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A new arts-themed event is coming to the Williamsburg Arts District.
The Williamsburg Arts District Association and Colonial Folk Art Studio & Gallery are launching “Art in the ‘Burg,” a biweekly event that will feature local artists and their works. The inaugural event is scheduled for Saturday, May 23.
The recurring event will be held at 110 Bacon Ave. in the Arts District — the area along Richmond Road stretching from Monticello Avenue to Wythe Avenue — and will feature up to 24 artists from week to week.
“Our local artists need a place to show their work more frequently and the Arts District needs to be the place,” Colonial Folk Art co-owner and WADA member Davie Burgdorf said in a news release.
Artists will be charged $35 to rent an exhibition space for one weekend’s event, or can share a space with another artist for $50. Burgdorf said spaces would also be reserved for student artists, available for $15 per show.
WADA is currently looking for local businesses to sponsor the event to raise its profile and reduce the fees charged to artists to participate.
“It’s key that we market the event as much as we can to make the community and visitors aware of what our artists and the Arts District have to offer,” Burgdorf said in a news release.
Although Art in the ‘Burg is the newest arts-themed event in Williamsburg, Burgdorf said it was not created to displace or replace any existing events, but rather to complement them.
“There are great events and festivals where artists can show,” he said in a news release. “Unfortunately, these events and festivals are often once a month, once a season or once a year – and they aren’t in the Arts District.”
Burgdorf said the location on Bacon Avenue was strategically chosen for its proximity to free parking at the Williamsburg Shopping Center, restaurants and public transportation.
“[We] want the community and visitors to come into the district, view and buy some great art, enjoy walking around, patronize local businesses, and then get a great meal in one of the Arts District’s great restaurants,” Burgdorf said in a news release. “The culinary arts are here, too.”
Art in the ‘Burg is the second major initiative WADA has undertaken in recent months to invigorate the lagging Arts District. In December 2014, the group went before the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority and presented an idea to erect a temporary stage on the vacant Tioga property next to the Days Inn on Richmond Road to help put on concerts and other live entertainment events.
The EDA declined to fund the original plan, but has continued to explore the possibility of purchasing a portable stage for use at city events.
Economic Development Director Michele DeWitt said the city was pleased with WADA’s efforts to benefit the Arts District.
“Hats off to Davie and Beverly [Burgdorf] and the group for doing it,” DeWitt said. “We stand ready to support them in any way we can.”
Burgdorf said WADA was focusing its efforts on Art in the ‘Burg, but would continue to work toward creating a vibrant Arts District.
“We are starting small, but he have great hopes for growth,” Burgdorf said in a news release. “We hope this will be one of those shots-in-the-arm to help the Arts District grow and thrive.”