This story ran as part of a VCU Student Media Center summer special publication, The Compass, which serves as a guidebook for new students.
Iman Mekonen, Spectrum Editor
In Richmond, activities and festivals are endless. With the new school year around the corner, local organizations and businesses have events on the calendar that define Richmond’s cultural and artistic appeal. Check out this guide to the activities around Richmond this school year.
If you’re looking for art or festivals
Where: Brown’s Island
When: Sept. 28, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Historically, pride events are sites of political resistance, and VA Pridefest allows members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and celebrate unity and diversity in Virginia. Virginia Pride has existed since the mid-1970s, and the organization has evolved to be more inclusive of all LGBTQ Virginians.
You can find everything from live music and food to booths hosted by local LGBTQ organizations here. There are opportunities to learn about the LGBTQ community and its history, or just have fun.
Admission to Pridefest is free to the public, and you can even bring your dog — just come equipped with plenty of water for you and your pet.
“Great Force” Exhibit
Where: the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU
When: Oct. 5-Jan. 5, 2020
For art lovers, the Institute for Contemporary Art’s newest upcoming exhibition, titled “Great Force,” is set to debut fall 2019. This multimedia collection includes sculptures, paintings, photography, videos and performances from more than 20 artists.
Named after a James Baldwin quote, the exhibit aims to examine race and racial inequality through the artists’ perspectives.
It will also include an illustrated and interactive publication by Virginia natives Silas Munro and Brian Johnson and will be on display until Jan. 5, 2020.
With the ICA’s on-campus convenience, this exhibit fits perfectly as an after-class or weekend day trip. Admission is free.
2nd Street Festival
Where: Jackson Ward neighborhood
When: Oct. 5-Oct. 6
Time: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
This year, the 2nd Street Festival will celebrate 31 years of honoring Jackson Ward’s culture and history.
The festival takes place the first weekend of October, bringing the community together for two days of activities, live music, food, art displays and an antique car show.
The event, which is significant to the African American community, is one of the largest mid-Atlantic street festivals.
The festival is free to the public and spans from Broad Street to Jackson Street.
Richmond Folk Festival
Where: Brown’s Island
When: Oct. 11- Oct. 13
Time: 11:30 a.m-9:30 p.m. daily
The annual Richmond Folk Festival celebrates the city’s unique musical culture.
This three-day festival showcases local musical and cultural performing groups, as well as crafts, food and dance performances.
With more than 220,000 attendees last year, the fun-filled festival expects to bring similar performers, artists and exhibits.
The festival, and its performances and events, is free to the public.
If you want to learn about history
Highlights of Hollywood Cemetery Walking Tour
Where: Hollywood Cemetery
When: Runs until Oct. 31
This historical cemetery and the surrounding art is a must-see attraction in Richmond. This guided walking tour takes visitors through the cemetery highlights, including the resting places of two U.S. presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as that of the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis.
The tour runs until Oct. 31 and reoccurs weekly Monday through Saturday.
The tour is $15 for adults but entrance to the cemetery is free. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and water when attending, as the tour is as long as two miles with inclines.
Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South
Where: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
When: June 8-Nov. 17
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ newest exhibition is one of many new collections of cultural significance.
Cosmologies from the Tree of Life displays folk art rooted in community traditions of the African American South.
The collection, located in the Evans Court gallery, presents the art as an insight into the experiences and cultural legacies of African Americans at the time. It includes sculptures, quilting and paintings.
The VMFA’s permanent collection is vast, including art from around the world that requires more than one trip to explore. Visitors are guaranteed to find something they like. Admission to the exhibition, and to the rest of the museum — with a few exceptions — is free.
Pompeii: The Immortal City
Where: The Science Museum of Virginia
When: June 8-Sept. 3
With its North American debut, Pompeii: The Immortal City explores the historic Roman city and its tragic end. Science Museum of Virginia attendees can learn more about the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The exhibit includes models and 3D reconstructions of the city and more than 100 items from Pompeii. These items provide a look into the artistic lives of the people who died in the eruption.
Admission is $25 for non-members of the museum.