Free Art and Culture

Lemon Tree Gallery & Studio
Photo Credit: William Dyas
Lemon Tree Gallery & Studio in Cape Charles, VA offers free live music on Friday nights from 6-8 PM with complimentary refreshments and a cash bar. There are over 60 artists in the collective. Always free to explore and enjoy the gallery!

Northampton County citizens benefit from a rich arts and culture community. The Eastern Shore's pristine natural surroundings inspires a community of creative artists, artisans, poets, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and writers. ​There are year round arts events at various locations in the County. Local and regional performing artists appear regularly at various venues.

Lemon Tree Gallery & Studio and Historic Palace Theatre in Cape Charles managed by the 501c3 non-profit, GEAR (Global Exchange Arts Roundtable), provide art, dance and theater instruction for children and adults. GEAR is also behind Experimental Film Virginia.

Experimental Film VA Film Premiere
Photo Credit: William Dyas

"Launched in 2013-2014 by a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, Experimental Film Virginia is a celebration and an exploration, an art-soaked film-making artist residency with weekend festival events. The only film festival/artist residency where the films are made insitu and then immediately screened.

EFV is an innovative, entrepreneurial festival/residency model created by artists for artists and audiences to ignite relationships, support economic growth, education and build a narrative for cultural tourism around the arts in a small town setting. We see this as an essential part of the ecosystem of artistic exchange and sustainability. We build global connections in the arts for Coastal Virginia." -from the Experimental Film Virginia website

The Arts Council of the Eastern Shore (ACES) presents an annual program of regional and national performance art at various sites on the Shore.

The Eastern Shore Art League presents an annual member’s show, a student show and offers post-secondary arts scholarships.

The Artisans Guild-Eastern Shore of Virginia ESVA Artisans Studio Touroffers mentoring and professional development to its working members. The Guild holds an annual three-day Open Studio Tour every year over Thanksgiving Weekend.  
There is not charge for the tour.

For a year-round self-guided tour of participating artists and artisans on the Eastern Shore visit the Artisans Trail Network website.
Artisans Center of Virginia logoThe Artisans Center of Virginia which is the umbrella organization for the network "fosters artisan-focused economic growth, develops vibrant communities, and facilitates connective visitor experiences...Artisan entrepreneurship exists in abundance across the state and as a hard-working, talent-based industry made up of creative and agricultural businesses it is of growing significance on Virginia's economic landscape." 


Cape Charles Central Park gazebo stage

Harbor for the Arts provides free live music in Cape Charles Central Park every Saturday during the summer at 7 PM. There is a "large grass area in front of the Gazebo and shady tree areas on the sides. Bring a chair or blanket. Beverages will be available." 

Musicians are plentiful on the Shore. Many venues up and down the County offer free live music year round. Want to get in on the scene? Open Mic nights offer opportunities to show off your talent. Please check the Live Music calendar to find an event near you! 

Festivals provide entertainment for residents and visitors and enhance their knowledge and enjoyment with displays and performances. For twenty years, the Juneteenth Festival has been an arena to educate and promote cultural enlightenment and diversity to the residents of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Juneteenth is the oldest known festival to celebrate the end of slavery and is celebrated in June.

July 4th is always a big draw for parades, music, contests, food, fun and fireworks. If you are on the Chesapeake Bay on the 4th of July, you can see fireworks across the Bay and up and down the Shore! 

In September, the Town of Exmore hosts Free Shakespeare in the Park in conjunction with Brown Box Theater as part of their Artisans Festival weekend.  Please check our Calendar for events happening in Northampton County. 

Brown Box Theater presents Hamlet









Brown Box Theater performs Hamlet in the park.


Poets of the Eastern ShoreLocal fiction and non-fiction writers, many nationally known, hold readings and book signings at county libraries and cultural events.  

Listen to the:  Writer's Block Eastern Shore Edition from April 21stat the Barrier Islands Center featuring musical guest Thelma Peterson and talented local writers, poets, and storytellers performing their work in front of a live audience.

Local poets Terry Flynn and Stephen Scott Whitaker.
WHRO held a reading of local poets and storytellers at the Barrier Island Center which was recorded for the radio show "Writer's Block."  

Please support the arts!
More free Arts and Cultural events can be viewed on the site menu. 
Enjoy!!

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