Arts neighborhood starts new festival, mixing art and literature to promote literacy during National Literacy Month

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Posted at 7:51 AM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-19 08:06:00-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - September is National Literacy Month and the ViBe Creative District, known to be filled with art of all kinds, will mix art with literature on Sunday. They're hosting their first annual Virginia Beach Literacy Arts Festival.

The festival is to help promote literacy during September for National Literacy Month. ViBe Creative District Executive Director Kate Pittman told News 3 the festival is centered around the spoken word through art and sculptures. There will also be stands from local businesses, bookshops, organizations such as the Virginia Beach Library and other participants, as well as a book swap.

The overall message, Pittman said, is to promote the importance of literacy.

"Literacy is just one other form of creative expression, and so people who are exploring with fine art and painting and drawing might also be really interested in doing poetry or writing books and creative writing exercises. So it all comes together into a really exciting event here in the ViBe District," Pittman said.

Just after 7:45 a.m., the first tents with the Virginia Beach Public Library were placed down on the park grounds.

The library volunteers said September is also Library Card Month, and they'll be signing people up for library cards for those who don't have them.

The event, Pittman said, is made possible after two years of planning for such an event. She also said they expect about 400 visitors to attend.

"This event has been something we've been thinking about for a long time," Pittman said. "Of course, there have been challenges such as COVID-19 restricting a lot of outdoor and gathering events. So we're excited to kind of pilot this project in a small way."

The festival is going to happen at ViBe Park, located on the corner of Cypress Avenue and 18th Street. The event starts at 1 p.m. and will go until 4 p.m.