Congratulations to the Unity Thru Arts Collective selected to create a “When Walls Speak” event in Norfolk, Virginia in late 2023.

The UTA Collective will engage the community and showcase the depth and creativity of Norfolk’s art community through a festival event with scheduled activities in the Park Place Community near 35th Street and Colley Ave., highlighting the start of the mural painting and a collaborative musical performance. We hope to incorporate a vendor market that includes food and local handmade items. The UTA Collective will highlight an orchestration of musicians invited from across the community to include professionals and Norfolk Public school students.

The UTA Team is:

Trevor Lucas: Anomaly Arts Studio – a prolific muralist, Trevor will lead the production of the collaborative community mural. The image shown is the proposed mural for this project.

Sharon Davidson Cook: The Underground Performing Arts Collective – a highly successful theater actor, writer, producer and director, and retired 30-year Norfolk Public School English teacher, and founder of UPAC, whose mission is to provide a safe, inclusive space and give voice to performing artists and designers from underrepresented, diverse populations and abilities to create art that inspires, educates, promotes social change, and builds community. Sharon will lead the coordination of performing, dance and literary artists.

Deidre Love: Teens with a Purpose – founder and director of Teens With A Purpose (TWP), Deidre serves the community and its youth by creating a platform that empowers young people to use their voice, creativity, reflection, and actions to affect personal growth, transform lives, and impact communities. The organization impacts change and builds community through the use of poetry, spoken word, music, and dance. TWP is committed to the development of young leaders. Deidre will lead literary artists and be collaborating with other team members on various aspects of the event.

• Deondre James: Composer – Deondre is a multifaceted artist, entrepreneur, and musician. He will lead the production of an original song, entitled The Medley of Norfolk, and will be supporting the coordination of all musical activities. The song will include references to various Norfolk history events, facts and characteristics.

• Derrion Hawkins: Production/Event Manager – will lead the event production and overall coordination of technical support activities and tasks to create an enjoyable, high quality festival experience for all.

We look forward to announcing more details as the event date becomes closer and to working with this amazing local team of creatives!

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Norfolk Arts seeks to create a rich, diverse, environment that reflects, celebrates and invites all to experience the arts. We seek to give voice to our community and strive to unite, energize, prompt dialogue, and inspire the unique character of Norfolk.

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