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The original item was published from 8/6/2019 12:46:10 PM to 10/20/2019 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: August 6, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Fifth Annual NEON Festival to be held October 17 & 18

The evening festival encourages visitors to explore and discover the NEON District

NORFOLK, Va. – (August 2019) – The fifth annual NEON Festival will take place in the NEON District of Norfolk from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18, 2019. This free festival is presented by Business Consortium for Arts Support and Old Dominion University in partnership with the Downtown Norfolk Council and the Chrysler Museum of Art.

The evening festival encourages visitors to explore and discover the NEON District, Norfolk’s first official arts district, anchored by the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House and extending to The Plot on Granby Street. Art installations include murals, statues and lighting from works by nationally celebrated visual artists and local heroes, bringing the total number of public artworks represented in NEON to 95, with 81 permanently on display.

The 2019 festival includes:

  • Third Thursday at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio with New York-based artist Esteban del Valle, one of the original NEON muralists from 2015
  • Unconventional Exhibition Opening at d'Art Center Thursday with refreshments, a make & take, art for sale and a DJ
  • Artist Panel Thursday evening featuring artists from all five years of the NEON Festival
  • The Plot and Glass Wheel Beer Gardens and main stage entertainment from local community groups Friday evening, 6-10 p.m.
  • Unveiling of five new large-scale murals in honor of the fifth year of creating murals
  • Public art tours led by Norfolk Tour Company both evenings
  • Pop-up art galleries in NEON District businesses and venues
  • 2nd Annual Skateboard Trials with Cardinal Skate Shop on Starke Street
  • Programming from Tidewater Community College, Teens with a Purpose, Governor’s School of the Arts, Hurrah Players, Virginia Opera, Old Dominion University, WHRO and more

An open call to artists is available from August 1 - 16, 2019. Applications can be submitted here. Visual artists (2D and 3D), musicians, bands, entertainers, dance troupes, theaters, performance artists and cultural organizations are encouraged to apply. A variety of spaces will be available on both evenings at multiple stages and venues. All applicants will be notified of invitation to participate by August 30, 2019. Performers joining the NEON Festival celebrate and support a large and diverse community of artists and performers in the district.

Contributing sponsors include Dominion Energy, Rose & Womble Realty Co., Rutter Mills, Sway Creative Labs and Work Program Architects with friend sponsorships from MacArthur Center, Tidewater Community College, VisitNorfolk and Within Interior Design, Inc. O’Connor Brewing Company will support the festival’s beer gardens as it has since 2015. For festival sponsorship opportunities, participation, venues or programming, please contact Rachel McCall at the Downtown Norfolk Council or call 757-623-1757.

Norfolk’s first official arts district, NEON (New Energy of Norfolk), is home to long-time cultural institutions like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House as well as studio-based ventures like d’Art Center and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, all providing artists a place to make, create and show. Within a few short blocks you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for unique home goods, get a tattoo or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. Learn more at and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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