Arts events for all ages, including live music and theatre performances, screenings of classic films, and a range of visual arts exhibitions, are offered throughout the summer on the Virginia Tech campus.  

The summer offerings are presented by the university’s academic art programs and arts presenters that collectively form Arts@VirginiaTech and community partners in Blacksburg.

Live Music

The annual free Friday Night Out Concerts, which are part of the Virginia Tech-Town of Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival 2016, return to the Henderson Lawn stage at the corner of North Main Street and College Avenue from 6-7:30 p.m. on Fridays throughout the summer. The series features a variety of musical styles, including rhythm and blues, soul, bluegrass, beach and shag, classic rock, and country. The first concert features Domino Band on June 3.

Acclaimed musicians who have performed with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and music ensembles will perform a series of free chamber music concerts, with repertoire ranging from Mendelssohn and Beethoven to Mozart and Brahms. These performances, with themes such as “Summer Nights and Melodies” and “Folk Inspirations and Echoes,” will be held on June 16, 23, and 25, at the Moss Arts Center, and on June 28 and 29 in Squires Recital Salon.

A festival celebrating spatial music and technology, Cube Fest features an international mix of artists and musicians exploring the cutting edge of immersive sound, venue-specific composition, and 3-D music technology. Held in the Moss Arts Center Cube, the event features five performances August 5-7, as well as a free display of spatial sound art installations. Tickets to the performances will be available starting on July 25.  

Theatre and Opera

“Rapunzel: The Musical” will be presented by the Virginia Tech-Town of Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival and performed by the Roanoke Children’s Theatre on June 17-19 in Squires Studio Theatre. This musical fairy tale is an adaptation of the story of the long-haired princess and her climbing suitor who find their happy ending. Admission is free to all performances, but reservations are recommended and available online beginning June 1.

Join Ash Lawn Opera for a performance of Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte” (“School for Lovers”) presented by the Moss Arts Center on June 30. A tale of love and infidelity told through sublime music and on-stage hilarity, this comedic classic will be performed by principal artists from companies such as the Metropolitan Opera and Washington National Opera. Those principal artists will join Ash Lawn's principal cast and chorus, sets, and costumes to stage a production full of mistaken identities, deceptive servants, and jealous lovers. A live chamber orchestra will accompany the performance.

Virginia Tech students will be featured in two free performances of a semi-staged musical production of “Babes in Arms” on August 11 and 12 in Squires Studio Theatre. With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, “Babes in Arms” is set at a summer stock theatre. The plot involves a group of young apprentices and their conviction to mount the original revue they've created while dodging the underhanded attempts of the surly theatre owner to squash their efforts at every turn. The production is a culmination of a three-week summer course offered by Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended and available online beginning July 28.


Three classic movies will be shown at the Lyric Theatre throughout the summer. The films featured will be “Oliver!” on June 4 and 8, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on July 9 and 13, and “The Candidate” on Aug. 13 and 17. Admission to the film screenings is free.

Visual Arts

See the beautiful landscape of Giles County, Virginia, through the eyes of the county’s young artists during the exhibition, “Young Artists: Home,” featured in the Moss Arts Center’s Ruth C. Horton Gallery through July 3. The exhibition features a collection of elementary and middle school student work showcasing the landscapes of their home. In conjunction with the exhibition, a Community Color Day will be held in the Moss Arts Center Grand Lobby from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on June 4. All ages are invited to draw and color landscape scenes during this free event. Materials will be provided.

A selection of original works by award-winning artist P. Buckley Moss will be on display June 2-Aug. 7 in the Moss Arts Center’s Sherwood Payne Quillen ’71 Reception Gallery and Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery. “Sowing Seeds” provides a glimpse of a long and prolific career through  the lens of rural vistas and vignettes. 

Nostalgic photojournalism meets provocative emotional content for “EMOTIVE: Marino Colmano’s 50 Years in Pictures.” The work by Blacksburg resident Colmano will be featured in the Virginia Tech Perspective Gallery, Squires Student Center, from June 3- Aug. 6. Born in Bologna, Italy, Colmano moved to Blacksburg with his family during his teen years. Colmano is the recipient of 30 International Film Festival awards and has been featured in such publications as the New Yorker and Rolling Stone magazine. 

Selections from Blacksburg sketch artist and painter Steven White, known as “Sketchy Steven,” will be on display in the Moss Arts Center’s Francis T. Eck Exhibition Corridor from June 30-Aug. 14. In 2015, White challenged himself to paint one portrait a day using reference images from his sketchbooks and Sktchy, a photo-sharing app. This installation chronicles White’s struggles, revelations, and artistic development throughout the project, titled “100 Portraits.”

Long-time Blacksburg resident Joe Kelley has developed a unique aesthetic sensibility, melding an enduring interest and immersion in the folk culture of Southwest Virginia with his knowledge of and experience with contemporary art and artists. See his work in the Moss Art Center’s Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery from July 14-Aug. 24.

Admission is free to all visual arts exhibitions.

Several of these events are part of the Virginia Tech-Town of Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival, which features additional events held throughout Blacksburg. For details about all of the events, visit the 2016 Summer Arts Festival website.

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