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Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Arts: Art Scene in Norfolk

Located along the shores of the picturesque Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk is a warm, welcoming waterfront community rich with artistic treasures. Norfolk has numerous well regarded galleries, studios and historic performances spaces. The Harrison Opera house, Chrysler Hall, and Wells and Attucks theaters are wonderfully preserved treasures, and a fine selection of appealing chef-owned eateries, both casual and sophisticated, add greatly to the city’s cozy appeal.

Norfolk Arts Information

  • Norfolk Arts—Commission page with comprehensive links for Norfolk cultural organizations and institutions

Art Museums

chryslermuseum

Chrysler Museum of Art

This museum, Norfolk’s cultural jewel, began in 1939 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. It was renamed after Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., the automobile heir and art collector, donated his collection to the city in 1971.

The museum’s collection is divided into American and European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, decorative arts, glass and photography. Highlights of the collection include sculpture by Chauncey Bradley Ives; paintings by Asher B. …more…

Theater

Virginia Musical Theatre

Virginia Musical Theatre

Each year, VMT produces four or five musicals, melding the talents of nationally recognized professionals with those of Virginia-based performers, musicians, designers, and young theater aspirants. The bill of fare includes Broadway classics on the order of South Pacific, Oklahoma!, and Man of La Mancha, as well as more recent and under-appreciated musicals. VMT has commissioned and presented three new shows, …more…

Virginia Stage Company

Virginia Stage Company

Housed at the spectacular Wells Theatre, Virginia Stage’s artistic drive has made it one of the most prominent regional companies in the area. Mixing 21st century artistry with a traditional sense of drama, VSC’s five-show season regularly includes popular titles (Romeo & Juliet, A Christmas Carol) alongside area debuts of recent New York hits (Doubt, Contact) and exciting new works, like the world premiere of the …more…

Classical Music

Virginia Chorale

Virginia Chorale

Founded in 1984 as the Norfolk Pro Musica, the Virginia Chorale has become one of the finest professional choirs in the Commonwealth, performing masterworks from the Renaissance onward, as well as premiering new works and performing in a variety of concert settings. The choir generally performs 4-5 programs with 2-3 performances of each in different venues throughout each season, with various flexible subscription packages …more…

Virginia Symphony

Virginia Symphony Orchestra

One of the premier regional orchestras in the country, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has been a leader in the Virginia arts scene since 1920, when it was formed as the Norfolk Symphony. Financial troubles in the 1970s saw the Norfolk ensemble join with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Beach Pops Symphony to form the present day orchestra. Under the direction of acclaimed conductor …more…

Opera

Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera might be the nation’s hardest-working regional company. It stages four operas annually, with four performances of each one in Norfolk (its headquarters) plus two more in both Fairfax and Richmond—making it the country’s only company to have regular venues in three different cities. And there may be more. Virginia Opera performed Porgy and Bess in Newport News, its first production in the Virginia Peninsula, …more…

Jazz

Hampton Jazz Festival June

Hampton Jazz Festival

(June) The Hampton Jazz Festival is one of the United States’ most storied annual jazz events; it has been happening every year since 1968 and continues to feature the nation’s best artists. The Festival is always held during the last full weekend in June of every year (Friday evening through Sunday) and takes place at the Hampton Coliseum. ...more...

Norfolk Jazz Festival, July

Norfolk Jazz Festival

(July) The Norfolk Jazz Festival is southern Virginia’s longest-running smooth jazz event, presenting two days of live music over one weekend in late July every year. The NJF has presented the top names in smooth jazz in its 29 years, including Ramsey Lewis, the Rippingtons and Spyro Gyra. Many local and regional artists are also featured every year. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Virginia Arts Festival

Virginia Arts Festival

Art Museums

chryslermuseum

Chrysler Museum of Art

This museum, Norfolk’s cultural jewel, began in 1939 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. It was renamed after Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., the automobile heir and art collector, donated his collection to the city in 1971.

The museum’s collection is divided into American and European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, decorative arts, glass and photography. Highlights of the collection include sculpture by Chauncey Bradley Ives; paintings by Asher B. …more…

Theater

Virginia Musical Theatre

Virginia Musical Theatre

Each year, VMT produces four or five musicals, melding the talents of nationally recognized professionals with those of Virginia-based performers, musicians, designers, and young theater aspirants. The bill of fare includes Broadway classics on the order of South Pacific, Oklahoma!, and Man of La Mancha, as well as more recent and under-appreciated musicals. VMT has commissioned and presented three new shows, …more…

Virginia Stage Company

Virginia Stage Company

Housed at the spectacular Wells Theatre, Virginia Stage’s artistic drive has made it one of the most prominent regional companies in the area. Mixing 21st century artistry with a traditional sense of drama, VSC’s five-show season regularly includes popular titles (Romeo & Juliet, A Christmas Carol) alongside area debuts of recent New York hits (Doubt, Contact) and exciting new works, like the world premiere of the …more…

Classical Music

Virginia Chorale

Virginia Chorale

Founded in 1984 as the Norfolk Pro Musica, the Virginia Chorale has become one of the finest professional choirs in the Commonwealth, performing masterworks from the Renaissance onward, as well as premiering new works and performing in a variety of concert settings. The choir generally performs 4-5 programs with 2-3 performances of each in different venues throughout each season, with various flexible subscription packages …more…

Virginia Symphony

Virginia Symphony Orchestra

One of the premier regional orchestras in the country, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has been a leader in the Virginia arts scene since 1920, when it was formed as the Norfolk Symphony. Financial troubles in the 1970s saw the Norfolk ensemble join with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Beach Pops Symphony to form the present day orchestra. Under the direction of acclaimed conductor …more…

Opera

Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera might be the nation’s hardest-working regional company. It stages four operas annually, with four performances of each one in Norfolk (its headquarters) plus two more in both Fairfax and Richmond—making it the country’s only company to have regular venues in three different cities. And there may be more. Virginia Opera performed Porgy and Bess in Newport News, its first production in the Virginia Peninsula, …more…

Jazz

Hampton Jazz Festival June

Hampton Jazz Festival

(June) The Hampton Jazz Festival is one of the United States’ most storied annual jazz events; it has been happening every year since 1968 and continues to feature the nation’s best artists. The Festival is always held during the last full weekend in June of every year (Friday evening through Sunday) and takes place at the Hampton Coliseum. ...more...

Norfolk Jazz Festival, July

Norfolk Jazz Festival

(July) The Norfolk Jazz Festival is southern Virginia’s longest-running smooth jazz event, presenting two days of live music over one weekend in late July every year. The NJF has presented the top names in smooth jazz in its 29 years, including Ramsey Lewis, the Rippingtons and Spyro Gyra. Many local and regional artists are also featured every year. ...more...

Multi-Arts Festivals

Virginia Arts Festival

Virginia Arts Festival