Events at the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center


The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center have joined with the Olde Towne Business Association to offer the First Weekend Series. The series, offered annually from February – October, encompasses a First Friday with extended museum hours and "Concert in the Courtyard" series sponsored by PortsEvents and TowneBank and is in conjunction with the Olde Towne Business Association’s First Weekend Series. The concerts are held outdoors, weather permitting, in the garden setting of the historic 1846 Courthouse. In case of rain, the concerts will be moved indoors. 

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

First Friday and Saturday Activities are Free and open to the public.

For more events and activities happening in Portsmouth please visit

friday SEP 5

5:00 - 8:00 pm

Bobby "Black Hat" Walters

FIRST FRIDAY in Olde Towne

Concerts in Courtyard with live music from Bobby "Black Hat" Walters

Originally from Cleveland, OH, Bobby is well versed as a recording artist, vocalist, harmonica player, and song writer. His music has an edgy and fun style. Known for his song Put on Your Red Shoes, his music is often heard on Out of the Box with Paul Shugrue on the local National Public Radio station.

Free and open to the public and includes light refreshments and free admission to museum exhibits.


saturday SEP 6

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Louise Goings


Traditional Cherokee Basketry & Woodcarving

To highlight the traditional art of the Cherokee, husband-and-wife team Butch and Louise Goings will demonstrate white oak basketry, woodcarving, and stone carving from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Goings are lifelong residents of Cherokee, NC and practicing artisans of Cherokee traditions.

Free and open to the public and includes free admission to museum exhibits.


saturday SEP 6

10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Olde Towne Merchants Faire

The Gift Shops of seven Hampton Roads area Museums are bringing their merchandise to Portsmouth for the Olde Towne Merchants Faire. Amazing discounts on fabulous finds will be located in the Courtyard area in front of the Gallery Shop!


friday OCT 3

5:00 - 8:00 pm


FIRST FRIDAY in Olde Towne

More Cowbell band

CONCERT IN THE COURTYARD Featuring Live Music by More Cowbell Rock Band

One of the most anticipated acts of the year, the band More Cowbell, will be back by popular demand with classic rock songs playing out in the courtyard.

OF GHOSTS & GLASS: Ghoulish Hot Glass Art

Local glass artists from the Chrysler Museum's Glass Studio, along with artists from the Tidewater Community College Visual Art Center, will demonstrate how the process of creating visual art can be a frightfully delightful performance of the macabre, creating ghoulish sights, ghouls, and ghosts out of glass. The effect will be stunning as the sun sets and the hot molten glass glows in the dark night.

The First Friday events are organized in part by PortsEvents, and sponsored by The Portsmouth Partnership, PortsEvents, TowneBank, Portsmouth Economic Development Authority and Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority.  

Free and open to the public and includes light refreshments and free admission to museum exhibits.


saturday OCT 4

10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Cherokee Dancing & Regalia


THE FANCY SHAWL: Cherokee Dancing & Regalia

Kelly Adkins and her family will share their Cherokee heritage through dance regalia and offering traditional Cherokee dances, including the Fancy Shawl Dance. Adkins lives with her family in Charles City, VA, and is a member of the Red Crooked Sky Dance Troupe.

This is also the last weekend to view the exhibit Changing Appalachia: Custom to Cutting Edge, which features the traditional crafts and contemporary art from mountain states, including the Cherokee Indian Tribes from North Carolina.

Free and open to the public and includes free admission to museum exhibits.


OCT 10, 11, 17, & 18

7:00 pm

Forty Whacks- The Lizzie Borden Story, Portsmouth, VA


Frightful Performances & Stories to Scare


Friday Night Frights will feature two productions from the Core Theatre Ensemble. Brought back by popular demand from last year, the first show on October 10th features An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. The Core Theatre Ensemble's dramatizations of Poe will focus on classics such as The Raven and The Tell Tale Heart.

On Saturday evenings October 11th & 18th, Virginia writers and authors will read new, original works of fiction that are meant to scare. These stories of suspense will be geared toward an adult audience. Some will be creepy, while others may involve gore and graphic details of horror.

The second show on October 17th features Forty Whacks- The Lizzie Borden Story. This dramatic account tells of the gory details surrounding the late 19th Century murder case of Elizabeth Borden's father and step-mother.

Parents are asked to use discretion when bringing younger audience members. Be sure to come to all with an appetite for fright!

Rest assured the parking will not be scary; it is free after 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and all day Saturdays.

FOR TICKETS CALL (757) 393-8543

Tickets for Friday Night Frights may be purchased in advance for $2 for Portsmouth Museums' members and $3 for nonmembers. General admission on the date of the event will be $5.


OCT 24 & 25

Great Pumpkin Lighting, Portsmouth, VA


One of the City's Largest Displays of Carved & Lit Jack-O-Lanterns

Calling all pumpkin carvers! Bring a carved pumpkin to display on the steps and in the courtyard of the historic 1846 Courthouse.

DROP OFF: Thursday, October 23rd, between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Pumpkins will be lit at dusk on October 24th & 25th for the Olde Towne Ghost Walk and Safe Trick-or-Treat.


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.