Virginia Arts Festival to make Suffolk debut

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Virginia Arts Festival is making its Suffolk debut this year.

Several national and world-renowned entertainers and artists visiting Hampton Roads to participate in the month-long regional arts festival next month will perform in Suffolk.

The festival, which was started in 1997, is an initiative that works to unite Hampton Roads through music, dance, art and theater.

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&uot;We think it’s terrific the festival is coming to town,&uot; said Dennis Craff, spokesman for the city. &uot;We’re becoming a big city.&uot;

This year’s events are setting the stage to bring more entertainment to Suffolk in future years, once the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts opens, he added.

The festival’s local events include:

nThe Miami String Quartet will perform an Evening Chamber Music concert at 7:30 a.m. May 11 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Tickets are $25.

nThe Koresh Dance Company will present a fusion of ballet, modern and jazz dance during its performance at King’s Fork High School at 7:30 p.m. May 18. Tickets are $25 to $35.

Also, the festival is giving 600 Suffolk middle school students a rare opportunity to spend a half-day with the Imani Winds, a classic chamber group that entertains all ages with music, stories and extensive audience interaction.

Imani Winds is giving a full matinee performance from 9 a.m. to noon May 4 at King’s Fork Middle School. The group will also perform with the school band and have coaching sessions with the older band students.

This event is one of 80 education and outreach programs offered by the festival. It is not open to the public.

Tickets for the Suffolk events are available at the Suffolk Visitor Center.

Tickets for all performances are available through Ticketmaster at 671-8100 or through the Virginia Arts Festival Box Office at 282-2822.