The Great Busk, Thursday April 3rd

Thursday, April 3rd, the The Great Busk: A celebration of street performance will kick off with a music dialogue at Candela Books + Gallery hosted by WRIR DJ Carl Hamm which will run from 7 to 9pm. Beer and Wine sales will support VACLAA’s ImaginArte Education programs in Richmond Public Schools and Nueva Vida: a support network for [email protected] with cancer and their families local renowned international musicians Frederic Blasco, Marlysse Simmons, Rei Alvarez, Giustino Riccio, Barry Bless, Mikemetic, Nate Matthews and Jonathan Vasser will convene at Candela, which is currently hosting a photographic study of Appalachian musical culture by artist Lisa Elmelah, American Folk. The discussion, entitled, ‘Real Music, on the Real’, will explore how the deeply complex roots of folk music have informed their style.

The Virginia Center Latin American Art (VACLAA), a non-profit arts & culture education organization based in Richmond, Virginia is excited to announce its upcoming fundraising cross-cultural awareness event, The Great Busk: A celebration of street performance, which will take place in the RVA Artwalk on Broad Street from April 3rd to April 5th and include an exhibit of memorabilia from the Black History Museum and the Valentine Richmond History Center related to the life and times of dancer, entertainer business man and Richmond native, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson as well as a two day busking competition. Busking is a term which references the spirited hustle of talent and charm that has generated income and notoriety for street musicians, dancers, magicians, acrobats and others throughout time. The Odyssey and the Illiad of Homer might well be two of the earliest examples of how this time honored tradition has influenced world culture.

On Friday, April 4th and Saturday, April 5th from 5 to 10pm, upwards of 30 buskers from all over the area will convene on 401 W. Broad Street – the site of Moore’s Autobody Shop – to play fifteen minute sets on behalf of VACLAA. IFestival-goers can purchase Great Busk Greenbacks to reward performances they appreciate. Additionally, they can use Great Busk Greenbacks to make t-shirts with Studio Two Three, become part of Bill “Bojangles”Robinson and Shirley Temple’s historic moment on the silvers screen in a Happy the Artist drawn cut-out, or contribute to a larger-than-life cardboard puppet of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, himself, that will tower over the event and move through the crowd. La Milpa will be on hand with the most authentic Mexican tacos in town and Happy Empanada will be selling Panamanian delights.

The musician who receives the most Great Busk Greenbacks will win the Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Great Busk Award, a trophy and a half day recording session at Sound of Music Recording Studios. All buskers will be included in an anthology by 32 Bar Records.

At 10pm, after the Busking Competition on Friday, April 4th, Miramar, Lobo Marino, the Richmanian Ramblers, Mikemetic and Herschel Stratego will perform in the Great Busk Review at Black Iris until 2p.m. Again, proceeds from the sale of beer will go to support VACLAA’s educational programs and Nueva Vida.


VACLAA is a growing organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Latin American and Latino art and culture and bringing educational arts to Latinos in underserved communities in the Greater Richmond Area. Please access our website to find out about our educational arts outreach program, Imaginarte, bringing media arts education to Latino students in Richmond Public Schools and our Mobile Bus Gallery Program now partnering with the Bon Secour Care-A-Van to bring the message of the art of healthy living in two languages to families without easy access to health services.   We are truly excited to bring the power and relevance of Latin American and Latino art to the people of Virginia.