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Weekend Event Picks: Oysters in Shockoe, Bluegrass at Hardywood, a new Scott’s Addition festival and more

From oysters in Shockoe Bottom and bluegrass at Hardywood to German food and beer in Ashland and a new festival in Scott’s Addition, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend outdoors.

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Center of the Universe Brewing presents Oktoberfest

Kick back and welcome in fall with Center of the Universe Brewing’s twist on a traditional Oktoberfest Friday through Sunday. Enjoy three days of revelry with a beer garden, live music, and traditional German dishes. Liter Steins and half liter Glass Boots will be on sale to fill up with German style beers as well as a more traditional American pint glass. The live music lineup includes Vexine (Friday night at 6:00 PM), The Low’N’Brows (3:00 – 8:00 PM Saturday), and The Royal We (2:00 – 5:00 PM on Sunday). Bratwursts, strudel, and pretzels are just a taste of the cuisine being offered. Families and leashed dogs are welcome.

When: Friday, September 9th – Sunday, September 11th; times vary | Where: Center of the Universe Brewing, 11293 Air Park Road in Ashland | Cost: FREE entry, pay as you go | Event website

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Wizard World ComicCon at the Richmond Convention Center

World champion swimmer Ryan Lochte will make one of his first scheduled public appearances since returning from Rio at Wizard World Comic Con Richmond this Saturday. The embattled swimmer, who had some headline-making post-Olympic excitement, will greet fans, sign a limited number of free autographs and pose for free selfies. Other celebrities at the celebration of pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, gaming, original art, and collectibles include Nichelle Nichols (“Star Trek”), Jewel Staite (Firefly, “Serenity”), Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules,” “Andromeda”), Gene Simmons (frontman, KISS), John Schneider and Catherine Bach (“The Dukes of Hazzard”), Sam Jones (Ted, Ted 2), James Marsters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Caprica”), and Sara Underwood (“Attack of the Show!”).

When: Friday, September 9th – Sunday, September 11th; times vary | Where: Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. 3rd Street in Downtown Richmond | Cost: Tickets start at $20.00 | Event website

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Bluegrass Fest at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Hardywood presents the 4th Annual Richmond Bluegrass Festival, an all day music celebration featuring a seasonal lineup of Hardywood beer, local food truck favorites, and plenty of live music. In addition to the Bluegrass Festival, Hardywood is also celebrating their RVA IPA Release–available on draft and in 750mL bottles and growler fills to go.

The Bluegrass Festival will feature the sounds of Cook Country BluegrassRiver City BandOnly LonesomeTara Mills MusicJimmy Sterling& The Hot Seats–in that order. Bonbontruck, Arroz RVA, Sammich, Shamasuki, De Rochonnet Delights Chocolatier, NYStyleFood Richmond & Slideways Mobile Bistro will be on site to fill your belly along with the tasty beer.

When: Saturday, September 10th; noon – 10:00 PM | Where: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane in Scott’s Addition | Cost: FREE entry, pay as you go | Event website

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Impressions of Courage in Scott’s Addition

Art on Wheels and the VCU Massey Cancer Center present Impressions of Courage, a new festival in Scott’s Addition, this Saturday. The festival takes place along West Leigh Street. Expect live music, food, beer, and vendors, but the real centerpiece of the festival will be the creation of a world-record setting community art project in support of those diagnosed with cancer.

When: Saturday, September 10th, noon – 5:00 PM | Where: Scott’s Addition along W. Leigh Street | Cost: FREE entry, pay as you go | Event website

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Shockoe on the Half Shell at the 17th Street Farmers Market

Whether you like them raw, steamed, fried, with sauce or just good and plain, Shockoe On-the-Half-Shell is a celebration of all things oyster. Some of Richmond’s most-loved seafood chefs will come together for an array of delicious oyster foods as well as other local dishes. The festival also features cold brews and live, local music.

When: Sunday, September 11th; times vary | Where: 17th Street Farmers Market, 17th and E. Main Street in Shockoe Bottom | Cost: FREE entry, pay as you go | Event website

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Institute for Contemporary Art and VPM launch community media center

Chioke I’Anson, an assistant professor of African American Studies at VCU, will serve as the center’s inaugural director of community media.

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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, are creating a media center inside the ICA for the production of audio content by VCU students, local community members and VPM professionals.

The VPM+ICA Community Media Center will create new opportunities for storytelling, train and educate the next generation of audio producers, and amplify voices often missing from traditional media.

Under the leadership of Chioke I’Anson, Ph.D., inaugural director of community media, the center will launch this fall with community and student podcasting workshops, training sessions and a special performance — all of which are expected to begin virtually due to COVID-19. The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is slated to open in spring 2021.

l’Anson will serve as director of community media at the new VPM+ICA Community Media Center. (Photo by Amaya Zaslow)
l’Anson will serve as director of community media at the new VPM+ICA Community Media Center. (Photo by Amaya Zaslow)

“Over the past several years, we’ve witnessed the rise of podcasting as a new genre of narrative and documentary arts,” said Dominic Willsdon, executive director of the ICA. “With that in mind, the ICA — as an institution responsive to new currents in public culture — sought to partner with VPM and launch an initiative that supports audio storytelling by, for and about our communities, especially those that have suffered historical inequity. We plan to grow this over time to include audio, video and community media-making more broadly. Beginning in 2021, our new community media center will provide the space, tools and support for this.”

Through this innovative partnership, the ICA and VPM also will launch a multiyear educational and media-making program comprising VCU academic seminars, youth media programs and public seminars, workshops and symposia.

“The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is a unique opportunity for public media to play a role in engaging a new generation of diverse content makers,” said Jayme Swain, CEO of the Virginia Foundation for Public Media and president of VPM. “We are honored to partner with the ICA and Dr. I’Anson to provide a creative space for students and the community to learn how to harness the power of media to tell their stories.”

The ICA’s second-floor Murry DePillars Learning Lab will house the media center, complete with two recording booths and workspace for conceptualizing, editing and producing podcasts and other audio programs.

The project reflects the ICA’s continued engagement with VCU students and faculty to develop new ways of thinking about and utilizing its space, a precedent that’s been in place since the ICA’s conception and has actively shaped its building design and programming.

“Everyone in Richmond has a story that only they can tell, or a perspective only they can share,” said I’Anson, an assistant professor of African American Studies in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU and underwriting announcer at NPR. “The VPM+ICA Community Media Center is the lab where anyone with something to say or a desire to create can get the technical skills to share their vision. The media center will be an arts and storytelling focal point, serving the city of Richmond and helping deliver its stories to the rest of the world.”

I’Anson will teach a podcasting seminar each semester for students in the Department of African American Studies and will work with a managing team comprising VCU students to plan and create a series of community events and youth programs.

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2nd Street Festival: A Virtual Celebration!

The 2nd Street Festival commemorates its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community.

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The 2nd Street Festival commemorates its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community. Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood testimonials, fun family activities, and so much more!

VIRTUAL EVENT DETAILS

Date: October 3-4, 2020

Ways to watch: Visit this webpage or the 2nd Street Festival Facebook page to livestream the event on Oct. 3-4

Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 from 6:00-7:15pm, and Sunday, Oct. 4 from 5:00-6:15pm

Featured Festival Artists & more!

This year’s virtual festival is a great opportunity for families to plan gatherings and watch parties at home in a safe, fun and responsible way! Here are a few of our featured artists.

Legacy Band: Saturday, October 3

Don’t miss this 2nd Street Festival performance by one of Richmond’s favorite bands playing top hits with a mix of soul, R&B, funk, gogo and jazz. The band was originally formed by guitarist Jose Pomier and vocalist Kaila Valdez.

Desirée Roots: Sunday, October 4

Known for showcasing her triple-threat talents of singing, acting and dancing, Desiree performs some of her favorite jazz selections for the 2nd Street Festival. A beloved Richmond performer who grew up in a musical family, Desiree is comfortable singing everything from opera to R&B, but her true favorites are classical, gospel and jazz.

Remembrance of Debo Dabney: Sunday, October 4

Listen in as local musicians and friends Plunky Branch, Glennroy Bailey, Desiree Roots and others share their reflections of Herbert A. Dabney, III, a dynamic and animated pianist who passed away earlier this year. Affectionately known as “Debo,” he was a beloved friend of the festival and an all-around fan favorite. His repertoire ranged from jazz, gospel, R&B, swing, blues and children’s classics. Debo performed for 31 of the festival’s 32 years.

Culinary Demos

Viewers should prepare their kitchens for culinary demonstrations by popular Jackson Ward restaurants Croaker’s Spot and Soul Taco, live-streamed directly into homes to capture the same delicious food that we’ve all come to expect from the 2nd Street Festival.

Kid’s Activity Corner

Families will enjoy Candice Smith with NBC12 News reading a book especially for children, a balloon twisting demonstration by festival favorite Eddie Cook with Balloons By Extreme, and a special activity by the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

A Spotlight on Jackson Ward

Gary Flowers of the Historic Jackson Ward Society will highlight community sites in the neighborhood for all to enjoy, and viewers will hear testimonials from longtime residents and business owners of the Jackson Ward neighborhood during the live stream event.

The 2020 Poster

This year’s official 2nd Street Festival poster was commissioned to Richmond native, Unicia Buster. Ms. Buster was a fine arts major in photography at Cornell University and she will design a quilt for the festival and use her graphic design skills to transform it into the official festival poster.

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Arts & Entertainment

43rd Street Festival of the Arts Canceled

Yet, another popular event falls to Covid-19.

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Statement from the organizers.

We are sorry to announce that the 43rd Street Festival for 2020 has been cancelled. There appears to be no way in the near future to comply with RVA size restrictions on gatherings and make the show happen safely for all.
Please support local artisans and galleries who carry their work, including 43rd Street GalleryCrossroads Art Center, and Shockoe Bottom Clay.

This is a major disappointment for the neighborhood. It’s also a major financial hit for CARITAS. Traditionally this festival kicks off their fall fundraising. With the festival canceled they’ll need help. You can donate here and get more information on their work.

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