C-VILLE Writers



“The Dell” public basketball courts will be demolished and replaced with the Contemplative Commons by fall 2023.
Photo: Skyclad Aerial

Fond (and not so) farewells, statue drama, and more

Priorities Weeks after self-appointed Confederate monument defenders began monitoring downtown parks, city police arrested two Charlottesville residents for allegedly vandalizing the Stonewall Jackson statue in Court Square in the wee hours of the morning of December 19. Nic McCarthy-Rivera and former C-VILLE writer Jesse Tobias Beard have been charged with misdemeanor trespassing and felony vandalism. […]

Bruce Holsinger's The Gifted school is just one of many titles Charlottesville-area authors released this year.

Write here: A year in books from Charlottesville authors

It was a prolific year for local authors. Popular favorites like Rita Mae Brown, John Grisham, and Ann Beattie added new titles to their extensive catalogs. Several UVA professors published in-depth explorations of their expertise—from tracing the history of Jefferson’s university, to defining the basis of a scientific claim, to analyzing politics’ impact on the […]

In March, the long-anticipated $2 million skate park officially opened in McIntire Park.
Photo: Tristan Williams

Photo finish

From a new skate park to a vineyard pup, here are a few images that capture the year that was. (Click photos to enlarge).   In May, we wondered if the city’s ubiquitous electric scooters were a handy transit alternative or a public nuisance. Photo: Eze Amos   In June, Will Brockenbrough explained how his […]

UVA’s historic basketball win was, not suprisingly, our most picked-up print issue of the year. Kyle Guy jumped for joy when the team won its first national championship by defeating Texas Tech 85-77, in an overtime thriller.
Photo: Jerry Holt

Our back pages: What you read this year

We looked back on the year and (with the help of Google Analytics) our most-read stories online. The takeaway? Our readers care about marijuana, Confederate statues, and food—with a side of basketball victory. Here’s a rundown of our most-popular stories from 2019: 1. Pipe dreams: Virginia moves (slowly) towards marijuana reform This piece, by longtime […]

Ring in 2020 with David Wax Museum at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: David Wax Museum

Into the new year: Husband and wife musicians David Wax and Suz Slezak have been playing their own unique form of Mexo-Americana folk for nearly 12 years. Performing as David Wax Museum, the duo celebrates its seventh release, Line of Light, which was produced by Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket and features fellow C’ville […]

Dark synthpop act Ships in the Night (pictured) is one of the  scheduled performer's for the Seer’s Solstice Ball: A Tarot Release Party and Dark Rock Extravaganza at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Seer’s Solstice Ball

Dark night returns: Find your way in the new year by getting the scoop at the Seer’s Solstice Ball: A Tarot Release Party and Dark Rock Extravaganza. Artist and author Laura Lee Gulledge teams up with mindfulness educator Juliet Trail to celebrate the release of The Unfinished Tarot Deck. Body painting and glittering is available […]

Different is what Out of Body Burlesque knows best. Catch the troupe's holiday show at IX this weekend. Image: Jeff East

ARTS Pick: Nice & Naughty Holiday Burlesque

Grinchy grins: Out of Body Burlesque hypes its audience with this fair warning: Prepare yourselves for something different because different is what we know best. This time around the collective brings extra heat to the holiday with its Nice & Naughty Holiday Burlesque show. Bebe Demure, alt-model Tabbie Athame (above), Honey Yvonne, Leia Lovecraft, and […]

Cirque Dreams 
Holidaze features performances by acrobats accompanied by Broadway singers performing original music and fresh takes on the classics. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Flippin’ good: Twist, tumble, and soar with seasonal joy as Cirque Dreams Holidaze acrobats take flight accompanied by Broadway singers performing original music and fresh takes on favorites such as “Deck the Halls,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” Dozens of production numbers and 300 spectacular costumes construct a dazzling live circus experience described by […]

Charlie and the 45s play classic country favorites and back singers for live karaoke at The Front Porch this Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Honky Tonk Holiday Party

Get in the spirits: Bring your list of country Christmas favorites for a chance to take over the mic at Charlie & the 45’s Honky Tonk Holiday Party. (The band asks that you know the songs in advance and be able to convey the chord changes.) Sign up for a two-step dance lesson early in […]

Christmas at the Paramount is a beloved event complete with an audience sing-along that has become an annual highlight. Rob Garland Photography

ARTS Pick: The Oratorio Society of Virginia

Farther Christmas: The English countryside serves as inspiration when The Oratorio Society of Virginia returns for its annual holiday concert. Christmas at the Paramount’s (below right) featured works, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Gerald Finzi’s In Terra Pax, complement each other as the two British composers were colleagues and shared an affection […]

The annual Let There Be Light installation at PVCC this Friday honors the approaching solstice with a series of illuminated works by local artists (shown here is Ashtin Bowman's "Swarm of Constellations").

ARTS Pick: Let There Be Light (rescheduled to Sat.)

Glow up: The longest night of the year is celebrated with beauty and promise at the annual Let There Be Light festival. To honor the approaching solstice, curator and artist James Yates features illuminated outdoor works by Circe Strauss, Patty Swygert, Chris Haske, Andrew Sherogan, Dom Morse, and a group of Murray High School students, […]

Violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling twirls her holiday tour into John Paul Jones arena Sunday, December 15. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Lindsey Stirling

Well played: Growing up, Lindsey Stirling could not decide between dancing and playing the violin, so she chose both and developed a unique act mixing hip-hop, pop, and classical music. At 23, she landed a slot on the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent,” competing as a hip-hop violinist. The competition was tough—Jackie Evancho and […]

Deez nuts are ballet masters! Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Colorful spins: Nut cho ordinary take on the classical holiday tradition, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is a fantastic visual extravaganza that uses puppetry from around the globe, including Russia, the Czech Republic, and South America. Dubbed the Gift of Christmas tour, the show uses over 200 costumes, and Wes Anderson’s concept designer Carl Sprague […]

ARTS Pick: A Very Von Trapp Christmas

Favorite things: In September, Brian Clowdus, known for producing outdoor, site-specific theatrical feats, had his most successful musical event to date with a staging of The Sound of Music on the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains that drew almost 10,000 attendees. Julie Trammel Key (Maria), Jayme Alilaw (Mother Abbess), and Blake Burgess (Captain von […]

Photo: Eze Amos

In brief: Climate petitions, faux cops, beer fears

Green light: Climate protesters seek ‘radical action’ The protesters chanted a straightforward call and response as they marched on the Downtown Mall: “What do we want?” “Climate justice!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”  Drums, tambourines, and mandolins accompanied the chants. The group held handmade signs with slogans ranging from “No Pipeline” to “That awkward […]

Partiers dress in their brightest whites to honor World AIDS Day at IX Art Park. Image Courtesy of Jason Elliott.

ARTS Pick: Little White Party

Feeling good: The annual Little White Party, held in honor of World AIDS Day, can trace its origins to the 1980s when an East Village disco launched the New York City White Party with a requirement that partygoers dress in all white to support the idea that having HIV does not make a person dirty […]

Willard Gayheart Family Band celebrates a lifetime achievement at C'ville Coffee on Sunday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Willard Gayheart Family Band

Lifetime record: Born in 1932, Willard Gayheart recalls the early influence of hearing the 1936 recording of Mainer’s Mountaineers’ “Maple on the Hill.” “I listened to that record over and over,” he says. “I just couldn’t get enough of it.” So it may come as a surprise that the accomplished guitarist and songwriter only recently […]

Social justice activist Maria Varela’s “Time to Get Ready: fotografía social” is at The Fralin Museum of Art through January 5. Varela’s backstory is essential to understanding and appreciating her work, and her photography is a means to an end, a way of creating images of resistance for the resisters. © Maria Varela. Image courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Exhibition organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago. Sponsors: Chicago Park District, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Illinois Arts Council Agency and Southwest Airlines.

Training ground: Maria Varela captures a life of activism in ‘Time to Get Ready: fotografía social’ at The Fralin

By Ramona Martinez In “Time to Get Ready: fotografía social,” a National Museum of Mexican Art exhibit on view at The Fralin Museum of Art, you will find all the classic elements one expects in a “good” photography show. Maria Varela’s photographs are compositionally sophisticated and emotionally intimate. They are candids, yet they look like […]

Christa Bennett and her daughter Emma.

Pushing for play: The local mom behind an effort to bring a playground to Walker Elementary

By Alexis Gravely Christa Bennett is no stranger to community advocacy.  After earning a master’s degree from King’s College London in international relations with a focus on human rights, she directed an organization focused on ending the genocide in Sudan. She’s worked on community development projects in Rwanda and lobbied the British Parliament. Since moving […]

Hiss Golden Messenger perform with vulnerability on new album Terms of Surrender, and live at the Jefferson on Saturday.  Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss honesty. M.C. Taylor has been playing music as Hiss Golden Messenger for more than 10 years. His style, though memorable, is hard to categorize as squarely folk, Americana, or gospel. Sure, there is mandolin and a folky twang, but on the next track you might be surprised by an electronic piano. The things that […]

The Flying Karamazov Brothers unleash their wacky antics at The Paramount on Saturday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: The Flying Karamazov Brothers

Let it fly. Performing as clever pranksters since 1973, The Flying Karamazov Brothers have happily basked in the career-long praise from audiences and critics who call them zany, goofy, and creative. The Brothers mix juggling, theatrics, and comedy into their precisely calibrated act in which every joke and acrobatic stunt lands perfectly. According to Variety, […]

The Hangover Ball at the Jefferson a cure for the overstuffed with tunes from Erin & The Wildfire, Lord Nelson, and Will Overman. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Hangover Ball

Thanks, I’m out. Powder-dry turkey leftovers, crusty chunks of stuffing, gelatinous gravy, and pie that’s been hacked at all angles by a variety of utensils and fingers. This is the reality of the day after Thanksgiving. Get outta there before there’s another load of dishes to dry, and shake off the tryptophan at the Hangover […]

The original lineup of the groundbreaking quartet Béla Fleck & The Flecktones celebrate at the Paramount on Sunday. Image: Jim McGuire

ARTS Pick: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Bin buster. In the early days of their career Bela Fleck and the Flecktones posed a challenge to record store clerks. By incorporating classical and jazz, bluegrass and African music, plus electric blues and Eastern European folk into their music, the group defied catgorization while opening fresh perspectives among their peers. “I think we gave […]