2020 Festival

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April 16-19, 2020

The 5th edition of the RVA Street Art Festival will take on its biggest canvas to date in April, 2020 along the floodwall on Dock Street in Shockoe Bottom. Partnering with the Richmond Va Department of Public Utilities, the RVA Street Art Festival will turn Richmond’s floodwall that has protected the city from flooding for a quarter of a century into a canvas of mixed-media art – including painted murals, projection lighting, landscape art and other mediums to be identified. The festival is proud to be a part of Richmond’s evolution over the last 25 years into the the Capital of Creativity - through art, music, food, and collaborative partnerships.

The 2020 festival will be held in conjunction with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and will offer the community a chance to watch and participate in the live art transformation of the concrete floodwall, featuring acclaimed national and international artists alongside some of the most popular and up and coming local artists.

“This canvas is kind of like the Holy Grail in Richmond. The flood wall serves an important purpose but it is in dire need of some creative and colorful applications and we couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said artist and organizer Ed Trask.

DPU Director Calvin Farr, Jr. stated, “We like the use of Richmond’s floodwall to showcase the talent and creativity of Richmond’s art community. As a significant piece of Richmond infrastructure, using the floodwall allows us to bring together the tangible and the imaginative – a testament to the direction the city is heading.”

In addition to the art, visitors will be able to learn about the complex stormwater management efforts of Richmond’s Public Utilities Department that protect the James River and the City’s water supply. DPU will also focus their Drain Art program in the Spring of 2020 in the area around the Floodwall. During the festival weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to stroll the Capital Trail and Low Line to Shiplock Park and Rockett’s Landing and return to watch art come to life.

“This is an amazing opportunity to transform parts of the flood wall into a magnetic attraction,” said Jon Baliles, one of the festival organizers. “The James River is such a regional treasure and we are excited to partner with Public Utilities because it takes a tremendous effort to protect the city from the river as well as protect the river from the city. There is so much in that effort that goes unseen so this will be an opportunity to see great art come to life while also learning about our collective efforts to protect the river.”

Because the floodwall is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers but maintained by the City, the artists who participate will present their proposed work and ideas for murals to the City’s Public Art Commission beginning in November. To maintain/refresh the murals for future years, the Street Art Festival Board will enter into a maintenance agreement with DPU.

In addition to supporting Richmond Public Schools Arts Programs, the RVA Street Art Festival helps support other local art programs and in 2020, a portion of the proceeds will also support James River Park System.

Organizer Katie Benson adds, “We are thrilled to once again support Richmond Public Schools Arts Programs. We’re all aware of funding challenges the schools face and we want to help make sure the inspiration that the arts generates is a continuing presence throughout Richmond Public Schools.

Since its inception in 2012, the RVA Street Art Festival has supported local youth art education by raising money and awareness for community and public school art organizations and initiatives. Our weekend festivals bring people together from all parts of our city to support and celebrate the importance of creativity. Discovering and showcasing local talent, revitalizing neighborhoods in need of beautification and collaborating with dedicated sponsors, the festival has become an anticipated event and an important resource for the Richmond creative community.

The festival was created in 2012 by Jon Baliles and Ed Trask
This is the 5th Edition of the RVA Street Art Festival (there have been 4 festivals to date: Haxall Canal Hydro Plant (2012), GRTC Bus Depot (2013), Manchester Silos (2016), The Diamond (2017)).
Renowned artists who have attended: Pose, Andrew Schultz, Jeff Soto, HENSE, Esteban DeValle
Over 100 local artists and vendors have participated
Past beneficiaries: Art 180, Art on Wheels, Studio 23, Richmond Public Schools

Specific details, a schedule of the event including times and activities, and opportunities for food trucks and local vendors and volunteers will be released later this year via the RVA Street Art Festival’s Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/RvaStreetArtFestival

Twitter: @rvastreetart
Instagram: @rvastreetart