Blog, Richmond

RVA First Fridays: Exploring Richmond’s Local Arts and Culture

As one of Virginia’s oldest cities, Richmond is overflowing with culture that’s unique to our city and community. From graffiti artists to local hip hop and dance performers, creativity can be found on every street.

Take a stroll down the Richmond Arts District and see for yourself what our city has to offer.

RVA First Fridays is a year-round artwalk that takes place on the first Friday of every month and allows visitors and locals alike to celebrate the Richmond community by exploring the galleries, eateries and businesses throughout the Arts District – many of which are non-profit and give back to the community.

There’s plenty to do and see for you and your family. Take the opportunity to experience what makes Richmond so creative, diverse and exceptional – all while supporting local artists.

Take in Richmond’s Creative Community

Whether you’re an art fanatic or you can’t tell a brush stroke from a pen, there’s something for everyone at RVA First Fridays.

During these artwalks, pedestrians crowd the street, taking part in pop-up events and witnessing live performances from showcases and theaters in the area. You can walk all along and around Broad street, stopping inside shops, viewing gallery exhibits or participating in workshops and open classes that are available to the public.

Stores, galleries, restaurants, museums and studios participating in the artwalk will have their doors open to foot traffic, allowing anyone to get a taste of their environment and support artists and performers.

No matter what type of art you’re interested in, you can join the scene and take part in Richmond’s celebration of our unique, expressive and innovative culture. The festivities go on from 5 to 9 p.m.

For more information about the artwalk and a list of participating venues, you can check out the Richmond Arts District Website or follow the event on its Facebook page.

Galleries & Organizations Involved:

With streets and blocks galore of galleries and restaurants you can find in the Arts District, it’s almost impossible to make a decision on which ones to visit. Every genre of art is represented in RVA First Fridays, from visual arts to performing, music and more. Here are a few places to check out when you’re walking the promenade:

1708 Gallery

This non-profit arts organization supports both emerging and established local artists in expanding their reach and creating new art. As part of First Fridays, they strive to bring the appreciation of new art to the public while giving artists more opportunities to connect with the community.

Coalition Theater

If you’re into comedy shows or improv, the Coalition Theater is right up your alley. This non-profit theater gives the Richmod community a space to learn, practice and perform their own shows. Stop by on your walk to have a laugh and maybe see if you’re fit for center stage.

Gallery 5

History and cultural creativity go hand-in-hand at Gallery 5. This visual and performing arts center doubles as an art venue and a museum. Housed in Virginia’s oldest firehouse and Richmond’s oldest police station, Gallery 5 showcases a wide range of art exhibitions from all genres.

They strive to be diverse and inclusive, using the artwalk to encourage the community to support their local artists and performers.

Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU

Virginia Commonwealth University is a leading school for arts and design, so it’s no surprise that the school has a building of its own in the Arts District. This institute showcases all types of artwork from the region, including exhibitions, performances, films and more. The artwork follows the theme “art of our time,” and addresses themes that our community can connect with.

Workshop RVA

Local artists, trade masters, educators and innovators can all find enjoyment with Workshop RVA, where they can be supported in starting their own artistic organization or career. The workshop hosts pop ups for both children and adults, and can be appreciated by the community during RVA Fridays.

Want to Grab A Bite to Eat?

If you’ve worked up an appetite while exploring the artwalk, Richmond’s Arts District has plenty of restaurants for you to stop by. Check out these local hot-spots for delicious meals or treats to sink your teeth into (from breakfast and burgers to soul food and french cuisine):

Prepare for Parking

Like most of Richmond, parking in the Arts District can get difficult. For First Fridays, there will be free street parking available, though on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you can’t find a spot, or the closest one is miles away, CityParking offers the perfect parking solutions. Our lots on Adams & Grace (Lot 3), Grace & Jefferson (Lot 20) and W. Franklin & Jefferson (Lot 201) are located in Monroe Ward, right by all the action.

Don’t let something as pesky as hard-to-find street parking prevent you from exploring Richmond’s art scene. CityParking will make finding a spot a breeze, so you can spend less time circling the area and more time supporting the community.