by Sarah Mezzy–
Plenty of students have many various talents, even if they’re just hidden behind that dorm room door. One thing Virginia Tech students might not know about is the easiest opportunity to display those talents: The Sidewalk Stage. The
The Town of Blacksburg website describes The Sidewalk Stage as “downtown public spaces offer a welcoming backdrop for creative expression, and the cultural contribution and diversity of entertainment is valued.” Generally, these locations are in the pedestrian area on College Avenue in Blacksburg. The website provides all regulations and guidelines that must be followed to perform on the street, but those who abide by the stated rules can demonstrate their skills for the public eye.
“The program is part of an ongoing effort to expand upon both public and private cultural offerings in the town as well as provide a better environment and location for performers,” said Lisa Sedlack, the Communications Specialist for the Town of Blacksburg. Sedlack also commented that this “informal program” is able to accentuate the creative flow of the town in places where there can be heavy foot traffic.
Live music is common in Blacksburg, but opportunities for student expression are somewhat few and far between. The utilization of downtown Blacksburg by the Sidewalk Stage allows creative students who may not be able to showcase their talents otherwise to do just that. The Sidewalk Stage is not a place of income, but donations from patrons and passersby are acceptable. The Farmer’s Market Square and College Avenue are the easiest places to find performers as they are populated with many pedestrians all days of the week.
One of the oldest and most well-known street performers is Dr. Moon. Recognized mostly from his wild hat selection, Dr. Moon is famous for his student interaction. He cares about students and wants to provide a way to bring art and music right to them. Because of The Sidewalk Stage, Dr. Moon is able to share his artistry with others freely.
Those who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity as a performer, just be sure to check that other community events would not be impeded upon. All creative forms of art are encouraged, just be sure to review the guidelines before demonstrating an expression of art with a group or as an individual.