The New River Valley will participate in MINDS WIDE OPEN, a statewide initiative to present programs focused on children and the arts, by offering art-inspired, child-friendly events throughout the community. 

In collaboration with this effort, the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, in partnership with the Lyric Council and the Blacksburg Regional Art Association, and Virginia Tech’s Student Centers and Activities, are presenting a day of free creative activities on May 19.

  • Color College Avenue, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Downtown Blacksburg will receive a splash of color during this event, which welcomes children of all ages to create a painting on the surface of College Avenue between Main Street and Draper Road. This art will decorate the street until construction on the College Avenue Promenade begins. Participants are asked to bring their own paintbrush or roller to brighten College Avenue. Latex paint will be provided.
  • Once Upon a Time, 12 to 5 p.m. This art exhibition in the Perspective Gallery, located on the second floor of Squires Student Center, features portraits and handmade “magic beads” created by New River Valley students of all ages (pre-kindergarten through college). Sponsored by Virginia Tech student organization Light Up a Life, the art was created during free area workshops, where children created portraits of their “future selves” with oil pastels on pastel paper and made “magic beads” with recycled magazine pages. Students from the group also worked with children at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market to create art in an informal setting.

Also on May 19, young musicians from Renaissance Music Academy and Mainstream Music will perform on Henderson Lawn, located on the corner of Main Street and College Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Children and the Arts is a statewide collaboration of artists, arts organizations, and other institutions to present thousands of performances, exhibitions, festivals, film screenings, and readings between March and June of 2012. These programs will occur to honor contributions of children, artists, and artwork featuring children.



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