Charlottesville Art Gallery to Host 'Revolution' Friday - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Art Gallery to Host 'Revolution' Friday

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Inside the art gallery there will be a guillotine, a photo booth, food, and music. Inside the art gallery there will be a guillotine, a photo booth, food, and music.

A Charlottesville group is staging a revolution. This week they'll march through the streets in the name of art.

Inspired by the French Revolution, the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is hosting an event called Storm the Bridge. Members of the Bridge are hoping to be more proactive about bringing art to the community, and this is the kickoff event for this new direction.

"And really talk about how art can actually have a real big impact in the community and be a part of a bigger conversation that's going on," said Matthew Slaats, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative executive director.

One of the new community-oriented projects The Bridge is working on is the Maplab Program. It's a snapshot of Charlottesville through images created by people who live there.

"We're reaching out to people in the city of Charlottesville to find out how they know the city," Slaats said. "It's a bottom up approach."

They're also engaging people through daily questions online, and projects outside of their offices on the downtown mall and in different neighborhoods. Another new project is the Community Supported Art Program.

"We all know about community supported agriculture but there's other opportunities to use that model," Slaats said.

The Bridge will be selecting some artists to create pieces that local residents can buy a share of. They'll pay about $200 to get a new packet of prints, poetry, or music every two months. "That's going to get people engaged in The Bridge," Slaats said. Slaats said The Bridge also hopes to connect the community to art by bringing people in to talk about certain exhibits along with the artist to give the work context for the audience.

"Showing work that's not just an end point where we show the work on the walls and then it's over with, but how does that work then connect to the rest of the community?" he said.

The Storm the Bridge event takes place Friday evening. A group will march through the streets of Charlottesville, led by a fife and drum. Along the way they'll be cheering and making exclamations for "freedom for art." Once at The Bridge people will symbolically break down a cardboard wall created for the occasion. Inside the art gallery there will be a guillotine, a photo booth, food, and music.

"Kind of saying 'hey' we're going to wave our flag, we're going to tear down a wall and we're going to get art out in the community in a way it's never been before," Slaats said.

This is a fundraising event to raise money for future programming at The Bridge. The event kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. at Champion Brewing. Starting at 7 p.m. people can join members of The Bridge to march through the streets of Charlottesville to their offices near the Belmont Bridge.

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