Norfolk's Creative Class Identifies a N.E.A.D.

07.04.12

The founders and editors of Hampton Roads' digital alternative press AltDaily submitted The NEAD (Norfolk Emerging Arts District) Project to Norfolk City Hall, and lit the first spark of many efforts to bring to fruition a vision of Norfolk's first official Arts District.

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A Better Block Comes to Town

04.12.13

The city of Norfolk commissioned Dallas-based urban planning firm Better Block to deliver a stretch of Granby Street just north of Brambleton Avenue from a dilapidated eyesore into a thriving arts destination. Over the course of four days, hundreds of volunteers came together to give visitors a vision of what the block could be, complete with galleries, murals, live performances, pop-up retail, food vendors and more. The event was a huge success, and served as the spark for the official commissioning of the Norfolk Arts District.

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Alchemy - An Underlying Current Charging Downtown Creativity

04.13.13

Alchemy NFK were one of the first anchors of the newly christened NEON to make a measurable contribution in shaping the District’s direction. They continue to be an inspiring and igniting force in furthering the Norfolk art community — from booking art shows and live performances, to organizing annual fundraisers and civic projects. If there’s something going on in the NEON, chances are they have a hand (or two) in it.

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Hurrah Players - This Arts District Welcomes Drama

01.10.14

Nationally renowned family theater troupe The Hurrah Players purchased the former Sutton Manufacturing building in 2014 and began work on reimagining the 12,000+ square foot space into a premier rehearsal studio for their ever growing educational program. Since opening, the group has developed a fully-outfitted creation workshop for performance scenery and props, and as the premier performing arts education center in the District, Hurrah have become active leaders in the cultural transformation of the community.

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Work | Release Charges The Pulse Of Downtown Entertainment

03.18.14

After purchasing the long vacant Texaco building, C. Arthur “Brother” Rutter III and his wife Meredith aimed to turn Work | Release into not only the premier art and entertainment destination in the District - but in the region as well. Now a staple for downtown nightlife, patrons of all ages and interests can admire one of the revolving exhibits while sipping on a nice chianti or quirky cocktail, enjoy appetizing lunch fare for business or pleasure, or get down to notable and national DJ’s and bands every weekend. Whatever your niche, there’s a night for you.

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KickStart Norfolk does what it says it's gonna do

04.01.14

Alchemy NFK and The Pushers Comedy Group came together for “Kickstart Norfolk,” an online-only fundraising effort that featured live music, comedy, demonstrations and art. With the help of local advertising agency Sway Creative Labs (and a few promised pies to the face), the pair of NEON District businesses collectively raised over $20,000 with one of the country’s first “web-a-thons.”

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Nick Kuszyk’s Massive Mural Blows the District Away

04.14.14

Based on the so-called “dazzle patterns” painted on battleships during World War I to make them more difficult to target, Kuszyk’s mural on the side of Bob’s Gun Shop immediately becomes a brilliantly colorful and electric beacon in the District.

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The Duck Does the District

05.07.14

Florentijn Hofman’s “Rubber Duck” drifted down the Hague in the spring of ‘14 to commemorate the grand re-opening of the Chrysler Museum of Art. The 10x11x13 meter inflatable work of art had brought smiles and selfies to Sydney, Hong Kong, Osaka, Sao Paulo and other host cities before landing in Norfolk. Nearly 150,000 people found their way to duck and district — sadly, Ernie didn’t show.

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The Chrysler Museum of Art and its Glass Studio Turn Up The Heat

05.10.14

After renovations and an expansion totaling nearly $24 million, the Chrysler Museum of Art reopened its doors in 2014, complete with renovations, an extended gallery, and the addition of the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. A collection spanning over 5,000 years of history, culture, and expression, the museum continues to inspire, excite and engage its visitors with a collection to rival even the world’s greatest collectors. The adjacent Glass Studio has the community 'fired up' over its interactive events and daily workshops, showing visitors the artistic process isn’t just about the final product - it’s about the experience.

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The PLOT thickens in the NEON District

06.14.14

With ground breaking on Downtown Norfolk’s new Hilton Hotel and Convention Center, its temporary park “The Plot” needed a new home. With the help of dozens of volunteers, the entire park (shipping containers included) was transplanted to the corner of Granby and Olney. It’s since become a central commonplace for the District’s creatives, encouraging buskers, impromptu performances and meetups.

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The Push Comedy Theater pushes the envelope

10.29.14

Founded by local comedy troupe The Pushers, the Push Comedy Theater plans to bring the best local and national comedy acts to the District. The 90 seat venue regularly hosts live sketch, improv and stand-up comedy while also offering instructional comedy and acting classes.

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The District’s cup Runneth over

04.05.15

A haven for coffee and creativity, Zeke’s Beans and Bowls with their eclectic brand of Hawaiian style poke bowls and local bean blends were a welcomed addition to the NEON District menu. A cozy spot fitted with vintage furniture, a dynamic collection of local artwork, and even a typewriter to leave a note behind for the next lucky patron - the spot is perfectly set to relax and sip or dine on some seriously fresh fare. The shop continues their tradition of bringing in exceptional artists to feature, and planning amazing events that bring together vendors, visitors and vagrants.

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The NEON Festival Lights A Fire

10.15.15

After months of preparation, The NEON Festival was a culmination of the hard work of numerous artists and volunteers. With dozens of public art pieces being simultaneously unveiled during the two-day event, the festival served as an unofficial “opening” of the District. Visitors were treated to a series of walking mural tours, live music and comedy performances, delectable local vendors, and plenty more from the creative community as it showcased its vision for the neighborhood.

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A Living Gallery Relocates To NEON

01.07.16

A staple of the Norfolk arts community for over 30 years, the d’Art Center relocated to the NEON in the beginning of 2016. This living and breathing art studio not only showcases work from local artists, but acts as an active studio space giving visitors a look into the heart of the work and artists they may already know as well as a marketplace for passersby to purchase the pieces created there.

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Granby Social Lives

04.30.16

The Granby Social Club opened its doors in April of 2016 with a focus on crafting a distinct environment for folks who want a little something different - and with more than a few options to choose from. 90-second street food, skeeball, a 52 foot lounge, billiards, DJ’s, and karaoke are just a bit of what’s in store for you behind the doors of the NEON’s newest addition.

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Powered by Public Art

Ongoing

With over 25 unique pieces currently lining the streets, alleyways, and nearly every hidden corner of the NEON - the living gallery is comprised of large, elaborate pieces and glowing details adorning cracks in the sidewalks. Inviting both local and national artists to enrich its empty wallspace, the area is a shining example for creative potential in a downtown area when fueled by its artistic community.

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See how far we've come
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NEON DISTRICT — NFK, VA

Norfolk's Emerging Art + Design District

The NEON District hopes to harness the new energy of Norfolk by providing local and touring artists and musicians a place to burn bright. Norfolk’s first official arts district has plenty of events to enjoy and opportunities to get involved. Check out the events calendar and volunteer board below to learn more.

d’Art Summer Camp

@ The d'Art Center, 740 Duke St., Norfolk, VA 23510 | 07.10.17 - 08.25.17 | 8:30 am

So you have a child who has an artistic side but you see other strengths emerging like math, science and leadership. The d’Art Center Summer Camp is offering week long sessions that look at how art interfaces with other disciplines in life.

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d’Art Getting our NEON

@ The d'Art Center, 740 Duke St., Norfolk, VA 23510 | 07.13.17 - 08.26.17 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An exhibition of Original Works by d’Art Resident and Associate Artists. In our July THIRD THURSDAY Event, d’Art get it’s NEON. Get your NEON and join us for the RECEPTION: July 20, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Free and open to the public.

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Pop Up Yoga at the Plot

@ The Plot, 776 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Join local yoga teachers Zoe Close and Heather McKinney for a morning of yoga flow at an all levels welcome class. Calm the mind with breath work, break a sweat with a fun vinyasa flow, and connect with like-minded yoga friends!

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Musical Improv with Double Treble

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 | 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Sit back in amazement as Kate Baldwin and Alba Woolard dazzle you as they create 2 completely improvised musicals before your very eyes! The duo are joined by the amazing and talented Andy Poindexter on the keyboard!

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TOO FAR: The Dirtiest, Most Inappropriate Comedy Show EVER!

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 | 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Brad and Sean of the Pushers have assembled a twisted team of writers and actors to bring you the dirtiest, most offensive show Hampton Roads has ever seen.

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Christmas in August

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17

Create a blown-glass holiday heirloom with the help of our Studio Team. Choose the colors you want and inflate a glass bubble into your own personalized ornament. This is a wonderful gift that forever holds your breath!

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Introduction to Neon

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 - 08.20.17

Learn the science of neon and basic techniques such as bends, filling tubes with noble gases, and display mounting. This is a beginner class-no prerequisite is required.

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Engravers’ Mug Club

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Explore the Chrysler’s collection of historic beer steins, then engrave your own personalized mug. Fill it up during a private tour of O’Connor Brewing Company later that afternoon.

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The War Work That Artists Do

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.19.17 | 2:00 pm

Join Robert Cozzolino, Patrick and Aimee Butler Curator of Paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art for his talk The War Work That Artists Do.

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Storytelling Night: Confusion

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.20.17 | 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Join us for a night of stories. This month the theme is “confusion.” The National Organization of Women has made a point of giving women strength and a voice for years. This is our opportunity to celebrate a few of those voices in our community.

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Introduction to Glassblowing

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.20.17 | 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Try your hand at hot glassblowing. Turn molten glass on a pipe and use tools, heat, gravity, and air pressure to transform it into your own work of art. You can create paperweights, hanging sculptures, or terrariums.

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Colorful Coasters

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.20.17 | 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Arrange colorful strips of glass into designs for a set of four kiln-fired coasters.

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Writing Submissions for The 666 Project

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.23.17 | 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

The 666 Project features six directors, six actors and six stories in one great show (for six dates in October). We’re looking for the best spooky, scary stories to bring to the stage, so get writing!

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The Improv Riot: The Short Form Improv Show

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.25.17 | 8:00pm - 9:30pm

You demanded it! So now it’s here!!! Our very own short form improv show. All the fun of Whose Line is it Anyway… right here in Downtown Norfolk.

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Harold Night

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.25.17 | 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm

The Harold is the big, bad grand daddy of all long form improv! It starts with an audience suggestion, then improvisers weave together scenes, characters and group games to create a seamless piece.

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Friday Family Fun

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 08.25.17 | 11:00 am

Join us every Friday this Summer for hands-on crafting with your little ones. Each child will create a piece of art to take home. Friday Family Fun is appropriate for all ages.

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Good Talk: The Brad McMurran Show

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 09.03.17 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Based on the Jounal Brad kept during this 66 day exploration of our great nation, this show is about man vs. nature. This show will have you on the edge of your seat with suspense, and crying with laughter.

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Who Dunnit? The Improvised Murder Mystery

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 09.09.17 | 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

There’s a killer on the loose, can you solve this classic who dunnit before they strike again!?! This show will have all the trappings of a thrilling mystery, a dastardly villain, shifty suspects and an intrepid detective.

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How the West was Improvised: The Made Up Western

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 09.14.17 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Don’t miss the gun slinger with a heart of gold, the damsel in distress, the villain dressed in black… bank heists, shoot outs, horse chases and more. It’s everything you love about the good old fashioned western… made up right before your eyes.

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NEON Mural Tour

@ The Plot, 776 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 09.16.17 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Come join the NEON for a free guided walking tour! Led by local tour guide and Norfolk history buff Joshua Weinstein, the tour will explore public art in the NEON, reflect on the area’s history and traverse its streets and alley ways.

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NEON Festival 2017

@ The NEON District | 10.19.17 - 10.20.17

The third annual NEON Festival welcomes everyone to experience the NEON District through art exhibitions, local and national performances and mural tours. It kicks off with Third Thursday at Chrysler and continues Friday at the Plot Beer Garden.

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Sorry, there are no volunteer opportunities at this time.