x
Breaking News
More () »

13News Now Vault: 25 years of the Virginia Arts Festival

From the symphony and ballet to the International Tattoo, if there’s a major cultural event in the region the Virginia Arts Festival is probably behind it.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Virginia Arts Festival has been connecting Hampton Roads with international culture for 25 years.

VAF Director Rob Cross has been there from the very beginning, tasked with creating the Virginia Arts Festival in 1995. The first Festival was two years later, in 1997.

“I think the goal from the very beginning was to bring in some truly world-class artists who otherwise might not come to Hampton Roads,” said Cross.

What started as an 18-day event back then is now a six-week, $8 million effort. From the symphony and ballet to the International Tattoo, if there’s a major cultural event in the region, Virginia Arts Festival is probably behind it.

One example was in 2007 when the region was able to bring in the Royal Shakespeare Company, one of the best theatre companies in the world.

“Unless you were in England, the only place you could see the Royal Shakespeare Company was in Norfolk, Virginia, and Japan... so I felt a sense of accomplishment with that,” said Cross.

From the Virginia Arts Festival:

The Southeast Region's largest performing arts festival will announce a full Spring calendar, live from the Virginia Arts Festival in downtown Norfolk on Wednesday, January 19 at 10:00 am.

The event will also be streamed live on the Festival's Facebook page.

The season lineup will include some of Broadway's biggest stars, a musical hero of the pandemic, a high-kicking ballet classic; a preview of all of your "favorite things" coming up in the 2022 Virginia Arts Festival season!