Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing, November 5
  • Good Talk: The Brad McMurran Show, Push Comedy Theater, November 5
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Cello & Kathryn Stott, Piano, Chrysler Hall, November 7
  • Gallery Talk: René Lalique, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 8
  • Flaming Heart Date Night, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, November 9
  • The Push Comedy Theater Anniversary Bash, Push Comedy Theater, November 10
  • The Girl of the Golden West, Harrison Opera House, November 10-14
  • Who Dunnit? & Second Saturday Stand Up, Push Comedy Theater, November 11
  • The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, Chrysler Hall, November 11
  • The Feldman Chamber Music Society: Minguet Quartett, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 13
  • Norfolk Forum: Diana Nyad, Chrysler Hall, November 14
  • Lewis Black, Chrysler Hall, November 16
  • Third Thursday: Multiple Modernisms Opening Night, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 16
  • How the West Was Improvised & Lip Service Finals, Push Comedy Theater, November 17
  • ACT TWO Exhibition Opening, Glass Wheel Studio, November 17
  • Dirty Dancing, Chrysler Hall, November 17-19
  • Engravers’ Mug Club, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, November 18
  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Chrysler Hall, November 22
  • Gallery Talk: Picturing Innovation, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 24
  • VSO: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone In Concert, Chrysler Hall, November 25-26
  • Afternoon Tango, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 26
  • Gifted Holiday Sale, d’Art Center, November 28
  • Norfolk Society of Arts Lecture: Tiffany’s Dragons, Chrysler Museum of Art, November 29
  • The Art of Yoga, Chrysler Museum of Art, Tuesdays in November

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


Recent Publicity

Can a Musical Be Sweet and Outrageous at the Same Time? Book of Mormon Says Yes, The Virginian-Pilot

About the Artists: Richard Nickel and Clay McGlamory New Energy of Norfolk, Visit Norfolk

About the Artist: Nick Kuszyk Razzle Dazzle, Visit Norfolk

About the Artist: Troy Summerell Happier Times, Visit Norfolk

See It: Book of Mormon at Chrysler Hall, AltDaily

NEON Festival Is Shorter But Sweeter This Year, The Virginian-Pilot

3rd Annual NEON Festival to be Held October 19 & 20, AltDaily

Live Performances, Art Exhibitions to Take Over Downtown Norfolk During Annual NEON Festival, Southside Daily

Norfolk Holds Third Annual NEON Festival, WTKR

NEON Pop-Up Dances to Enliven Various Areas Around the NEON District with Live Music and NEON!, AltDaily

A Guide to the Arts, Eats, and Fun in Norfolk’s Ever-Burgeoning NEON District, AltDaily

Friday: Yoga on the Green at The NEON Festival, AltDaily

The NEON Festival Celebrates Norfolk, 13 News Now

Looking for Fun this Weekend? Here's What's Happening, The Virginian-Pilot

What’s Happening: NEON Festival, Coast Live

NEON Festival Underway in Downtown Norfolk, WTKR

One Night Pop-Up Gallery at NEON Festival to Launch Community Discussion and Exploration, AltDaily

NEON Festival to Feature #VirginiaAF Pop Up Gallery Oct. 20, Outwire

Businesses Reap the Benefits of the NEON Festival, 13 News Now

So You Think You Can Dance Tour Comes to Norfolk This Weekend, The Virginian-Pilot

America’s Favorite Cities, Travel + Leisure

The "Enchanted" Works of the Late Glass Master René Lalique Are on Display at the Chrysler, The Virginian-Pilot

Hell Needs More Fury in Generic Theater's A User’s Guide to Hell Featuring Bernard Madoff, The Virginian-Pilot



Property Updates

Have you seen the new and improved Olney Road? It’s been well over a year since water and sewer repairs tore up the blocks between Chrysler Museum and Granby Street but happily, a new streetscape is the result. And just in time for lots of visitors to walk the stretch during NEON Festival. The last step was new asphalt with bike lane markings. The new street has made a wonderful entrance to a rain garden and beautiful swaying bench sculpture on the empty lot at 142 W. Olney Road, unveiled by the City of Norfolk during the festival. Go by and sit for a stretch on the sculpture – you’ll see NEON signs, new benches from the Governor’s School for the Arts and 3 or 4 new art pieces all within eyesight.

In October business news, congratulate Push Comedy Theater on expanding to a second location! Just down the road from NEON, Push will open a training center with more classroom and rehearsal space. The gang is also celebrating a big milestone in November by turning three years old. Happy Birthday Push and thanks for being a partner in NEON.

A few other notable bits of NEON news: Commonwealth Tattoo’s special exception was approved by Planning Commission, Unplugged continues work on the new restaurant and music venue at 806 Granby Street and there is a new tenant drawing up plans for 814 Granby Street. Across the street Exotic Home has a vacancy in the former warehouse space at 809 Granby Street. Contact Wheeler Real Estate or Exotic Home for leasing information.


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art

Picturing Innovation: The First 100 Years at NASA Langley, 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

Vonnie Whitworth: People, Places and Things, d’Art Center

The Art of Dying, Commune

The Book of Mormon, Chrysler Hall

Samson and Delilah, Harrison Opera House

A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall


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

Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing, October 1

Samson and Delilah, Harrison Opera House, October 3

The Book of Mormon, Chrysler Hall, October 3-8

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

Girl-Prov & Teacher’s Pet, Push Comedy Theater, October 13

Who Dunnit? & Second Saturday Stand-Up, Push Comedy Theater, October 14

Uncle Jack, Bearded Bird Brewing, October 14

Suburban Living & Minor Poet, Commune, October 14

The Feldman Chamber Music Society: Trio Con Brio Copenhagen, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 16

Nothing Sketchy: A Seminar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 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

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 Flora C. Mace, Chrysler Museum of Art, October 26

Ronnie Milsap, Chrysler Hall, October 27

The Pushers’ Halloween Spooktacular, Push Comedy Theater, 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

Improvageddon, Push Comedy Theater, October 28

Day of the Dead Party, Commune, October 28

WWE Smackdown Live, Scope, October 31


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