June 21, 2022

Cultural Affairs Seeks Input on Feasibility of an Annual International Art and Light Festival in Virginia Beach

Share your thoughts at www.SpeakUpVB.com

The City of Virginia Beach is exploring the feasibility of bringing an international art and light festival to the city. Members of the public are asked to provide feedback on whether this project would be of interest to the community and potential visitors. Similar festivals present large-scale, illuminated, and interactive art installations created by local, regional, and international artists that are on display for about 10 days and have free admission.

The City has identified the need to create year-round unique events that diversify our tourism base, promote Virginia Beach as a cultural and creative community, and position the Oceanfront as a cultural destination. The concept would be to hold a multi-day, free festival featuring large-scale art installations, illuminated sculptures, video art, sound, and projection artwork by a diverse cross-section of international and local artists.

The public involvement process of the study begins with a web-based public input survey. The survey will be active from June 21 through July 5, 2022, and will give residents, visitors, and the business community an opportunity to share thoughts on the event, along with potential educational and cultural programming. Please access the survey at publicinput.com/VBLightFestival.

Before beginning the survey, participants are encouraged to review the related survey documents to learn more about the potential event. In addition to the survey, the study team will also hold public meetings in 2022 to review findings, gather further public comments, and make recommendations to the City.

In keeping with the City's first-ever strategic plan for the arts, Arts Plan 2030, this festival is being considered to expand public art programming, strengthen the arts district, and promote Virginia Beach as a cultural and creative community.

The City has engaged the services of Keen Independent Research to provide an analysis of the feasibility of a potential festival by conducting stakeholder and community engagement; identifying potential facilities and sites; assessing event calendar options; providing festival cost analysis; identifying collaborative partnerships; and creating a comprehensive summary deliverable to guide decision-making. The feasibility study began in September 2021 and is targeted for completion in 2022.

Study Contact Information

Study Hotline: 757-392-9212

Study email: virginiabeachfestivalstudy@keenindependent.com


The Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities. The Department assists and directs the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission, coordinates the City's Public Art Program, oversees Virginia Beach History Museums, provides contract management for the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, serves as the liaison with Virginia MOCA and the ViBe Creative District, and is a resource to local arts and humanities organizations.


Keen Independent Research has been tackling big issues with powerful ideas for more than ten years. Beginning its second decade, Keen continues to help organizations better understand and serve their customers and communities. A common thread in all of Keen's work, whether a project size of $10,000 or $2 million, in Massachusetts or Hawaii, or elsewhere, is independent advice that combines creativity, passion, and honesty. Promoting equity and inclusion is embedded in each engagement. Their disparity studies and diversity, equity, and inclusion assignments tackle these issues. Keen's work for arts and cultural organizations and other clients examines whether all groups can equitably participate in the services that they provide. Their tools include economic, financial, and market research, statistical modeling, policy analysis, and business strategy. Keen combines qualitative and quantitative research to find the human stories behind the numbers.

Contact Information

Keep Reading

See All Posts