Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Festival of Arts Kicks Off Sunday, June 10

The department will kick off its 56th Festival of Arts season on Sunday, June 10, at 8 p.m. with Orquesta Tropikiimba and the Salsa Youth Orchestra heating up the evening on the Dogwood Dell stage.
Tropikiimba plays Afro-Latino music that’s guaranteed to get people on their feet and dancing. Salsa, Timba, Bolero, Danzon, Cha Cha, Merengue, each distinctly different style is more exciting than the next. This is one of the few authentic Afro-Caribbean orchestras in the region, and many of the band’s members are from countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and St. Thomas. They will be joined by the Salsa Youth Orchestra organized in 2005.
The festival, Richmond’s longest-running, brings a wide variety of free outdoor family entertainment every summer to Richmond’s Dogwood Dell, the department’s amphitheater located in Byrd Park at 1100 Blanton Ave. It continues throughout the summer with music ranging from rock, to bluegrass, to jazz and more, and includes theatrical performances as well as Richmond’s traditional Fourth of July concert celebration and fireworks display. 
     In addition, an entire lineup of entertainment for young audiences is presented throughout the summer on the adjacent Ha’Penny Stage, and the Third Annual Gospel Music Fest, which draws thousands, will be held July 15.
New to the festival this year is a series of “Curtain Warmers,” or pre-show events at the Carillon adjacent to Dogwood Dell. Scheduled for June 28 and July 12 at 7 p.m. and July 27 at 6:45 p.m., they will feature music and the opportunity to tour the Carillon and learn about its history.
You can see the entire lineup of performances on the department’s website at  under Cultural Arts and call 646-DELL to check for weather cancellations.