The Virginia Arts Festival has announced that its artistic director position is supported by an endowment, following a gift from local philanthropists Pat and Doug Perry. The position, known as the Perry Artistic Director, is held by Robert W. Cross, who created the festival in 1997 and has served as executive director and artistic director. It is the organization’s first named position. Originally a two-week festival, it now spans performances of genres including classical music, jazz, music theater, modern dance, and theater in nine cities in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region from April through June. Among those who have performed at the festival are the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Garrison Keillor, soprano Renée Fleming, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Joshua Bell, and the Guarneri String Quartet. “We’ve watched Rob’s success over the years and have enjoyed countless world-class performances through the festival,” said Pat Perry. “Doug and I want to ensure that the cultural vitality of the region will continue by endowing this very important position within the organization.”

Posted December 18, 2014