196923 artists, 13,000 guests: Clothes line show of children’s art, woven from tree to tree, “Paint-In” for children on panels zig-zagged through the area. Norfolk Symphony family concert with “Capt. Kangaroo”, featured guest narrating from “Snakes, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails”. Food was sold – apples and cookies from Colonial Williamsburg. Programs were one long sheet nailed to trees on Duke of Gloucester. Carlton Abbott designed zig-zag chicken wire display racks for the artists (used for number of years until artists started bringing their own tents).
197476 artists & 5 stages
1976First time a juried show and judging for prize money, purchase awards where businesses and people pledged ahead of time to purchase art
1982Fife & Drum Corps began opening the event & at 5:00 p.m. lead visitors to W&M campus for Symphony concert.
198790 artists & 7 stages (at the college)
1994Hot air balloon rides in sunken garden, W&M campus
2008Art of Food at Williamsburg Community Center; VA Chiefs featured; ice sculptor carved a horse out of block of ice using chain saw
2009204 artists & 5 stages (on Boundary)
2010Plein Air painting & contemporary artists demonstrations on DeWitt Wallace lawn; Symphonia performed Sat. night.
2011Transitioned to 2 day show!
2016Transitioned to 3 day show!
2018Our 50th Show!
An Occasion for the Arts was founded in 1969 to provide Williamsburg with an arts extravaganza. Since then it has grown, year by year, to become the area’s premier art and music festival. We are especially proud to draw outstanding artists from around the country on the first weekend in October each year.
We are equally proud of having an exceptional youth component to the show. We provide space for talented young people to display their work in partnership with Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, a place for young people to create their own artwork.
Lively performances are held both days on our two stages, and the popular food court provides a culinary taste of fall.
With the help of our Friends, sponsors and supporters, we now provide an endowment through the Williamsburg Community Foundation to promote the arts in our area.
An Occasion For The Arts
P.O. Box 363