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4th annual NEON Festival returns to Downtown Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. – The 4th Annual NEON Festival kicked off in Downtown Norfolk Thursday.

The two-day festival takes place October 18-19 from 6-10 p.m. and will give visitors the opportunity to fully experience the NEON District, Norfolk’s first official arts district, through art exhibitions, local and national performances and mural tours.

Nine new murals and art projects will be revealed in the district during the festival. They can be seen on the public art map here.

Below is a tentative schedule for each day of the festival:

Thursday, October 18:

  • NEON Festival at Chrysler Museum of Art with live music, food trucks and activities. Music provided by Virginia Arts Festival’s steel drum band The Rhythm Project and Mosquito Cabaret, plus glow yoga on the lawn at 7 p.m. with Bhav Brigade and accompanying music by PranaMuktiBhakti.
  • Mural Tours at 6 and 7 p.m. leaving from Chrysler Museum Glass Studio
  • Third Thursday at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio with California neon artist Michael Flechtner and music from Sharkophagus. Free admission with advance tickets.
  • Glass Studio assistants unveil a new rooftop neon sculpture atop the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio at 7:45 p.m.
  • d’Art Center’s opening night of Impression, a national printmaking exhibition, with food trucks, DJ, photobooth, a printmaking make & take, works for sale and Smartmouth Brewing Co. in the gallery. Exhibition awards announced at 7 p.m.
  • #workingartistsstudios grand opening from 6 to 8 p.m. in Duke-Grace building, suite 250

Friday, October 19:

  • The Rutter Family Art Foundation and Commune open a new exhibition of skateboard art, Something Beautiful, curated by Jason Hawkes of Cardinal Skate Shop
  • TCC @ NEON, 6-10 p.m. Join Tidewater Community College at its newest venue, the TCC Pat & Doug Perry Glass Wheel Arts Center, for music by their own Blue Moon Jazz Ensemble, delicious morsels from TCC’s culinary students, displays of student artwork and demos of glassblowing and ceramics. Plus, learn about the exciting plans to transform the NEON District with the new Patricia & Douglas Perry TCC Center for the Visual & Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.
  • The Plot, 6-10 p.m. beer garden with O’Connor Brewing Company, food trucks, live music and performances from Kayce Laine, Teens with a Purpose, Governor’s School for the Arts, and others, ending with a big dance party with MOER at 9 p.m.
  • Hurrah’s Copeland Center features a preview of Hurrah Players’ Annie, live musical performances, a magic show and poetry readings from The Muse Writers’ Center and ODU’s MFA poets, 6-10 p.m.
  • Hat-tober Fest at long-time NEON District men’s clothier Stark & Legum with a happy hour, live music and a trunk show of new fashion brand, ALFA, 5-9 p.m.
  • SPARK Poster Show & Silent Auction presented by American Institute of Graphic Artists’ Hampton Roads chapter in mural-filled Magazine Lane, 6-10 p.m.
  • Pop-Up Art Galleries hosted by the Copeland Center, Urban Discovery Ministries and the ViBe Creative District
  • WHRO CURATE Launch Party at Bearded Bird Brewing featuring the CURATE series artists and singers Narissa Bond, Skye Zentz and Charlie Andy Dunn
  • Hermitage Museum & Gardens 3D printing art exhibition at local tech business Amplified IT, 6-10 p.m.
  • Mural Tours at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. leaving from the Plot
  • Community Art Lab with Old Dominion University professor Natalia Pilato and art education students leading a paint-by-number activity for a future mural project
  • Governor’s School for the Arts students showcase their talents with live jazz, classical singers, pop-up dances, face painting, chalk art at the Plot and two new public art pieces, NEON Squared sidewalk murals and Flo with the Go, a fence mural
  • Norfolk Bike Polo Fish Bowl Expo at the Cofer lot with live music, food trucks, local artists live painting and 20-minute bike bolo pick-up matches
  • Cardinal Skate Shop Balance Trials on Starke Street with skateboard competitions

The NEON District now has more than 60 works of art on view to the public. Click here for a full list of exhibitions, events and entertainment.

The festival is free, presented by the Business Consortium for Arts Support in partnership with the Downtown Norfolk Council and the Chrysler Museum of Art.