RVA Street Art Festival

Photo by: Sarah Butler
Photo by: Sarah Butler

Jesse Adcock
Contributing Writer

The RVA Street Art Festival featuring two-day mural paintings, live music, local food and an artisan market, all centered around the Southern States silos and the Manchester neighborhood.

Photo by: Sarah Butler
Photo by: Sarah Butler

Started by Councilman Jon Baliles and artist Ed Trask, the RVA Street Festival has given new life to the historic buildings of Richmond twice before, first in 2012 at the power plant on the Canal Walk and the GRTC Bus Barn in 2013. This year’s event lasted returned to Richmond April 22 – 24th

“The Southern States silos are so iconic to Richmond, and there is a lot of energy in Manchester right now,” Baliles said in a 2015 press release. “Our goal is for this festival to build on the enormous success of the previous ones – and to create an amazing and unforgettable experience for the City.”

Proceeds from the festival benefit local arts outreach organizations Art 180 and Art on Wheels, as well as Studio Two Three, a co-working space which offers studio utilities and arts instruction to Richmond residents.

“It’s always such a neat experience to watch an artist’s process. That’s what makes the Street Art Festival such a fun event to attend,” said festival-goer Will Gilbert.

The RVA Street Festival draws artists both local and nationally to create murals on historic buildings over the course of the weekend. This year, the festival worked alongside Richmond community organizers to teach attendees about the Richmond Slave Trail, which borders the silos.

Photo by: Sarah Butler
Photo by: Sarah Butler

“Artists bring attention to their work, businesses are able to make some money and new patrons and the people attending have fun,” Gilbert said.

Originally, the festival was scheduled for September 10 – 13, just before the UCI World Championships. It was postponed for logistical reasons, according to Baliles.

“To make this happen, however, we recognized that we needed more time and resources to bring it all together,” Baliles said in the press release.

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