February 27, 2023

Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department Announces Relaunch of Global Music Series VBGIGS

The Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department is pleased to announce the return of VBGIGS (Virginia Beach Globally Inspired Gatherings), a series of free and low-cost public performances taking place throughout the city in public spaces and performance venues. In alignment with the City's arts strategic plan, Arts Plan 2030, VBGIGS aims to bring world-class, culturally rooted performing artists to Virginia Beach residents in their neighborhoods and nearby venues.

VBGIGS events are family-friendly, and kids in attendance will receive a VBGIGS passport and collectible destination stickers, in order to track which world regions they've "visited" at different VBGIGS performances. The series encourages attendees to learn about their neighbors near and far, in order to spark cultural curiosity through the performing arts.

See below for the full spring 2023 VBGIGS schedule. All spring VBGIGS performances are free to attend.

Saturday, March 11 from 1-2 p.m.
The Rhodes Academy of Irish Dance

featuring Sean Heely and Colin McGlynn
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Miller Studio Theatre, 201 Market St.
Ireland is an island full of poetry, myth, music and motion. Stories of mystical creatures and folklore come to life through songs and dances of each Irish region. Head to the Sandler Center for a traditional Irish stepdance performance, and meet and greet, with the fleet-footed dancers from The Rhodes Academy of Irish Dance, along with their national championship fiddlers, Sean Heely and Colin McGlynn! Stay after the performance for a meet and greet and to test your feet with a few basic Irish stepdance moves.

Saturday, May 13 from 5-7 p.m.
The Sound and Soul of Puerto Rico

featuring Kadencia
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Outdoor Plaza, 201 Market St.
Bomba y Plena captures the heart of western Puerto Rico, telling the stories of its people through lyrics that weave an image of culture, society and daily life. Salsa, or "musica caliente," may have origins in Cuba, but its popularity in the U.S. can be directly attributed to Puerto Ricans in New York, starting in the 1950s. Learn about the origins of this infectious music, move to the rhythm of the island and dance the night away in Town Center. Music provided by the chart-topping, and internationally renowned 11-piece band, Kadencia.

Saturday, May 20 from 2-3 p.m.
Song and Dance of Ghana

featuring Tidewater African Cultural Alliance
Williams Farm Recreation Center, 5252 Learning Circle
Akwaaba! Welcome to Ghana! Ghanaian-American singer, dancer and educator Rita Addico Cohen will join dancers and musicians from the Tidewater African Cultural Alliance for this truly interactive family performance of dance and music straight from Ghana. Dance is a central part of much of Ghanaian life, and is used in different ceremonies to connect communities in a country home to more than 50 languages. Jump up and learn "asa foforo," a new dance, which will have you singing in Twi and dancing to soul-shaking beats.

Saturday, June 17 from 9 a.m. to Noon
Virginia African American Cultural Center
in the ViBe Creative District

ViBe Creative District Outdoor Stage, 1810 Cypress Ave.
Kick off Juneteenth weekend with an array of performers from the Virginia African American Cultural Center (VAACC)! Offering performing arts, artifacts, and information, VAACC, with new Executive Director Tamar Smithers, will educate and connect audiences with the importance of Juneteenth, which honors the long-awaited news of emancipation in the U.S. in 1865. This celebration will bring surprise performers together with crafters and the biggest farm-to-table market at the oceanfront, located in the heart of the ViBe Creative District.

Additional 2023 VBGIGS performances will be announced as scheduled. For more information about VBGIGS events, visit www.virginiabeach.gov/culture or email artsinfo@vbgov.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 the 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 serves as a resource to local arts and humanities organizations.

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