Vibrant Arts & Music Events Brewing in Downtown Harrisonburg: LOVEworks Art Sculpture Harrisonburg Virginia Virginia is for Lovers
By KATEY WARREN
The first city in Virginia to receive an Arts & Cultural District designation, Harrisonburg has long been known for its bountiful offerings of performing, visual, and fine arts. This year, organizations like Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and the Arts Council of the Valley are taking Harrisonburg’s art and cultural offerings to the next level.
The Arts Council of the Valley is continuing to bring a flourishing arts scene to historic downtown Harrisonburg, most recently through its Summer Art Camp series, Advancing the Arts grants, and the introduction of a new year-round live music series, which answers the community’s request to “bring the music back” to Court Square Theater. This is the first consistent live music lineup in Harrisonburg, bringing in big names like Jesse Winchester, Blue Highway, and John McCutcheon to wow local audiences.
Live music and outdoor artmaking also return this time of year at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market with Second Saturday Acoustic Jams and Art in the Park.
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance has also supported a city-wide growth in the arts by bringing a new film series to downtown Harrisonburg in conjunction with First Fridays in May, September, and October. The series seeks to bring the community and its visitors together at the Turner Pavilion to enjoy locally-focused pre-film entertainment and films.
These two organizations have partnered to shift the popular First Fridays Downtown to a year-round schedule, bringing art exhibits, live music, and special promotions into 33 downtown venues each month.
In addition, Harrisonburg was chosen by the Virginia Tourism Corporation as one of only 11 destinations across the state to feature a LOVEworks public artwork as part of the organization’s larger tourism campaign. This LOVEwork structure, designed and produced by local artists, was unveiled in downtown Harrisonburg on April 13. Each letter represents an important aspect of the Harrisonburg community: ethnic diversity, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and, of course, the arts.
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