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Black Arts and Culture

Virginia Arts Festival Season Includes Hefty Dose of African-American Cultural Appeal

If you are not yet familiar with the extraordinary impact the Virginia Arts Festival has on the Hampton Roads cultural arts scene, you should look to their upcoming season as a time for you to become more acquainted. The 2017-2018 season is one in which you should pay close attention, to be heralded in multiple venues throughout the region.

The season launched on November 7 with incomparable cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Chrysler Hall. Performances through the end of 2017 include: saxophonist Charlie Young, on November 18, as part of the Attucks Jazz Club series; vocalist Nellie McKay, on December 2, in the Clay & Jay Barr Education Center, at the Robin Hixon Theater; and local favorite Jae Sinnett’s Zero to 60 Quartet, in a December 9 Christmas Concert, back at the Attucks, with special guest Denise Donatelli. The Festival closes out the year with the Vienna Boys Choir, on December 20, at St. Bede Catholic Church, Williamsburg, and December 21, at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Arts Festival’s 2018 schedule especially features a hefty dose of a refined cultural elixir for African-American patrons. The Attucks Jazz Club series continues with saxophonist Rickey Woodard, on January 20, and vocalist Charenee Wade, on February 17. This is followed by a February 24 Attucks Theatre presentation of playwright Katori Hall’s engaging drama “The Mountaintop,” a fictional take on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last night on earth. The Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater returns for performances March 2 thru March 4, at Chrysler Hall and the Fisk University Jubilee Singers will appear at the Attucks on March 18. On April 18, extraordinary vocalist-musician Rihannon Giddens performs at the Attucks.

Frankly, there is so much going on during the 2017-2018 Virginia Arts Festival season, you should really go to their website. It is so chockful of exciting performances that, as you’re touring their site during the upcoming holidays, you’re certain to feel like a kid in a candy store or in Santa’s workshop.

Check them out at or simply call (757) 282-2800.

By Terrance Afer-Anderson
Arts And Entertainment

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