NORFOLK, Va. - Local artists are paying tribute to many legends who were raised in the 757 and across Virginia.
"It's bigger than what just meets the eye. We have these people that paved the way. It may be hard, but whether you're doing something small or grand, it takes the first step, and then from there you slowly learn and grow and you can pave the way for generations to come," said Cheria Brickhouse, one of the founders of Homage Hall.
Paving the way is exactly what the young founders and creatives hope they can do with the opening of Homage Hall.
It's a new space inside Military Circle Mall highlighting the talent of local legends like Pharrell, Sweet Pea Whitaker and Tony Brothers.
"This space is a space where people from all over Virginia and tourists will come to learn about who we are - the persistence of a people in art, academia, in sports, in politics, in public service, in education," said Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander.
As folks explored the space, the recent passing of Roger Brown was at the top of mind.
"We are so disappointed and sad that we were not able to honor Roger Brown, but we have made sure that he is here today," said Kimberly Wimbish.
While moving, the founders also wanted the gallery to be educational. Throughout the space there are QR codes that you can scan to learn about each wall, exhibit and person.
The inspiration behind the movement is so the younger generation can know their potential too.
"I really want the youth to know that y'all have a chance to become legendary, just like everyone that we have inside this space," said Stefon Penn. "Just keep your head up, keep pushing forward, keep your dreams big."
Homage will be an environment where people will learn, network, and get a taste of what Black culture has to offer in every industry -- sports, music, theater, culinary, art and more. It will also serve as a melting pot of talent.
Retired NFL player Don Carey stopped by on Saturday. Touched by the message behind Homage Hall, Tony Brothers, who was an NBA referee for decades, has offered to pay the first year of rent for Homage Hall.
Jermesha Williams, Raven Revell, Darryl Penn, Lamontè Mackey, Travis Brickhouse, Cheria Brickhouse, Chenese Brickhouse, Stefon Penn, and Ashley Lowe are the founders.
Homage Hall is located inside of Military Circle Mall at 880 North Military Highway.