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burt

The Arts in Metro Richmond

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A series of community meetings has been arranged in January to look at the importance of arts and culture in the region. It will identify strategies to increase participation, financial support, awareness and collaborative opportunities that will lay the foundation for a thriving cultural landscape.

This website is pretty long but is an excellent read. Dates, times and locations of next week's meetings are included:

http://richmondculturalplan.blogspot.com/

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The Cultural Arts Plan possibly could establish a Spoleto-type festival in Richmond. The event has put Charleston on the performing arts map and is a huge draw.

Rather than concentrating solely on opera, dance and theatre, a Richmond festival could embrace all the arts. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts ranks among the top on the East Coast and will rise in prestige next fall when its mammoth expansion opens gallery-by-gallery (total completion is anticipated in spring of 2010.) VCU's fine arts program is known Nationwide and the University's proposed modern art museum on West Cary Street in the new Monroe Ward campus will enhance its reputation. Individual artists in galleries along West Broad Street and in Manchester are already well established and will be a major attraction.

As far as the performing arts go, by next fall there will be plenty of excellent venues. Dance, theatre, opera, jazz, hip hop, and all genres of music could be a major focus on stages of The Carpenter Theatre and Richmond Center Stage, The National, Toads Place, The Landmark, Empire and Grace Street Theatres as well as stages of the VCU complex, The Virginia Museum Theatre (still there but unused), and venues at the University of Richmond. Plus smaller spaces such as Barksdale's two theatres, The Firehouse Theatre and Triangle Players' new hall could be utilized.

While The Richmond Symphony, the Nationally ranked Richmond Ballet, local actors/dancers/musicians and The Virginia Opera should be highlighted, a successful festival would have to feature big name orchestras, dance and theatre companies and soloists. And there is where corporate and civic sponsorship would be vitally necessary.

A month-long annual festival in fall or spring would fill hotel rooms, keep restaurants humming and tout historic sites while enhancing the City's appeal. And unlike the annual arts festival in Hampton Roads which uses venues in practically all of its far-flung seven cities, Richmond's would be far more contained and accessible by air, rail and highway. There are more than 16,000 hotel rooms to accommodate visitors in Metro Richmond.

Edited by burt

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Museums, theatres, music and dance are not the only cultural activities here. The awards showered on the HBO Mini-series JOHN ADAMS, shot primarily in Metro Richmond, strengthens Richmond's place in the film industry. The city's prominence in the advertising field also enhances the area's artistic creativity.

Edited by burt

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Here's an interesting take on this season's Acts of Faith Theatre Festival. A few of the plays selected for inclusion, while intelligent and moving, may have some theatre-goers scratching their heads.

This article by David Timberline is from the current Style Weekly:

http://styleweekly.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmo...F28EC3057EA1071

Edited by burt

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I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but Burt I think you'd like this.

from chpn

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Thanks, Cam. You are correct; this is where the Robinson Theater rejuvenation story belongs.I posted it in the Richmond Development thread at 2:55am on December 21st, but I'm grateful for your posting.

Now: If only the Hippodrome and East End Theater could get similar restoration.

Edited by burt

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Motion Pictures are art and, by extension, so are some of the buildings (notably The Byrd) in which they are shown.

33 new screens in two complexes are scheduled to open this year in the region. And a second area IMAX screen will be installed at Regal Commonwealth Cinemas near Rt. 288 in Western Chesterfield. (The original IMAX dome is part of the Science Museum of Virginia on West Broad Street in the city, although it rarely presents commercial films.)

This story is by Daniel Neman in today's R-TD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/business/...-235521/181458/

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Music of various genres falls, in one way or another, into the Arts category.

Melissa Ruggeri writes in today's R-TD about how the proliferation of local venues has changed the entertainment scene in Richmond. For instance, the National has booked 155 concerts in its first year and Toad's Place has helped to establish Richmond as an entertainment center.

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-235521/181467/

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Kathy Panoff's departure to the University of Texas in Austin is a great loss for Richmond's cultural scene. She brought major attention on a National/International scale to the Modlin Center's performance stages at University of Richmond. Perhaps she prefers the academic climate, but maybe she could have been lured by RPAC to guide programming at Richmond Center Stage.

This story is from the current Style Weekly:

http://styleweekly.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=...4364D32C7205940

Edited by burt

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It's unfortunate that venues such as Richmond Center Stage and the massively expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will come on line in this economic downturn. RCS wll debut next September with high quality local performing arts organizations headlining the opening ceremonies. Whether or not there will be sufficient risk-taking to bring in big name attractions is not known, but it appears likely that high level touring shows will continue to bypass The Landmark and Carpenter Theatres.

VMFA's large new spaces may or may not be able to attract major traveling exhibits.

Meanwhile, First Fridays flourish.

Here is a story by Walt Amacker in today;s R-TD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-222449/199579/

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The annual Maymont Flower and Garden Show is combining with The Home Show this year at The Greater Richmond Convention Center downtown between 3rd/5th/Marshall and Leigh streets. A feature will be an exhibit of Museum reproductions of King Tut Treasures as well as the usual (and unusual) flora.

Dates are Feb. 19th thru Feb. 22nd.

Here is the website:

http://macevents.com/show.cfm/eventID/124

The Maymont Flower Show is considered to be one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast.

Edited by burt

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An art expression in an unique venue. In Your Ear Recording Studio in Shockoe Bottom has a bring-your-own-covered-dish music concert.

Check out the slideshow with the story from today's R-TD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-185826/215847/

In Your Ear Studio is behind the facades of row houses that were saved on 19th Street between Broad and Grace Streets. The actual studio is in a building constructed from the ground up but is not visible from 19th Street. It's sort of like what was done with the Colonial Theater fascade at 8th and Broad.

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What is the fate of Connecticut? Not the state, but the Indian who used to peer out on arrivals at The Diamond. If he were full sized, he'd rise 70 feet.

di Pasquale is the Richmond artist who fashioned, among other works, the statues of Arthur Ashe on

Monument Avenue and Neptune on The Boardwalk in Virginia Beach.

From today's R-TD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-185910/215853/

Edited by burt

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Isn't it interesting, ironic even, that the indian at the Diamond is named Connecticut, and the team which will likely replace the Braves will be coming from Connecticut?

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The annual French Film Festival, an event that most cities would give their eye teeth to host, gets scant attention in the Richmond press.

For a decade and a half it has packed Richmond's Byrd Theatre for three days in March.

It begins tomorrow and this year The University of Richmond joins Virginia Commonwealth University in sponsoring the event.

This story is by Daniel Neman in today's Times Dispatch:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-193111/240874/

Edited by burt

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Less than a year ago it was announced that VCU planned to erect an art museum east of Belvidere at Jefferson and Cary Streets near the new Enginering and Business schools.

Apparently the original plan is being re-thought. But, by no means, despair! What evolves may...just may...surprise and delight.

Stay tuned.

Edited by burt

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The Richmond Symphony, after five years in makeshift venues, is preparing to move into their permanent home base at The Carpenter Theatre.

"Tuning" processes in the renovated hall will take place a few weeks prior to the first concert.

From today's RTD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-185706/266099/

Here is the 2009/2010 concert schedule:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...chedule/266312/

Edited by burt

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The highly ranked Richmond Ballet will return to The Carpenter Theatre for the first time since 2001 on September 12th and 13th along with other local performance groups. "The Nutcracker" will play the hall 12/11 - 12/23/09 and for the first time in the ballet's history will be able to utilize the newly trapped stage to enhance its elaborate production. Around Valentine's Day, the Company will stage "Romeo and Juliet." Both it and "The Nutcracker will be accompanied by the Richmond Symphony in the enlarged orchestra pit.

The ballet's 200-seat Studio Theatre at 5th and Canal Streets will be as active as usual, including a two-week run 3/23 - 4/1/10 of the program that will open the following week at New York City's Joyce Theatre. The Company will also appear briefly in The Chicago Dancing Festival 8/18/09.

From last Sunday's RTD:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/entertain...-193245/267552/

Edited by burt

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Richmond Triangle Players describes itself as "the only professional theatre company in the entire Mid-Atlantic region which expressly and regularly serves a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community." After years of performing on a tiny stage in a nightclub called Fieldens, the company will move into its new home at 1300 Altamont Street in Scotts Addition this fall.

Call 804/346-8113 for schedule of plays and dates.

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While some local theatres have played a single show for as long as a year, Richmond will get its longest run traveling show when WICKED checks into the 3,650-seat Landmark Theatre next spring for three weeks. Filling that many seats is the equivalent of a sell-out four week run in most cities.

The Landmark's backstage is being heavily refurbished with new dressing rooms, load-in dock and other amenities in order to attract big shows which have heretofore bypassed the city. Could "Jersey Boys", "The Lion King" and even "The Phantom of the Opera" which has played just about every city in America except Richmond, be on the horizon?

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