NEON Festival returns to Norfolk’s NEON District after a year off


(Photo Courtesy – NEON District)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After a year off, the NEON Festival in Downtown Norfolk’s NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District is back.

The free festival is celebrating its fifth year, held on Oct. 21 and 22, with numerous offerings through art exhibitions, local and national performances and mural tours. The event began in 2015 and has provided a platform for more than 300 artists and performers.

Thursday (Oct. 21) Schedule:

  • 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, Trio Atomic and BTG Artist Collective, plus glow yoga on the lawn at 7 p.m. with Bhav Brigade and accompanying music by PranaMuktiBhakti
  • Community programming inside and outside Chrysler Museum of Art provided by Poetry Society of Virginia, Virginia Zoo, Todd Rosenlieb Dance, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Lil Truck of Tools and the Human Library from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Mural Tours at 6:30 and 8 p.m. leaving from Chrysler Museum Glass StudioGlass After Dark premieres at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio with a glass demonstration and music by psych-rock band Berries. Free admission with advance tickets

Friday (Oct. 22) Schedule:

  • d’Art Center’s opening night of Dynamic, a national contemporary art exhibition, with drinks, a food truck, a DJ, make & takes and works for sale in the gallery 
  • Commune X CROP Foundation celebrates ten years of the Perry Glass Studio with a new group exhibition X Marks the Spot: A Decade of the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio. WHRO’s Emerging Leaders Board hosts a celebration of the CURATE series with music and art in the parking lot beginning at 5 p.m.
  • The Plot, 6-10 p.m. beer garden with Smartmouth Brewing Company, food trucks, Norfolk Currents pop up, performances from Teens with a Purpose, Governor’s School for the Arts, and others, closing the night with a big dance party with DJ Can Rock at 9 p.m.
  • Hurrah’s Copeland Center features a preview of Hurrah Players’ Moana, poetry readings from ODU’s Writers in Community and The Muse Writers’ Center, one person show Being B.A.D. by ODU professor Brittney Harris, and live musical performances from Norfolk State University and TCC’s Blue Moon Jazz Band, 6-10 p.m.
  • 757 Street Art Battle puts on a live painting contest, judged by local professional artists, backed by live music and a craft workshop from Lil Truck of Tools and 757 Creative Reuse Center, 6-9 p.m.
  • Pop-Up Art Galleries at the Hugh R. Copeland Center, Virginia Furniture storefront windows and 717 Granby Street featuring local NEON artists and Norfolk State University students
  • The Neon House features live music from Bay River Band and Infinite Flava, with an ODU pottery sale, live painting, cabaret from Feral Showgirls and beat-making workshops from Music Theory Studios, 6-10 p.m.
  • 757 Makerspace Interactive Art Exhibit at the Cofer lot with more than 20 local artists’ unique art installations on view for judging by the public, 6-10 p.m.
  • Mural Tours at 6:30 and 8 p.m. leaving from the Plot

A full list of exhibitions, events and entertainment is available HERE.

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