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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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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.

In The Box: Brian Bress

@ Chrysler Museum of Art, One Memorial Place, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 09.15.16 - 02.19.17

In a story of a local kid who grew up and hit the big time, the Chrysler presents a new media work by Los Angeles-based artist Brian Bress.

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The Slide Show Exhibition Opening

@ Glass Wheel Studio, 128 W Olney Rd, Norfolk,VA 23510 | 01.21.17 | 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Join us for our first ever juried exhibition, The Slide Show! Connect with artists while enjoying light hors d’oeuvres & a cash bar. All works by the artists are available for purchase. This event is free & open to the public.

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Empowerment Brunch

@ Work Release, 759 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 01.21.17 | 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

In conjunction with the Under the Gun exhibition, this event will help people empower themselves through basic self defense training and group discussion.

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Rapid Reflections: A “Whose Line” Style Improv Show

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 01.21.17 | 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Are you ready for a night of silly, laugh-out-loud improv games? If you like “Whose Line is It Anyway” on TV, and the monthly Improv Riot at the Push, this is a can’t miss event!

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Short Stack presents: Shadows of Intrigue

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 01.21.17 | 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Come see Short Stacks foray into mystery and mayhem in classic film noir style. Watch as they untangle a web of lies secrets and betrayals. Shortstack is the comedic petite powerhouse of the 757. They are 6 time IMPROVAGEDDON Champions

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The Slide Show Exhibition

@ Glass Wheel Studio, 128 W Olney Rd, Norfolk,VA 23510 | 01.22.17 - 02.26.17

A juried exhibition of responsive artworks from 36, randomly selected 2 x 2 slides from a 10,000 slide collection covering the entire history of Western art.

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Mental Health Forum for Under the Gun

@ Work Release, 759 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 01.26.17 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This event will give Norfolk community members the opportunity to have a conversation about the stigma surrounding mental health issues, leading into a discussion of ways that we can improve mental healthcare access in our city.

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CORE Theatre Ensemble 10 Year Anniversary Masquerade

@ Work Release, 759 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 01.27.17 | 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

A Ten Year Anniversary Celebration in the form of a Masquerade for one of our area’s most talented, incredible and unique ensembles.

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Panties in a Twist VI: The All Female Sketch Comedy Show

@ Push Comedy Theater, 763 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 02.10.17

The Push Comedy Theater has gathered Hampton Roads’ finest and funniest female writers, actresses and comedians for the most kick ass comedy show ever seen!!!

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Sorry, there are no volunteer opportunities at this time.