The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech celebrates downtown Blacksburg’s annual Steppin’ Out event with a variety of family-friendly activities that include music-theatre-visual-spectacle group Squonk, which brings its massive air-powered show, “Pneumatica” on Aug.  7-8.

The activities and performances will be held on the lawn of the Moss Arts Center, located at 190 Alumni Mall. The center will host half-hour performances of “Pneumatica” on Friday, Aug. 7, at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. The performances are free and open to the public.

“Pneumatica” is an event about air. Inflatable figures and tentacles powered by blowers and vortex fans grow into a 40-foot-high Lady Pneumatica. Featuring a wind turbine on her head, she breathes steam, blossoms with sails, and raises her inflated arms to the sky.  A vertical accordion serves as Lady Pneumatica’s lungs, playing like a piano while rising and falling with her breath. Squonk musicians join in, performing original music with electronic bagpipes and wearing air-activated costumes that inflate and musically activate headtubes with guitar and bass riffs.

Coupled with the massive sights and sounds of “Pneumatica” is a celebration of human curiosity for people of all ages. Art, science, technology, and the environment join forces to create an outdoor performance that is larger than life.

In addition to the “Pneumatica” performances, the center will offer a variety of free family-friendly activities from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8. A community coloring book featuring large-scale canvases of famous painting outlines for children of all ages to color will be on the center’s lawn, as well as a station where children can paint and decorate their own paper fans, pinwheels, and masks.

An outdoor hydration station will be available for water breaks, and the center’s visual arts galleries will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.”

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.

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