Events at the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center


The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center events and activities include First Weekend activities. First Friday and Saturday Activities are Free and open to the public from March to October.

First Saturday activities typically feature guest artists and live craft demonstrations.

For more events and activities happening in Portsmouth, please visit

First Weekends
Exhibit & Concert Series


Come enjoy and support artists and musical favorites every first weekends of the month. Exhibits and music are free and open to the public. The Concert Series is sponsored by PortsEvents, Towne Bank, Portsmouth Economic Development Authority, The Portsmouth Partnership, and The Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority. Parking is free after 6:00 p.m. For more information please call 757-393-8543.


Friday, March 3: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Opening Reception & Music

Opening Exhibit: Embracing Narrative
Live Music: Matt Thomas

Join us for the opening reception of an exhibition featuring the top glass artists in our region, along with a live performance by acoustical harp guitarist Matt Thomas. Thomas began playing finger-style guitar at age 27 and was soon winning internationals awards, being inducted into the Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame within the last few years. "I know the harp guitar’s future is in good hands when I hear Matt play" –Stephen Bennett.


Saturday, March 4: 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
First Saturday Reflections in Glass Hot
Glasswork Demonstrations & Gallery Talk

Gallery Talk: Diane Wright, Barry Curator of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art

Glass Demo 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. Gallery

Talk For the new exhibition of regional glass artists, PACC will host free admission to a "glass act" of programs, starting with a team of artists who will demonstrate and share with visitors their methods of working in hot glass. In addition to demonstrations there will be a make-n-take glass art activity. Following the morning event, Diane Wright, who helped jury the exhibition, will give a gallery talk starting at 1:30 p.m. On First Saturdays, parking and the event are free and open to the public. For more information call 757-393-8543

Hot Glasswork Blowing by Ed Frances, Glass Artist & Instructor for T.C.C.
Diane Write, Barry Curator of Glass for The Chrysler Museum of Art

Friday, April 7: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concert Series Featuring Jimmy Masters Quartet

Jimmy Masters once again brings his extraordinary talents to the Courtyard, accompanied by some of the finest jazz soloists around.

Friday, May 5: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m..
Concert Series Featuring Lewis McGehee

Lewis McGehee always brings his “A” game to the Courtyard, and what a big game it is. He writes, sings and plays it all. A courtyard favorite.

Friday, June 2: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concert Series Featuring Derek Smith

Local favorites Derek Smith plays it all. Having shared stages with numerous national and international acts, he has established notoriety among fans and coincidental patrons as a vibrant performer.

Friday, July 7: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concert Series Featuring More Cowbell

The First Friday Concert Series closes with the blues and rock of More Cowbell Two guitars, Allman, Stevie Ray, Steely Dan, James Brown….need we say more?

Friday, August 4: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concert Series Featuring The BJ Griffin Duo

Join local favorites The BJ Griffin Duo as they create and play arrangements for two voices, cello, and piano.

Friday, September 1: 5:00 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Concert Series Featuring The BJ Griffin Duo

Join local favorites The BJ Griffin Duo as they create and play arrangements for two voices, cello, and piano.

2017 Atlantic Coast Kite Festival

Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
at the Beach and 17th Street Park, Virginia Beach

Sunday, May 7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
at City Park, 140 City Park Ave., Portsmouth

Gather your family and kites and join us for the 13th annual Atlantic Coast Kite Festival beginning at 17th Street Park in Virginia Beach on Saturday, May 6th and continuing on Sunday, May 7th at City Park, 140 City Park Ave. in Portsmouth. From giant kites that fill the sky, to flyers who will perform kite ballet to music and share their skills in flight, the event holds activities for all skill levels to enjoy. Kite flying champion Archie Stewart returns to teach workshops on kite building. Materials for the workshop are available for a nominal fee. Vendors will also be at each site for those interested in purchasing a kite. Organized flight training sessions will be offered to teach folks how to fly single-line and dual-line kites. Learn about kite safety, how to launch, fly and land your kite. Bolo races, face-painting, and other children’s activities will round out the day. The Atlantic Coast Kite Festival is a collaborative event sponsored by Jackite, Inc., BeachEvents, and Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. For more information, call 393-8543.

Market Music & Art

Saturday, May 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Who We Are Not TrioLive Performance by the Who We Are Not Trio
Glass Lamp-work Demonstrations by Artist Emily Williams
Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

Local Band Who We Are Not will perform live in the courtyard. Who We Are Not is headed by husband-and-wife singer-songwriters Pamela Jo Sward Emily Williams Flameworking Glassand Joe Talley who mix a surprising combination of folk, jazz, and pop into their music style. This band has played on local radio and television such as The Hampton Roads Show for WAVY TV, and NPR’s Out Of The Box hosted by Paul Shugrue. They recently took Veer Magazine’s 2015 Best Emerging Artist Award. Along with music, glass artist Emily Williams, featured in the Embracing Narrative exhibit will demonstrate her lamp-work techniques working in glass. The music and demonstration are free and open to the public.

Farm-to-Table Tastings

Every Third Saturday of the Month
Starting May 20, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Courtyard

Beginning in May, the Farmer’s Market is open each weekend and continues throughout the growing season. This year, in addition to purchasing fresh veggies, fruit, eggs and more, visitors may join us in the courtyard to sample new tastes and explore ways of preparing familiar and unfamiliar veggies and fruits prepared by special guest chefs. This is sure to please and answer questions on what to do with some of the market’s great offerings. May features special guest Nicolas Hagen, chef and owner of HomeGrown Pizza, 455 Court St., Portsmouth.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sunday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Art, Music, & Brunch in Olde Towne Portsmouth

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center & T.C.C. Visual Art Center
at the corners of Court & High Streets Sunday

For the final day of the Glass Art Society’s (GAS) annual conference entitled Reflections from the Edge: Glass Art & Performance at the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (PACC) and TCC’s Visual Art Center collaborate to host a Sunday brunch open house. Both venues will be open offering refreshments. Live music will be played in the courtyard, and moved indoors if weather is inclement. Exhibits will remain open until 5:00 p.m. GAS Artists are invited to attend.

Copyright 2012 City of Portsmouth, VA
website by Arengee

400 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8543
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, housed in the 1846 Courthouse, is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences in the arts through rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes and performances.