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Richmond Folk Festival Announce Full Schedule

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The Richmond Folk Festival returns to an in-person event as it celebrates its 17th anniversary October 8-10, 2021, inviting fans to downtown Richmond’s riverfront to celebrate the roots, richness, and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts, storytelling, and food.

The free, three-day, outdoor event is produced by Venture Richmond Events in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the City of Richmond.

Featuring five stages and showcasing music and dance from 30 artists from around the nation and the world, the Richmond Folk Festival today announces the full performance schedule—a captivating mix of cultural traditions, artistic excellence, and individual creativity from some of the nation’s finest traditional artists.

“We are excited to welcome everyone back to Downtown Richmond’s beautiful historic riverfront. We’re doing everything we can to make certain that the Richmond Folk Festival is the same exceptional event you’ve come to know and love,” said Venture Richmond CEO Lisa Sims. “A year and a half into the pandemic, and with a fully approved vaccine available to most of us, we all have tools to help minimize our risks. Those tools include mask wearing for everyone regardless of vaccination status, social distancing wherever possible, and getting your vaccination if you can. Our hope is that everyone will be a Good Neighbor to their fellow attendees by using each of these tools. Our Covid plan is a robust guide to making sure we are all as safe as possible. Our staff, crew, volunteers, and vendors will be masked at the festival — regardless of vaccination status — and all artists will be masked until they are on stage and performing. We hope to see you there!”

Venture Richmond Events continues to closely monitor CDC and Virginia guidelines for COVID-19 protocols for large, in-person outdoor events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and recommendations guide all decisions regarding in-person, outdoor events. (see COVID-19 guidelines)

Full Performance Schedule

Read all about the performers at each stage, and see the full weekend event schedule.
Read all about each artist performing, plus audio and video samples.

Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Folklife Area and Stage

The Virginia Folklife Area and Stage returns this year with another scintillating lineup of some of the finest traditional artists from across the Commonwealth. After a year away, we’re excited to welcome back some friends who have graced our stage through the years. We’ll revel in the virtuosic bluegrass stylings of Danny Knicely, the lightning quick oyster knife wielding of champion shucking sisters Deborah Pratt and Clementine Macon Boyd, and the soul stirring and electrifying harmonies of Richmond’s own Legendary Ingramettes. Our 2021 Virginia Folklife Stage will also introduce audiences to a host of gifted artists gracing our stage for the first time. We’ll go honky-tonking with a giant of the Telecaster, Redd Volkaert, move and be moved by the hip hop and bluesy prowess of J Pope and the HearNow and Justin Golden and the Come Up, and get swept up in the frenzy of Corn Tornado, an infectiously raucous bluegrass band led by one of the greatest songwriters ever to come out of Virginia, David “Bluegrass Buddy” Via, reunited for this once in a lifetime performance.

In addition to the musical offerings on the Folklife Stage, the Virginia Folklife Traditional Crafts Area will present MASK, featuring the remarkable Mongolian masks and ceremonial costumes and dance of Arlington, Virginia, resident Gankhuyag “Ganna” Natsag, marking the first time that the Folklife Traditional Crafts Area features the work of a single artist. Ganna is celebrated for recreating all 108 masks associated with the Mongolian Buddhist tsam, a secret and subtle ritual which had been banned by the Communist government in the 1930s along with other tsam religious displays. Ganna’s
artistry has been exhibited to audiences all over the world, including the Dalai Lama himself. For Ganna’s lifetime of work the Mongolian government recently honored him with the title of Cultural Ambassador to the United States.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Folklife Area and Stage is produced by the Center for Cultural Vibrancy.

Read all about the artists of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Folklife Area.

Update to the CarMax Family Area

Due to the highly interactive nature of the activities planned for the CarMax Family Area, the Richmond Folk Festival will not host a family area this year. The CarMax Family Area, produced by the Children’s Museum, is a robust and engaging, much-loved, part of the Festival. However, due to the lack of an approved Covid 19 vaccine for children under 12, we believe cancelling the Family Area activities is best for the safety of our littlest patrons. The Children’s Museum will be back to host the much-loved CarMax Family Area in 2022.

For all information on the festival, please visit RichmondFolkFestival.org. #RVAFolkFest

To make a donation to the Richmond Folk Festival today, Text to Give! Text FOLK to 44321.

The Richmond Folk Festival is produced by Venture Richmond Events, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA), the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the City of Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored by Altria, Dominion Energy, CoStar Group, CarMax, NewMarket Corp., Richmond Times-Dispatch, WestRock, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation, LIDL, Virginia Lottery, Atlantic Union Bank, NBC12 & CW Richmond, VPM, SummitMedia, Hilton Richmond Downtown, ONE Casino + Resort, Amtrak, Children’s Museum, American Civil War Museum, National Park Service, Virginia Humanities, JAMinc., Plan 9 Music, RMC Events, PD Brooks, SmartBox, Virginia Housing, Winn Transportation, House of Hayes, TNT Auto Rental, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia War Memorial.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Arts & Entertainment

Dreams of Freedom LolliPops concert celebrates music of Black composers

This concert is a great introduction to the dream and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – created especially for young listeners.

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This Saturday, January 15th the Richmond Symphony and Atlantic are presenting the LolliPops concert at the Dominion Energy Center’s Carpenter Theater (600 E. Grace Street).

This concert is a great introduction to the dream and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – created especially for young listeners. More than a century of works by Black composers will be represented, including Florence Price, William Grant Still, Undine Smith Moore, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, and Adolphus Hailstork. Enjoy the music of freedom, of triumph, of inspiration. Also featuring the recent winner of the Sphinx Competition Junior Division, dazzling 12-year-old violinist Amaryn Olmeda. Chia-Hsuan Lin will be the conductor.

Amaryn Olmeda – Photo Credit: Sweet Jean Photography

Additionally, Mia S. Owens a 12th grader from Glen Allen High School will be reading her poem “Glistening Hope” and Riley Reeves a 5th grader from Greenfield Elementary School will be his poem “The King”. The two were the winners for the Richmond Symphony Youth Poetry Contest: “What Does Dr. King’s Legacy Mean to You?”

Pre-show festivities start at 10am, concert starts at 11am. Tickets: $10-$20, https://www.richmondsymphony.com/ticketing/

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VMFA presents Tsherin Sherpa’s first solo museum exhibition

On view from February 19 to October 16, 2022, Spirits is a tightly focused mid-career retrospective of Tsherin Sherpa’s captivating and sublime paintings and sculptures.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) presents Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits, the first solo museum exhibition of the Nepalese-born Tibetan American contemporary artist. On view from February 19 to October 16, 2022, Spirits is a tightly focused mid-career retrospective of Tsherin Sherpa’s captivating and sublime paintings and sculptures.

“Visitors to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts may remember seeing Tsherin Sherpa’s paintings in the museum’s 2019 exhibition Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA Director and CEO. “We are excited to present an exhibition of works by this globally acclaimed artist as the themes he explores — including the quest for individual and collective identity in a rapidly changing world — are universally relatable and compelling.”

Sherpa was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1968, and immigrated to the United States 30 years later. From a young age, he studied Tibetan thangka painting with his father Master Urgen Dorje. He eventually moved away from this form of traditional painting and began creating original work that draws on both Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the imagery of popular culture, exploring the interplay of the sacred and the secular and giving shape to the artist’s own cross-cultural experiences.

Spirits is a captivating exhibition that will intrigue those who have an interest in contemporary global art, traditional Asian art, Tibet and Buddhism,” said exhibition organizer Dr. John Henry Rice, VMFA’s E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art. “Not only are Sherpa’s 36 works in the exhibition visually mesmerizing, but each is layered with meaning. Part autobiography, part social commentary, they contain the artist’s contemplation of struggles faced by Tibetans and other displaced peoples while inviting viewers to examine their own experiences with loss and re-empowerment.”

Presented as a narrative, the exhibition traces Sherpa’s Spirits, a series conceived soon after he shifted away from traditional painting and that has continued to evolve throughout the course of his career. “The story told by these works’ half-human, half-Tibetan-deity subjects is one of cultural loss, protracted struggle, eventual victory, wisdom gained and identity recovered,” said Dr. Michael Taylor, VMFA’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education. “I believe that visitors to the exhibition will be captivated, moved and inspired by these works of art.”

The painting Spirits (Metamorphosis) portrays two Spirits at just that moment of recovering their identity. Surrounded by butterflies symbolizing transformation, they discover under the dripping pigmentation of their bodies an internal power visualized as energetically swirling colors.

With Skippers (Kneedeep) — Sherpa’s first work to fully translate his painting into three dimensions — these empowering polychrome forms inhabit the body of a cheeky bubblegum-blowing Spirit clad only in golden briefs.

The sculptural installation Wish-Fulfilling Tree offers audiences a unique participatory experience. The seven-layer offering mandala, made from copper and ornamented with Spirit faces, was originally created to hold the wishes of survivors of Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake. Now it beckons visitors to write their own wishes on pieces of paper that will be inserted into the piece.

The finale of Spirits is a new work — Sherpa’s largest painting to date — created expressly for the exhibition. In it, Sherpa reflects on the long journey he and his Spirits have traveled.

The artist’s prolific Spirits body of work will be explored through a candid conversation between Sherpa and Dr. Rice on February 17, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Leslie Cheek Theater. For more information about Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits and programs related to the exhibition, visit www.VMFA.museum.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the exhibition Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits are now on sale: $10 for adults and $8 for seniors 65+, youth 7–17 and college students with ID. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, and active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

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Calling Local Artists, Two Public Projects Looking for Proposals

Three community gardens and a fire station are looking for art to spruce up their neighborhood. Both proposals have January deadlines.

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PUBLIC ART FOR COMMUNITY GARDENS
The Richmond Grows Gardens Program and the Public Art Commission are partnering to commission three separate pieces of functional art for use in Community Gardens around the City. Artists throughout the Richmond, Virginia region are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration. Four to six finalists will receive $500 each to develop a more comprehensive proposal for final consideration.
RFQ Deadline: January 21, 2022
Honorarium for Draft Proposal: $500
Number of Commissions: 3
Commission Budget: $30K/each commission inclusive of artist’s fees, materials, insurance, fabrication, installation, travel and all other project-related expenses
The three Community Gardens are: • Charles S. Gilpin at 1420 St Peter Street • Alice Fitz at 1301 Perry Street • Broad Rock at 404 E Broad Rock Road
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RICHMOND FIRE STATION #12
Richmond’s Public Art Commission seeks an artist or artist team to create a permanent, site-integrated public art commission for a new building that will replace Fire Station #12, the city’s oldest operating station originally built for a horse-and-buggy fire crew in the early 20th century. Professional artists from across the United States and its territories are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration. Three to five finalists will each receive an honorarium of $1,500 to submit a formal proposal for the project. Façade
Design and location map are available at https://www.rva.gov/planning…/public-art-commission
Application Deadline: January 24, 2022
Honorarium for Draft Proposal: $1,500
Total Project Budget: $150,000 (inclusive of all artist fees, materials, insurance, fabrication, installation, travel and all other project-related expenses)
The new fire station will be located at 2223 W. Cary Street.

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