Wednesday, August 3, 2011

City to Host First Friday Event Promoting Teen Arts

The City of Richmond in conjunction with First Friday’s will host RVA presents The Lounge at Center Stage (The Lounge).  This Teen Arts event will take place outside at Seventh and Broad streets on Aug. 5, 2011, from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. The pilot project - coordinated by Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities; Richmond Police; CenterStage and SMG, with support from the business community and city youth - will showcase youth and their art, from musical acts, spoken word and poetry, to visual and participatory arts. Utilizing programs created by young people involved in the Police Department’s Youth Commission, The Lounge will offer youth 21 and younger a platform for freedom of expression and a place to meet and enjoy the art and entertainment of their peers.
     “It is our role to help teens further realize their potential, and we are excited about this new opportunity and public/private partnership,” said Norman C. Merrifield, Ed. D., director of Richmond Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.
     More than seven acts will be featured this Friday, highlighting young adults offering their own form of artistic expression, and The Lounge will continue to provide teen programs on First Fridays throughout the year with promotional support from Radio One.
     “I can’t think of a better way to expand the reach of First Friday's than The Lounge, and CenterStage is thrilled to be a part of this innovative partnership with the City,” said CenterStage Executive Director Richard M. Parison Jr. “Visitors to CenterStage know how fortunate we are to have such a thriving performing arts community in Richmond, and the talented young people who will be featured at these events truly embody the spirit of this community.”
    “This is an opportunity for Richmond’s teens to demonstrate the positive interactions that we want to showcase within our city,” said Chief Norwood. “The Lounge is not intended to limit our youth’s ability to mingle with other art enthusiasts, but it encourages them to expand their experience downtown and offers an alternative positive means of doing this.”