The Main’s private pre-opening gala will benefit the arts
The much anticipated opening of The Main in Norfolk kicks off with a private fund-raising bash for the arts before the new luxury hotel and conference center opens to the public on April 3.
“The Main Event: A Celebration for the Arts,” is scheduled for March 24-26. Main developer Bruce Thompson has set an ambitious goal of raising $1 million for local arts institutions and programs in what promises to be a splashy debut.
The presenting partners for the event are Virginia Beach-based developer Gold Key | PHR, where Thompson is the founder and CEO, and the Virginia Arts Festival and the Business Consortium for Arts Support.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe and first lady Dorothy McAuliffe are expected to attend. The gala will include ticketed, art-focused experiences such as pop-up art exhibits, performances from Broadway stars, the area’s top local visual and performance artists, lectures, film screenings, exclusive dining experiences and a black-tie gala.
Guest packages go for as much as $1,500 for the weekend. That includes overnight accommodates in the $150 million, 21-story property, which has 300 guestrooms, several restaurants and bars, including a rooftop bar with views of the Elizabeth River and Granby Street. The package also includes a Friday night dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, a Friday night reception with the governor and his wife, a big-band style bash, Saturday breakfast and lunch, Sunday brunch and passes to the weekend’s daytime arts events and exhibits.
Another option is a $50 ticket that entitles people to one admission to the opening weekend’s Saturday and Sunday daytime events and exhibits along with a lunch or brunch.
“From the very early stages of this project, we have wanted to infuse different art experiences throughout The Main not only to enhance the building’s contemporary design but to encourage conversation around art and culture,” Thompson said in a statement. “This launch preview event gives us an opportunity to solidify Norfolk as the cultural center for the region while supporting our creative communities and programs. With a stroke of a pen, we can help future artists with a stroke of their brush.”
The festivities kick-off March 24 with a ribbon cutting for The Fraim Center for Excellence, named in honor of former Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. McAuliffe is expected to attend. Later that weekend, a Sunday brunch featuring live entertainment from the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra is planned.
A schedule and ticket information is available at themainnorfolk.com/special-event.aspx..