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Paint the town orange and blue with upcoming arts events

As Hoos return to grounds, the University hosts numerous opportunities to explore Charlottesville's blooming arts community

For a taste of arts of all kinds, U.Va. Arts is hosting a Welcome Picnic on Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.
For a taste of arts of all kinds, U.Va. Arts is hosting a Welcome Picnic on Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds.

As University students, new and old, return to Charlottesville, the University Programs Council, U.Va. Arts and the Charlottesville community offer numerous opportunities to reconnect with and explore the local arts scene after a summer away. 

Charlottesville has a thriving and diverse local music scene, with concerts, house shows and live performances happening weekly. Students have the chance to see three Charlottesville area local bands live at the VMAG and WXTJ Radio Barbie Dream House Show. The show is Friday, Aug. 25 at 303 14th ST NW from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.. 

Adding Triplets, Indecisive and Looseleaf — all bands based in Charlottesville — will be performing. Attendees are encouraged to wear their best Barbie attire for some fun photo opportunities. Entrance fees are $10 at the door or $7 in advance, with more information on VMAG and WXTJ Radio’s social media pages. Jacob Hobbs, third-year College student and WXTJ director, said that he thinks the show will exude “Barbie energy” and is the perfect opportunity for new students to hear local bands. 

“WXTJ and VMAG have always given Barbie energy, so this show really came naturally,” Hobbs said. “I’m personally excited that the show will be so close to Grounds so new first-year music lovers can jam out to some of Cville’s top bands.” 

Music isn’t the only art form showcased in the Charlottesville community. As a part of the Wahoo Welcome series, UPC is offering the Wahoo Welcome comedy show “A Night With Preacher Lawson” Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Newcomb Theatre. 

The University boasts a strong comedy and improv community, with shows and comedy expos offered throughout the year, and there is none better than comedian Preacher Lawson to kick off the year’s comedy shows. Julia Hersh, fourth-year College student and UPC comedy director, said that she is confident in the comedian’s ability to entertain. 

“[Preacher Lawson] is a really charismatic entertainer and will have content that will make everybody smile if not crack up,” said Hersh. 

Lawson first appeared on season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” as an improv comedian in 2017 where he finished as a finalist. He has since found success and is currently on tour. Lawson is known for observational comedy with an exaggerated and dramatic style, leading clips of his shows to go viral on occasion.

“A Night With Preacher Lawson” is open to all students and faculty who have registered on Eventbrite — with a link on UPC socials and website — or who can present a valid University ID. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show to follow at 7:30 p.m.

For a taste of arts of all kinds, U.Va. Arts is hosting a Welcome Picnic on Aug. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Betsy and John Casteen Arts Grounds. The event is open to all staff and students and is intended to welcome all new and returning Hoos to U.Va. Arts. The picnic will host live performances from Tyler Burkhardt, D’Earth Jazz Trio, U.Va. Bluegrass Band, AKAdeMiX Dance Crew, the Cavalier Marching Band and WTJU and WXTJ DJs. Free food from Harvest Moon — a sustainably sourced catering company — will be available. 

Not only will there be free swag from local arts groups, organizations and Contracted Independent Organizations, there will also be opportunities to play lawn Jenga, get your own personal haiku from the creative writing table, use the photo booth or get a free t-shirt. With support and participation from so many local arts organizations, the picnic is the perfect opportunity to explore what the University arts community has to offer and get involved. 

For those interested in the greater Charlottesville community, arts and fashion, Connect Cville presents the Connect Cville Fashion and Music Festival Sept. 16 from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. at IX Art Park. 

Connect Cville was organized by fourth-year Commerce students Tim Brown and Copey “Marquis” Rice, who sought to bridge the gap between the University community and the Charlottesville community through art.

“We believe it's crucial for U.Va. students to recognize the importance of economically supporting the greater Charlottesville community,” Brown said. “By engaging with local artists, vendors, and businesses, students enrich their own experiences and contribute to the vitality and sustainability of the local economy.”

The festival will feature local artists with an indoor and outdoor stage. The outdoor stage will feature an open setting where local bands will perform, while indoors will feature local DJs, interactive art displays and avant-garde fashion shows. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite. A shuttle bus will be provided from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the University Chapel. 

Further information for the Wahoo Welcome Comedy show with Preacher Lawson can be found on the University Programs Council website or on UPC socials. Details for the U.Va. Arts Welcome Picnic can be found on the U.Va. Arts website

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