NORFOLK, VA - Hailed by The New York Times as, “a cultural center of note, ” Norfolk takes center stage with exceptional museum collections, critically acclaimed resident performing arts companies and spectacular annual cultural events. Norfolk has become the cultural capital of the Commonwealth, bringing this city by the sea recognition on the national and international cultural scene.
Renowned for its dedication to the arts, Norfolk celebrates renowned artists from around the world at its annual Virginia Arts Festival. The annual spring festival is a world-class event credited by The New York Times as being “an unprecedented flowering of the arts.” The festival is an extraordinary display of cultural events and includes top-rated dance, musical and theatrical performances and exhibitions in venues throughout the historic Waterfront.
Norfolk’s own performing arts companies are some of the most respected in the country with esteemed performances taking the stage every day. The Virginia Opera, the most acclaimed opera company in the Commonwealth, was named “one of the nation’s very best regional companies” by NBC Nightly News, and earned a reputation in the international opera communities. Making its home in the magnificent 1, 600 seat Harrison Opera House, one of the premier traditional facilities in Norfolk, The Virginia Opera stages five productions annually for sold-out audiences.
Recognized as one of the nation's leading regional symphony orchestras, The Virginia Symphony gives more than 130 performances a year including classical, pops, outdoor and family series events.
The national historic landmark, Wells Theater, was built in 1913 and is Norfolk’s most splendid historical theater. Completely refurbished in its original style, the theater is home to The Virginia Stage Company, Southeastern Virginia’s premier professional theater with performances throughout the year.
Another historic theater, The Little Theater of Norfolk, was founded in 1926 and is one of the oldest continually operating community theaters in the United States. The Little Theater produces five top-rated shows each season (May-September) including dramas, comedies, mysteries and musicals.
The Virginia Ballet Theatre is the only professional dance company in the Hampton Roads area and one of only two professional companies in Virginia. Founded in 1961 in Norfolk, The Virginia Ballet Theatre has a long tradition of regional excellence and offers classical performances year-round. The Virginia Chorale is the region’s most popular choral group with anticipated seasonal and holiday performances.
Norfolk offers four majestic concert halls that offer acclaimed concerts, events, and shows year-round.
Quotations from the Freedom Crowd
'I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism.'
- Martin Luther King Jr.
'However sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism must start with a belief in some group's greater right to power, whether that right is justified by sex, race, class, religion, or all four. However far it may expand, the progression inevitably rests on unequal power and airtight roles within the family.'
- Gloria Steinem
'...the world's 358 billionaires ... have more assets than the combined incomes of countries representing nearly half -- 45 per cent -- of the planet's population.'
David Usborne in New York reporting on the UN's 1996 Human Development Report
'Hear me people: We now have to deal with another race---small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is …