Filtering by: Special Event

Apr
5
7:00 PM19:00

Spring Break Silent Disco Teen Party

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After the success of the silent disco during Holiday Frost, we’re bringing it back for teens to celebrate the end of Spring Break! Enjoy three different channels of music and pizza during this blacklight party for only $5. For ages 13-17. ATTENDEES MUST BRING A VALID SCHOOL ID!

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The 5th Annual Ladies in Red Concert and Award Show
Mar
2
7:00 PM19:00

The 5th Annual Ladies in Red Concert and Award Show

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Myra Smith presents this annual concert and award show, dedicated to celebrating women of Hampton Roads that are making an incredible impact on our community. This year will honor 12 inspiring individuals that have dedicated their time and effort to making the world a better place. This event will feature incredible live musical performances and medleys of songs from your favorite female artists. Grab your tickets early before they sell out!

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10th Anniversary Concert starring Kindred the Family Soul
Oct
13
8:00 PM20:00

10th Anniversary Concert starring Kindred the Family Soul

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We are very happy to welcome a fan-favorite back to the Ella Fitzgerald Theater Stage! Returning to Hampton Roads is Kindred the Family Soul. This married duo out of Philadelphia is an incredible neo-soul pairing, best known for their song: Far Away. 

 Opening for the couple will be our fan-favorites from our recent SKILLS Talent Show: La'Niya Barrett and Kaya Faith O'Brien James. These two young ladies received the most audience votes during our competition and they are super excited to perform. 

Tickets are only $25 and are available now! 


About Kindred the Family Soul

Kindred The Family Soul is simply Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler; artists, songwriters, lovers, family. Both got their start as teenagers. Fatin producing his first released material with Bell Biv Devoe at 17 and Aja recieving her first recording contract from Delicious Vinyl at 14, these two “grew up” in the record business. In 1997 they were introduced via hip hop band, The Roots, production camp. Fatin was a hired gun to write songs for Aja’s solo project at the time. By the fall of 1998 they became husband and wife and while assuming the roles of a new couple and new parents, Fatin took a job selling appliances and Aja became a homemaker caring for their first born, Aquil. After being unexpectedly let go from his job the couple contemplated the future. They'd developed a strong creative chemistry for Aja’s solo project so they decided to try performing as a team and Kindred The Family Soul was born.

Performing weekly at the famed “Black Lily” showcase at a small club called The Five Spot, Kindred developed a reputation for electric live performances featuring a 10 piece band. Hustling parents of a toddler by day and ripping stages by night. This amazing event would, along with Kindred, foster careers from the likes of Jazmine Sullivan, Floetry, Jaguar Wright, Musiq Soulchild and a host of others. A regular patron/performer at the Lily was Jill Scott. She was close to releasing her classic first album and decided to introduce the president of her then label, Hidden Beach, to her friends Aja and Fatin. This introduction would change everything.

In 2003 Kindred The Family Soul released their debut album Surrender to Love. “ Far Away” and “Stars” both became top ten urban adult contemporary hits and anthems for lovers everywhere. The album recieved a Soul Train Award and a BET Award nomination. The group began producing events and showcasing new talent as well. One such event was “The Upper Room” featuring a then unknown, John Legend and Jazmine Sullivan. All after welcoming their 2nd child Diya into the world.


Their second album, “In this Life Together” was released in 2005. The project's lead Single “Where Would I Be (The Question)” was a wonderful follow up hitting top 10 on urban AC radio and boasted crowd favorite, “Woman First”, an anthem addressing the sacrifices of women for their family and relationships. The second album solidifies Kindred The Family Soul as a voice for families and couples. Presenting a needed image of “Black Love” in an industry that rarely highlights it. Just prior to its release they would welcome their 3rd child, Nina.


The 3rd album,The Arrival, was released in 2008. Singles like “House of Love” and “Just the Way You Are” continued the tradition of celebrating love and fortitude. Kindred began producing their own music videos and both songs were known for their touching visual stories. Both were mainstays on VH1 Soul and Centric. The title,“The Arrival” was a nod to the birth of the couples set of twin girls, Lanaa and Ain.


2009 was a year of great change. The first black president was in the midst of his first term. The country was in a financial slump and the group found itself without a label deal. Kindred The Family Soul began documenting their journey through this climate of change in a web series called “Six Is It!”, named jokingly about expecting their sixth and final child, a boy. Deen.


In 2011 they released their first album with Purpose/Shinachie records, “Love Has No
Recession”. An album about triumph over adversity and the enduring power of love. Critically acclaimed and compared in intent to the classic, “What's Going On?”. The album featured single “Magic” and “You Got Love” a surprising collaboration with Snoop Dogg offering a sixteen bar verse about his love for his wife. The group also founded a media company, The Media Shack and produced and directed 5 music videos for the album. They also continued to produce the web series for 3 more seasons.


2013 Kindred digitally released a live album to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album Surrender To Love. It was a rare recording of the group live in London performing every song on the the then, just released album.


The 5th album, simply called “A Couple Friends” was released in 2014. Kindred along with Shinachie records produced a short film directed by hometown friend Jamal Hill, to accompany this album. The film follows the story of couples connected to Kindred The Family Soul and how they move through their challenges with love and friendship as the anchor. The group also wrote their first children's book, “Mama said, “Clean Up!”” based on a freestyle song performed by all their children and featured on the album.


2014 also ushered in a commitment to community. Kindred The Family Soul began producing two annual events in their hometown of Philadelphia. Kindred The Family Games and Kindred The Family Reunion, both free to the public.


In Spring of 2015 they received an opportunity to be a part of a national commercial for Walmart. Highlighting the culture of the family reunion, Kindred The Family Soul and all six of their children were featuring during a summer long campaign. The commercial received over a million hits on YouTube and is still of the most watched ads ever produced by the retail giant.


This fall, Kindred will be releasing their 6th studio album titled Legacy of Love. The lead single has already hit number 1 on soul charts in the UK and top 40 on AC charts here in the States. Considered timely and needed the single titled ,”All my People” paints a vision of equality, peace and unity.


You can find Kindred The Family Soul on social media @kindredthefam and
@kindredthewife @kindredshows
On Facebook at Kindred The Family Soul and
Kindred The Family Games
Visit Kindredthefamilysoul.com for more information.

 

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Open House - Celebrating 10 Years
Oct
13
1:00 PM13:00

Open House - Celebrating 10 Years

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Join us on October 13th and have all of your questions about Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center answered! Our annual free open house begins at 1:00 PM and will be a birthday bash celebrating our very special 10th anniversary season! There will be fun for all ages including face painting, a balloon artist, performances from Dreams in Motion Dance Studio and Mosaic Steel Drum Ensemble, arts and crafts, a dance workshop, and plenty of music and light refreshments. You can also participate in our scavenger hunt to learn more about what Downing-Gross can offer you. If you complete the scavenger hunt, your name will be entered in a raffle to win TWO FREE TICKETS to our 10th Anniversary Concert Starring Kindred the Family Soul, starting at 8:00 PM that same day! RSVP is not required but is appreciated!

For questions, contact downing-gross@nnva.gov or call 757-247-8950.

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The Unifics LIVE! - Southeast Community Celebration 2018
Sep
22
5:00 PM17:00

The Unifics LIVE! - Southeast Community Celebration 2018

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Join us for part three of this three-part concert series, brought to you by the City of Newport News Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department. We are excited to have a performance from The Unifics! This concert is free and open to the public. As the sun sets earlier in the afternoon, this show will begin at 5:00 PM on September 22nd, 2018. For more information, please call 757-247-8950! 

Sponsored by the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Marshall-Ridley Neighborhood, and 3Sixty Management and Consulting.

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Celebrating Virginia Filmmakers
Sep
8
7:00 PM19:00

Celebrating Virginia Filmmakers

This annual film event is back to acknowledge some of Virginia's leading independent filmmakers! Join us on September 8th at 7:00 PM for this free event. It is a great opportunity to network and enjoy the company of writers, actors, producers, directors, and film enthusiasts from Hampton Roads and beyond! 

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SOLD OUT! - RESPECT: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Sep
7
8:00 PM20:00

SOLD OUT! - RESPECT: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin

There are no more tickets left for this production.

On August 16th, 2018, the world said farewell to an incredible icon in music, Aretha Franklin. Join us on September 7th for a night celebrating the life and legacy of the "Queen of Soul". Enjoy live painting by acclaimed artist, Gerome Meminger, and incredible performances from Dreams in Motion Dance Studio, Queen Esther Marrow, and many more!

Though this is a free event, space is limited and tickets will be scanned. Tickets no longer guarantee entry after 8:15 pm on September 7th, 2018. After this time, remaining seats will be made available regardless of whether or not you were able to reserve a ticket.

 

 

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The Fuzz Band LIVE! - Southeast Community Celebration 2018
Aug
25
6:00 PM18:00

The Fuzz Band LIVE! - Southeast Community Celebration 2018

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LOCATED AT KING-LINCOLN PARK! 600 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News!

Join us for the final part of this concert series, brought to you by the City of Newport News Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department. We are excited to have an opening set from BJ Griffin, followed by a performance from The Fuzz Band! This concert is free and open to the public. It begins at 6:00 PM on August 25th, 2018. Blanket and chairs are welcome! No pets allowed. No alcohol allowed. For more information, please visit nnparks.com or call 757-926-1400! 

Sponsored by the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Marshall-Ridley Neighborhood, and 3Sixty Management and Consulting.

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SKILLS Talent Show 2018!
Aug
3
8:00 PM20:00

SKILLS Talent Show 2018!

Help us choose a winner!

We are hosting our first ever talent show to choose an opener for one of our national acts! The winner will be chosen by a combination of judges' tally and audience votes and will receive a $500 Opening Contract!

Tickets are only $5 and are available right now! 

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Let's Get It! K-Pop Dance Workshop featuring The Lost Crew!
Jun
30
2:00 PM14:00

Let's Get It! K-Pop Dance Workshop featuring The Lost Crew!

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K-Pop (Korean pop) is a music craze that has taken the nation by storm. In celebration of this fun and lively cultural gift from overseas, we have happy to bring you a K-Pop dance workshop with Lost Crew! Join this sensational K-Pop dance group as they teach you some of their moves! This event is free but registration is required. Same-day registration is available at the customer service desk. 

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Southeast Community Celebration at King Lincoln Park
Jun
23
6:00 PM18:00

Southeast Community Celebration at King Lincoln Park

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THIS EVENT IS LOCATED AT 600 JEFFERSON AVENUE. 

The Southeast Community Celebration is back with a free concert series at King-Lincoln Park! Celebrate on Saturday, June 23rd at 6:00 PM with the soulful sounds of TOP5 DC! Free Admission · Blankets and Chairs are Welcome · No Pets Permitted · Located at 600 Jefferson Avenue, Newport New VA. www.nnparks.com 757-926-1400

Be on the look out for two more concerts coming to King-Lincoln Park this summer! 

Sponsored by the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Marshall-Ridley Neighborhood, and Newport News Pastors and Churches

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**Black Music Month Concert at King Lincoln Park!
Jun
2
12:00 PM12:00

**Black Music Month Concert at King Lincoln Park!

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The Annual Black Music Month Concert is going to be celebrated at King Lincoln Park this year, in conjunction with King Lincoln Park Day! Join us at 600 Jefferson Avenue on June 2nd for a day of fun, highlighted by our Black Music Month Concert. We're bringing the party to the festival with the incredible, Rare Essence! Bring the whole family out to enjoy some fun Go-Go music and the best part is, it's absolutely free! 

King Lincoln Park Day is brought to you by The City of Newport News (Special Events and Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Departments). For more information on the Festival, please click here!

 

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*ASALH presents "Josiah: The Story that Sparked the Civil War"
May
31
6:00 PM18:00

*ASALH presents "Josiah: The Story that Sparked the Civil War"

*This event is presented by the Association for the Study of African Live and History (ASALH) Hampton Roads Branch, not by Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. For more details and questions, please contact Aubrey Perry-Williams. (Contact information listed below)  

The Hampton Roads Branch of ASALH will be hosting a public free screening of Josiah, a documentary that traces Josiah Henson's harrowing journey from slavery in Maryland and Kentucky to freedom in Canada. 

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To accompany the documentary and to be released simultaneously is the definitive biography of Josiah Henson's life, The Road to Dawn: Josiah Henson and the Story that Sparked the Civil War, by author and documentarian, Jared A. Brock. The book delivers the full narrative of a great man's great life - a life that symbolized the definitive triumph of the human spirit over the brutality of slavery. In this excellent biography, Brock chronicles Henson's 41 years in bondage, his eventual escape to freedom, and his rise as a great preacher and orator who used his freedom to uplift his fellow man for the entirety of his life.

With both the book and the film, Brock has created a comprehensive portrait that restores a hero of the abolitionist movement to his rightful place in history - a hero whose life speaks of a love of humanity and invites us to follow in his steps. 

Watch the trailer and get more information at josiahhenson.com

To schedule an interview with Jared A. Brock (director of Josiah & author of The Road to Dawn), please contact Brooke Parsons at brook.parsons@hbgusa.com or (212) 364-0683

For more information about the local Josiah screening, please contact the event organizer, Audrey Perry-Williams, President of the Hampton Roads Branch ASALH, at 757-303-6170 or via email at lvwitch1@aol.com.

 

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Hidden Gems Dance Series: Emerald
May
18
8:00 PM20:00

Hidden Gems Dance Series: Emerald

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Join us for the fourth installment of the dance series dedicated to celebrating the 100th birthday of Newport News's own, Pearl Bailey. The conceptual focus of this night of dance is the emerald. With its viridescent hue, Kim Kerns was challenged with imagining a performance centered around the precious stone. We are very excited to present her creation, performed by Dienamik Force Dance Team, in honor of our own hidden gem, Pearl. 

The tickets are $10 and can be purchased below. 

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Teens With A Purpose - 2018 Slam Fest
Apr
28
4:00 PM16:00

Teens With A Purpose - 2018 Slam Fest

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Teens With a Purpose is pleased to enter its tenth year of collaboration with Youth Speaks Inc. and Brave New Voices, as seen on HBO, as we present to Southeastern Virginia the 2018 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Competition Season and Festival.

The Festival, now in its 10th year, has become a much anticipated experience, a festival of competitive performance poetry that blends written tradition with lyricism, positive music and stage acumen in a way that profoundly affects and entertains youth and audiences of all kinds. Here young poets fearlessly tell their stories, in their own words to be shared with their generation and the community at-large. They meet students from different cities and with different background who come together to share their mutual love for the art form - spoken word POETRY.

Each year teens come together in this Olympic style competition. The six finalists qualify to represent all of Hampton Roads at Brave New Voices, the world’s largest youth poetry festival and event. BNV brings together youth poets from 50 states and countries like South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and England. The competition take place this year in Houston, July 18th - 22nd.

2018 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Competition Season & Festival Events:

  • Hear This! Regional Youth Poetry Festival with Workshop - Sat. March 31st 3pm to 7pm at I.C Norcom H.S. 
  • Slover Library, Norfolk, - Wed. April 4th 6pm to 8pm Youth Poet Laureate
  •  Zeiders American Dream Theatre, Virginia Beach - Fri. April 13th 6pm to 9pm Middle School Event
  • Chrysler Museum, Norfolk – Sat. April, 21st 12pm to 4pm Qualifying Slam
  • Downing-Gross Cultural Art Center, Newport News - Sat. April 28th, 4pm to 7pm Finals
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Part II - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jennifer Holliday
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Part II - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jennifer Holliday

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For 20 years, the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival has brought a plethora of amazing artists to the city of Newport News. To mark this monumental milestone in honoring the legacy of our "First Lady of Song", we are proud to present two unforgettable concerts with iconic figures in Jazz music. 

On Friday, April 20th, join us at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater for an amazing night with Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Jane Monheit. Drawing inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald herself, you can hear the emotion in Jane's soul-stirring voice. Opening for the evening is singer/songwriter and Richmond-native, Jon Bibbs.

On April 27th, we bring to you the legendary Jennifer Holliday. She catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie "Melody" White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical.  She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded her to move to New York City, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll's Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist.  Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as Lisa Knowles on the Fox TV dramedy, Ally McBeal.  She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning Grammy® Awards for her mesmerizing performances of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going” (1982) and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (1985).  Ms. Holliday has also received rave reviews for her first album in two decades, The Song Is You (2014).

You can see both of these women of jazz this year for the 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival. Now offering a combo pack to see both shows for a discounted price. The Combo Pack is only available when purchased over the phone (757-247-8950) or in-person at the box office. It cannot be purchased online.

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Part I - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jane Monheit featuring Jon Bibbs
Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

Part I - The 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival with Jane Monheit featuring Jon Bibbs

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For 20 years, the Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival has brought a plethora of amazing artists to the city of Newport News. To mark this monumental milestone in honoring the legacy of our "First Lady of Song", we are proud to present two unforgettable concerts with iconic figures in Jazz music. 

On Friday, April 20th, join us at the Ella Fitzgerald Theater for an amazing night with Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Jane Monheit. Drawing inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald herself, you can hear the emotion in Jane's soul-stirring voice. Opening for the evening is singer/songwriter and Richmond-native, Jon Bibbs.

On April 27th, we bring to you the legendary Jennifer Holliday. She catapulted to stardom 35 years ago in the smash Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, with her show-stopping performance as Effie "Melody" White, the iconic role which garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in A Musical.  She was discovered at age 17 while singing in her church choir in Houston, Texas by dancer Jamie Patterson, who persuaded her to move to New York City, where she made her Broadway debut in Vinnette Carroll's Your Arms Too Short To Box With God as a featured soloist.  Beyond Broadway, Ms. Holliday appeared as Lisa Knowles on the Fox TV dramedy, Ally McBeal.  She has also enjoyed a successful recording career, winning Grammy® Awards for her mesmerizing performances of "And I Am Telling You, I'm Not Going” (1982) and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (1985).  Ms. Holliday has also received rave reviews for her first album in two decades, The Song Is You (2014).

You can see both of these women of jazz this year for the 20th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival. Now offering a combo pack to see both shows for a discounted price. The Combo Pack is only available when purchased over the phone (757-247-8950) or in-person at the box office. It cannot be purchased online.

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Hidden Gems : Gallery Reception
Apr
6
6:00 PM18:00

Hidden Gems : Gallery Reception

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“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
— Elliott Erwitt

The young photographers of Point, Aim, & Shoot Studios are proud to present an exhibit dedicated to finding the quietly beautiful parts of Newport News. Join us on April 6th at 6:00 PM for the gallery reception, where you can meet the young photographers, learn more about their work and enjoy the wonder of our city. This event is free and open to the public. 

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Young Lady You Are - Girls Empowerment Conference
Mar
31
12:45 PM12:45

Young Lady You Are - Girls Empowerment Conference

Sponsored by

Lions Bridge Financial Advisors

 

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Young Lady You Are is an event geared towards girls ages 12-17 in which they will explore the cultural and educational opportunities that their community has to offer. The goal of this program is to expose the young ladies of our community to creative and cultural avenues that will enhance their outlook on life, equip them to face opposition in a positive way, and become better women with bright, successful futures.

The event will feature an introductory activity followed by three, hour-long workshops. There is a dance workshop lead by Dreams in Motion Studio Owner and choreographer, Liza Infanzon-Smith. Local designer, Erika Randolph will lead a fashion/vision board workshop and a culinary arts workshop will be led by owner of Deliciously Done, Danielle Williams. The day will culminate in a presentation including a keynote address from motivational speaker, life coach, and children’s book author, Florenza Denise Lee. It will also include a panel discussion, and a performance from local poet Glo-Shines.

YLYA seeks to cultivate and nourish a warm, vibrant, supportive, convivial, and creative atmosphere for these young women to liberate their creativity and imagination at DGCAC, one of Newport News’s own “Hidden Gems”. They will be experience a network of both local and national creative talent that exposes feasible avenues to express themselves in successful ways- ways which would have otherwise remained “hidden” to them.

The registration deadline is March 26th, 2018. To view the women participating in this event, click here!

REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS CLOSED. ALL ATTENDEES HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL CONTAINING THE FULL REGISTRATION FORM ON MONDAY, MARCH 26th. 

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Pearl 100 starring Nina Brewton
Mar
29
4:30 PM16:30

Pearl 100 starring Nina Brewton

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In 1918, a legend was born in Newport News, Virginia. On her 100th birthday, March 29th, we celebrate her legacy. Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center brings you Pearl 100 starring poet, author, and vocalist Nina Brewton. Join us in memorializing this iconic woman of American history in her birthplace. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is recommended and available here.

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