Aug 27, 2022 - Things to Do

Richmond arts preview: 4 best things to do this fall

The abandoned power plant is getting a refresh. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

It's almost fall in Richmond, which means it's time to check out some of the fantastic, artsty things to do in town.

Here's the low-down on some of the best, can’t-miss fall arts happening in Richmond.

1 . 🎨 Return of the street art

Richmond’s most photographed wall of murals is getting a refresh next month.

What’s happening: The Richmond Street Art Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary by returning to its original location, the former Haxall Power Plant building on the downtown canal walk.

Why it matters: The festival turned an abandoned building that’s missing its roof into a cultural destination, but 10 years in, some of those original murals are looking a little rough.

Details: Nine Richmond artists, including Nils Westergard, Chris Visions and Naomi McCavitt, will put up fresh work.

  • You can watch them paint Sept. 16-18.
Before and after the first festival in 2012. Photos courtesy of Jon Baliles

What they’re saying: “It’s a celebration of how much street art has grown in Richmond,” Jon Baliles, who is organizing the event with artist Ed Trask, tells Axios.

  • “Ed and I joked in 2012 that if we’d proposed this five years earlier, we’d have been run out of town because Richmond wasn’t ready for it. Now it’s part of our DNA,” Baliles said.

2. 🎸 Must-see live music

Pusha T on a stage singing with a towel around his neck
Pusha T will be on Brown's Island in October Photo: Todd Owyoung/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Richmond has been called the “underground music city everyone needs to visit” and one of the “most underrated music cities in America.”

The point is, we do good live music. Here are some of the shows that should be on your calendar.

👩‍❤️‍👨 You’ve seen them at Friday Cheers a bunch, but now they’re big-time, so if you’re ready for some American indie folk, check out The Head and The Heart at the Altria Theater on Sept. 17.

🥁 Ringo Starr — a real, live Beatle — will be at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! at Richmond Raceway on Sept. 20 with his “His All-Starr Band” (the show was rescheduled from June).

🎹 The “hyperpop,” recent high school student glaive hits The Broadberry on Sept. 24. It’s something for the kids, Broadberry owner Lucas Fritz tells Axios.

🎼 Richmond Symphony’s fall season includes plenty of the classics, like celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Oct. 4, but also some funky treats, like modern composer Steve Hackman’s fusion of 19th Century’s Johannes Brahms and Radiohead on Sept. 24. Both play at Dominion Energy Center.

🎤 Grammy-nominated rap artist Pusha T on Brown's Island on Oct. 22 is the show folks are waiting all fall to see.

👹 And let’s close out the season with Richmond’s own GWAR at The National on Oct. 30. Now that’s how you celebrate Halloween weekend in Richmond.

3. 🖼 A day at the museum

A media center with a giant piece of colorful art
The VPM + ICA Community Media Center will be the site for consultations at the Podcast festival. Photo: David Hunter Hale

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is currently in the feedback process of its latest massive expansion, but it’s still open for your daily art needs.

🪕 VMFA’s next big exhibition, “Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art,” opens Oct. 8, and it’s a multimedia, multi-work exhibit that looks at the guitar and its impact on American culture and art since the 19th century.

🍻 If you haven’t checked out The Virginia Museum of History & Culture since it reopened in the spring after its renovation, fall is the perfect time — especially with the opened-this-month “Cheers, Virginia!” exhibition.

  • The 50-artifact exhibition explores the history of booze in Virginia, from the craft-making of its imbibing.
  • There's even a boozy event on Sept. 17 focused on distilling if you want to learn and imbibe.

🎧 The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU kicks off its fall season on Sept. 9 with three new exhibitions, but the ICA event everyone’s talking about is the inaugural RESONATE Podcast Festival on Oct. 14 and 15. The festival will include:

  • A live podcast pitch competition.
  • One-on-one consultations.
  • Newly commissioned audio works available at individual listening stations.

4. 🎭 On Broadway … and other places

People on a state with like 10 big tvs hanging from the ceiling
"Dear Evan Hansen” kicks off Broadway in Richmond's new season. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Broadway in Richmond’s 2022-2023 lineup features lots of well-known shows, but before it kicks off in October, the last season is still winding down.

🧙 Wicked” is back and opens Wednesday, followed by “Dear Evan Hansen” (with eight shows starting Oct. 18) and “Pretty Woman: The Musical” opens (Nov. 22).

  • 🎶 The lineup continues into winter and through next summer, but FYI, “Hamilton” is back in April.

🌸 Virginia Repertory Theatre is doing “Steel Magnolias” as part of its Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern, starting Oct. 14.

🍗 And it’s producing the East Coast Regional Premiere of the Broadway comedy “Chicken & Biscuits” at the November Theatre starting Sept. 30.

🎵 GABRIEL — a musical based on “the biggest planned slave revolution in Virginia history” — will premiere at Firehouse Theatre Sept. 8.

💗 Richmond Triangle Players are doing the 2020 Tony Award-winning “The Inheritance” in two parts now through Sept. 17.

👩🏼‍🎤 And RTP will be right back Oct. 8-22 with the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

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