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Arts & Entertainment

What not to miss at the 2016 Richmond Folk Festival

There’s so much great music on so many stages along the riverfront this weekend. Here are some must-see acts at this year’s festival.

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Richmond’s biggest festival returns for its 12th year on the banks of the James River. With more than 30 musical acts appearing on 7 stages, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to check out. Consider this your cheat sheet and you won’t be disappointed.

Friday Night

On Friday, get yourself to the Dominion Dance Pavilion by 7:45pm to see the butt-shaking zydeco of Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie.

Photo by David Joel Gaar

Photo by David Joel Gaar

The Creole Cowboy began sitting in with his father’s zydeco band, the Eunice Playboys, playing the rubboard at age 7, and taught himself accordion by age 13. Now leading the new generation of the band, he mixes traditional Cajun and Creole tunes with other genres and his own compositions to create a blend of zydeco, R&B, Cajun, Country and blues.

Saturday

The great thing about the Folk Fest is that you don’t have to commit to camping out at just one stage, you can bop from stage to stage, hitting a little of this, and a little of that. So I might catch a little Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY, or Gary U.S. Bonds on my way to see Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra. I’m a huge fan of Cuban music, and Mr. Puentes adds a smooth modern vibe to the Buena Vista Social Club sound. Saturday, he’ll be in the Dominion Dance Pavilion at 1:30, at the Altria stage at 3:15 and on Sunday, once again in the Dominion Dance Pavilion at 2:45.

People often don’t understand what the full breadth “folk” can represent. Some erroneously only think of 70s folk artists like Peter, Paul and Mary but in reality folk music, by definition, is “reflective of the cultural life of a community… sharing a common ethnic heritage, language, religion or geographic region.” So no one should be surprised to find beatboxing at this year’s festival. This form of vocal percussion was birthed here in the US as part of hip hop culture and Rahzel, the Godfather of Noyze, with newcomer, Nicole Paris, will amaze you with their abilities, in their performance “The Beat[box] Goes On” You might remember Rahzel from his stint in The Roots, and Nicole became a Youtube sensation in a video she posted of her dad and herself competing, lovingly, in an impressive display of beatboxing. Catch them at 4:15 in the Dominion Dance Pavilion.

And get yourself over to the Union Bank & Trust Virginia Folklife Area to get some culture in you, commonwealth-style. This year, they’re pairing food traditions with music so you’ll be able to taste the bisque of Tangier Island, while listening to the sweet strains of Cora Harvey Armstrong’s Gospel, or try Sephardic stuffed grape leaves while hearing traditional Sephardic folk songs.

Sunday

If Saturday was a marathon, Sunday is more of a leisurely stroll to fill in what I missed. It’s a slower pace as I try to hit more of the food and marketplace vendors, and I may spend a little more time relaxing at the Craft Beer Tent. My “can’t miss” acts on Sunday are going to be the tejano music of Conteño (I’m a sucker for accordion!) and the Unique Sound of the Mountains, (I cannot resist the standup bass), and I’ll make a point of getting to their performances early to check out the proceeding acts as well. Conteño, 3:15 at the Community Foundation Stage, are all second and third generation tejano musicians and their distinctive accordion-driven dance music will get you moving. While Unique Sound of the Mountains, 4:00 at the Union Bank & Trust Virginia Folklife Stage, will take you back to mountains of Virginia with their old-time banjo/bass sound.

uniquesound_promo

With three full days of music, you just can’t go wrong, and by “sampling” as manyof the tents as possible, you’ll discover new favorites in old traditions along the way. This event is rain or shine, so grab your rain boots if you need to, with plentyof covered stages, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the festival has to offer, even if you’re a little damp

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Page is a VCU grad who came back to Richmond and runs her graphic design firm House of Hayes. Exploring the music and food of the city takes up most of her free time although there is always time for a beer at the pool.

Arts & Entertainment

PHOTOS: Circle Center Adult Day Services unveils massive new mural

Richmond-based artist Nico Cathcart designed and painted the 75-foot wide mural.

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Local adult services provider Circle Center Adult Day Services will be unveiling an unprecedented work of art to its supporters on Wednesday, December 7th at 8:30 a.m.

Richmond-based artist Nico Cathcart designed and painted the 75’ wide by 18’ tall mural on Circle Center’s building at 4900 West Marshall Street near Willow Lawn. The mural features four people who attend Circle Center.

“It’s simply breathtaking in its size and in how well Nico captured the personalities of Mike, Elizabeth, Banoo, and Winston,” says Heather Turbyne-Pollard, Circle Center’s CEO. Nico collaborated with local artist and photographer Caroline Shelnut to bring her concept to life.

“Once I learned about Circle Center and witnessed the dignity and respect with which they treat everyone who attends their programs, I was inspired,” says Nico. “I reached out to Caroline because of her recent photography series.”

Caroline Shelnut, Creative Arts Coordinator for Hermitage Richmond, has taken over 30 Renaissance-inspired photographs of the residents with whom she works. “What I love about Renaissance art is that it features people of all ages,” said Caroline. She went on to say, “Whenever I photograph older adults, I want them to see themselves the way that I see them, as wonderful, valuable, and beautiful human beings.”

Circle Center’s unveiling will start at 8:30 a.m. on December 7th, rain or shine, and will include Nico signing the mural. In addition, Heather Turbyne-Pollard will interview Nico and Caroline about what Nico calls the “Age and Grace” mural. The four Circle Center participants who served as models will also be in attendance.

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Arts & Entertainment

New book chronicling Richmond’s music scene by local music journalist now available

Richmond music lover and former music journalist Andrew Cothern, better known in Richmond music circles as “RVA Playlist,” has announced the release of his first book, RVA Playlist: Stories from the Richmond, Virginia Music Scene.

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Richmond music lover and former music journalist Andrew Cothern, better known in Richmond music circles as “RVA Playlist,” has announced the release of his first book, RVA Playlist: Stories from the Richmond, Virginia Music Scene.

Cothern has been a music journalist, blogger, show goer, and champion supporter of the Richmond, Virginia music scene for nearly two decades. RVA Playlist: Stories from the Richmond, Virginia Music Scene shares more than 30 different stories of his life covering Richmond’s vibrant music scene from 2006 to 2016.

Highlights include him calling six bands by the wrong name in an interview, being embarrassingly drunk at a growing pop icon’s live performance, and trying to figure out why live music shows never start on time.

From the MashUp web series to Friday Cheers to the Ghost of Pop festival to the multiple RVA Playlist Anniversary Parties and more, this book is Cothern’s love letter to the RVA music scene.

RVA Playlist: Stories from the Richmond, Virginia Music Scene is available now in paperback and eBook. Click here to order online.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Arts & Entertainment

VMFA acquires extensive photography book collection

“This collection is a transformative donation and has greatly increased our holdings in the subject areas of American and European photography,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced the gift of a significant library of more than 2,000 American and European photography books, donated by Barry and Gretchen Singer.

“This collection is a transformative donation and has greatly increased our holdings in the subject areas of American and European photography,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “These books are already proving invaluable to exhibitions developed by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and this gift further supports the museum’s future photography galleries that are being planned as part of our current expansion project.”

Barry Singer has been one of the country’s leading photography gallerists with a prominent gallery in Petaluma, California, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century photography. “A 2019 conversation with Alex at Paris Photo about the future of my large library of photography books led to my decision to give the collection to VMFA,” said Singer. “I knew that the museum would be able to ensure their care and value their importance, and that the books would be fundamental to VMFA’s other collections and exhibitions.”

Several significant monographs and reference books have been added to the general collection at VMFA’s Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library, and many exceptional photography books and periodicals, including first editions and signed copies, are now part of VMFA’s rare book collection. The Singers’ gift includes the first edition of Robert Frank’s The Americans, published as Les Américains by Robert Delpire in 1958, Josef Sudek Fotografie by Czech film and photography critic Lubomír Linhart, published in 1956, and a first edition of Naked City by legendary photojournalist Weegee, published in 1945.

“This donation is especially relevant because the books relate directly to photographs in VMFA’s collection,” said Lee Ceperich, Director of Library and Special Collections at VMFA. “The library exists to support research about the art collection, tell stories and make connections between the art and the widest audience possible.”

Sarah Kennel, the museum’s Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center, notes that many of these rare photography books will augment VMFA’s exhibitions. “One of the most important ways that photography has circulated in the past century is through the photo book, so these very rare editions are an exciting expansion to our holdings and allow us to better show how photography has shaped modern culture.” Included in the donated collection are two books featuring works by Ansel Adams, Michael and Anne in the Yosemite Valley (1941) and The Four Seasons in Yosemite National Park: A Photographic Story of Yosemite’s Spectacular Scenery (1940) — both of which appeared in VMFA’s traveling exhibition Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature. Additionally, other books from the collection were used to inform the development of the museum’s exhibition Man Ray: The Paris Years and still others will be featured in the upcoming exhibition American, Born Hungary planned to open at VMFA in 2024.

VMFA’s Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library and Special Collections is the most comprehensive art museum research library in the southeastern United States. With more than 150,000 volumes and 200 periodical titles, it provides important resources for the study of art. The library’s archives and rare book holdings include primary source material related to the history and activities of VMFA, the museum’s art collection, the history of art and artists in Virginia.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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