Virginia Arts Festival History and Mission
The Virginia Arts Festival was created in 1997 as an annual springtime event to showcase and promote the cultural vitality of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Our mission is to bring world-class performing arts to our citizens and visitors to Hampton Roads, positively impact the lives of students through our educational programs, commission new works of national and international significance, and make a tangible difference in Hampton Roads through regional partnerships, positive cultural economic development and the arts.
Virginia Arts Festival performances and community engagement activities take place in eight municipalities across southeastern Virginia (Chesapeake, Hampton, James City County, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg), in concert halls, schools, theatres, museums, outdoor stages, and historic churches. Programming reflects the make-up and tastes of the community we serve and represents multiple genres which include: large and small ensemble classical music – from traditional to contemporary; dance – classical, contemporary and ethnic; theater; blues; gospel; bluegrass; world music; folk; big band; Broadway and jazz.
Now in our seventeenth season, the Virginia Arts Festival is the largest presenter of performing arts between Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C. The Virginia Arts Festival presents between 60-80 events annually, reaching on average 90,000 residents, students and visitors to our region each season.
Next Stage – Virginia Arts Festival Advocates is a premier group of young professionals under 40 who are interested in exploring and enhancing their enjoyment of the performing arts. The mission of this group is to promote and support the Virginia Arts Festival through educational outreach, volunteer opportunities, leadership activities, social engagements, and donor funding. Next Stage members enjoy exclusive benefits such as artists’ receptions and educational seminars, as well as special ticket prices to events.
Tax-deductible dues are $50 per year payable to Virginia Arts Festival. Meetings occur the third Tuesday of each month - 10 per year. No meetings in July and August.
Advance season announcement
Discounts on tickets
Invitations to VIP receptions
Opportunities to meet artists
Name recognition in all Festival Playbills and website
Minimum of 10 volunteer hours per year
Minimum purchase of one ticket to a Virginia Arts Festival sponsored event per year
Minimum attendance at 5 meetings per year