An Occasion for the Arts Sustainability Initiative
In 2022, An Occasion for the Arts partnered with William & Mary’s Department of Sustainability to develop and implement green initiatives.
As part of the Sustainability Ambassador Program, we have begun to research, draft, and shape sustainability goals and a plan of action.
To AOFTA, sustainability means reducing our negative impact on the environment and supporting our community.
While our mandate has always been to support the area by bringing art and entertainment to Williamsburg, we are also committed to minimizing how we and our partners contribute to climate change.
2023: Year One
In the first year of the AOFTA Sustainability Initiative, we are:
⚘ Working with our staff, artists, and vendors to reduce waste and embrace sustainable materials and practices
⚘ Encouraging patrons to help us limit waste by using reusable shopping bags, refillable water bottles, and by recycling at the event, whenever possible
⚘ Encouraging patrons to help us reduce our carbon footprint by making use of bicycle and public transportation, whenever possible
⚘ Gathering data about our event, practices, and partners as we seek to improve and innovate
Special thanks to Maddie W. for her work with us!
Sustainability Initiative Resources & Information
Getting to and from Williamsburg
There are a number of affordable, convenient, and fun ways to travel to Williamsburg, without using a car. Consider making use of the many public transportation options or planning a bike trip!
Train and Bus Options
Amtrak trains arrive in Williamsburg three times a day. A number of trains will accommodate up to 12 bicycles. Multiple bus companies also operate trips to Williamsburg. Trains and buses arrive at Williamsburg Transportation Center, a safe, easy, and pleasant five minute walk to An Occasion for the Arts.
Use one of the many free services available online to find departure locations, prices, schedules and to plan a trip that works for you.
We've included links to three such services below.[*]
Though not a solution for everyone, cycling enthusiasts may consider planning a trip along The Virginia Capital Trail, a 52 mile bike trail from downtown Richmond to Jamestown. A "dedicated, paved pedestrian and bike trail... along the scenic Route 5 corridor...you’ll find historic sites, places to eat, picnic spots and lodging options. It’s family friendly, no matter what your skill level." 
Making your way around Williamsburg
Bus Options in Williamsburg
For up to date bus transportation timetables and station locations, you can consult the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) website or make use of their suggested trip planners below.
"...easily plan your trip with... accuracy... view departure times for nearby routes. For more information on how to use the Transit app click here."
"WATA publishes real time GTFS data to google maps. This allows you... to plan a trip from start to finish and see in real time the current status of your route."
"Using the live map you can filter by route, or select a specific stop within the WATA system... you will be able to get the stop code... real time arrival predictions."
Cycling Options in Williamsburg
There are a number of bike paths in Williamsburg and the majority of streets surrounding the historic area (and An Occasion for the Arts) have 25 MPH speed limits and are generally bike friendly. "In 2017, the City was designated as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists."
Depending where you choose to stay during the event, biking may be the most efficient and fun way to get around town (and to AOFTA).
Consider taking advantage of one of our 2022 Hotel Packages, offering discount and bonus accommodation, generally within biking distance of the event.
Reducing Waste & Impact
⚘ Bring a reusable bag to carry personal items and purchases
⚘ Decline bags, packaging, and other unnecessary materials from artists and food vendors
⚘ Choose vegetable based menu items from vendors
Recycling bins at An Occasion for the Arts are provided and managed by Colonial Williamsburg's Merchants Square. "Colonial Williamsburg encourages recycling in the Historic Area... by providing well-marked recycling receptacles."
There are a handful of recycling bins throughout Merchants Square.[*]
During the first year of the AOFTA Sustainability Initiative we are working to become a greener event by gathering information, making basic changes and a commitment.
 Take the Train to Williamsburg, VA | Amtrak. (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://www.amtrak.com/virginia/discover-williamsburg-virginia
 Wikipedia contributors. (2022, August 31). Williamsburg, Virginia. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williamsburg,_Virginia
 Virginia Capital Trail | Walking & Biking Trail in Richmond. (n.d.). Virginia Capital Trail. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://www.visitrichmondva.com/things-to-do/outdoors/va-capital-trail/
 Trip Planning. (n.d.). Williamsburg Area Transit Authority. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://gowata.org/166/Trip-Planning
 Leave Your Car Behind | Williamsburg, VA. (n.d.). City of Williamsburg. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://www.williamsburgva.gov/596/Leave-Your-Car-Behind
 Our Mission: To feed the human spirit by sharing America’s enduring story. (n.d.). Our Mission: To Feed the Human Spirit by Sharing America’s Enduring Story. Retrieved September 4, 2022, from https://www.slaveryandremembrance.org/foundation/mission.cfm
[*] AOFTA does not endorse specific sources or services and has provided links as examples and for convenience and general information.