Virginia Beach launches pilot season of globally inspired gatherings

Pictured is an Ologundê, an Afro-Brazilian Folkloric celebration, one of the free passport picnics available to residents. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)
Pictured is an Ologundê, an Afro-Brazilian Folkloric celebration, one of the free passport picnics available to residents. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s office of cultural affairs announced a news series of free, low-cost globally inspired gatherings (VB GIGs) taking place throughout the city starting June 28.

Through the development of the city’s arts strategic plan, Arts Plan 2030, residents voiced the need for more diverse, multicultural programming opportunities in the city, officials said.

Officials listened and VB GIGs in its pilot season aims to bring world-class, culturally rooted performing artists to city residents in their neighborhoods and nearby venues.

“Art that’s rooted in cultural expression promotes understanding others from the common ground of a fun community event,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer. “Complementing our large-scale festivals at the oceanfront, VB GIGs takes shows to people in their neighborhoods, filling our entire city with world-class performances and opportunities to gather, learn and be entertained. These are going to be very special events and I’m looking forward to attending.”

VB GIGs pilot season begins June 28 and consists of four inaugural events featuring celebrated touring artists and valued collaborators from city departments to community cultural organizations:

  • Two free Passport Picnics in partnership with Virginia Beach Parks & RecreationPassport Picnics unite dynamic and interactive music and dance with food and friendship. Bring your favorite picnic items, craft your basket around the featured culture, or enjoy global bites from a food truck at these ninety-minute, free outdoor concerts.
  • One free Learning Layover in partnership with Virginia Beach Public Libraries Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library: Learning Layovers blend free performance with interactive dialogue designed to entertain, educate, and promote cultural understanding.
  • One low-cost Destination Date Night in partnership with Zeiders American Dream Theater: Destination Date Nights offer a chance for couples, parents, and friends to enjoy a night out on a budget. These evenings feature small bites inspired by the highlighted country, brief dance instruction, and two early sets of lively music for dancing. The festivities conclude early enough for a night out at Town Center or to head home and tuck young ones in bed.

To see a full list of events for the summer, click here.

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