Stafford’s third annual Via Colori festival this weekend

Stafford’s third annual Via Colori festival will be a weekend of family-friendly creativity and fun that celebrates artists and brings the community together. The Discover Stafford Museum and Cultural Club and the Rotary Clubs of Stafford and North Stafford host the event.

Via Colori was founded in 1994 in Naples, Florida, as a modern twist on a centuries-old tradition of street painting. Today, Stafford is one of only two communities holding Vias Colori, according to the founder.

The festival features dozens of artists who will create street art with chalk in allotted square spaces. Attendees can walk past each artist’s section periodically throughout the day to mark the progress of their favorite works. Kids of all ages can enjoy Via Bambini, a special team where they can try chalk drawing, and don’t miss out on live music from the Via Musica stage.

This year’s Featured Artist is Lizabeth Castellano-King, a New York native who primarily works in watercolors and digital art. She has participated in all three of Staffords’ Vias Colori and has been helping other artists learn how to work in chalk with a Via Tutori workshop.

The 2023 event also features Local Signature Artist Anna Chavez Naples, an art teacher and events coordinator for Adventure Brewing Co. Anna’s artworks are influenced by her Mexican and Norwegian heritage.

Proceeds from Via Colori go to Stafford County Public Schools’ cultural, educational, student leadership, and student aid projects. In the past, Via Colori funds have been used to commission murals in the schools, give out scholarships, hold a speech, essay and music contests, distribute school supplies, and hand out coats and hygiene supplies for students in need.

The funds are raised through Artist Square sponsorships.

Via Colori sponsors have their names displayed prominently above their Artists’ Square and benefit from the fact that people tend to revisit artists many times to check in on the progress of the work.

This year’s event will occur from Saturday, September 23, through Sunday, September 24, 2023, from 10:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Stafford Regional Airport. In addition to providing plenty of space for artworks, vendors, and entertainment, the airport has accessible parking and will provide restrooms.

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