The first RVA East End Festival was held in Chimborazo Park in May 2016. (Photo courtesy Richmond Symphony)
The Richmond Symphony announced Wednesday that it will hold its second RVA East End Festival on May 5 and 6 at Chimborazo Park in Church Hill, featuring performances by the symphony and others.
The announcement, which Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney attended, included a call for performers, artists of all mediums and vendors to sign up to participate. David Fisk, executive director of the Richmond Symphony, said the call to artists is a change from last year’s festival.
“We’re not dictating what the event will be,” he says. Last year’s performers included the No BS Brass Band and Desiree Roots, among others.
In addition to music performances, the East End Festival will include a Kids Zone, food trucks, a beer garden and vendor booths. While admission is free, donations toward supporting music education in East End schools will be accepted.
The festival began because of interest in showcasing the symphony's "Big Tent" and bringing music to different parts of the community.
“We also wanted to leave lasting good behind,” Fisk says in regard to the initiative toward music education in public schools.
Last year’s event, titled “The Gift of Music,” was also held in Church Hill’s Chimborazo Park and raised over $100,00 to support music initiatives in Richmond's East End schools.
“It’s been proven time and time again that music education is important for developing a well-rounded education,” Fisk says. The 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guiding federal education policy asserts that well-rounded education, which includes a focus on music, is crucial.
On the local level, “Richmond Symphony works closely with schools to see where the gaps are and what we can do to help fill them,” Fisk says. “Sometimes it’s with what we do, sometimes it’s what we facilitate others to do.”
The announcement of this event comes just after Richmond Symphony announced its 2017-2018 season celebrating 60 years in Richmond. The opening concert will feature pianist Lang Lang on Sept. 14, soon followed by “Broadberry Presents: RVA LIVE!” with Richmond-based acts Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass, Tim Barry, Bio Ritmo and Clair Morgan on Sept. 23.
Bon Secours Richmond Health System, along with the city of Richmond, will be sponsoring the event again. To sign up to be a performer, vendor, volunteer, or simply for more information, visit richmondsymphony.com.