ARTS IN DOWNTOWN COLONIAL BEACH
COLONIAL BEACH IS RICH IN THE ARTS
Colonial Beach has a strong and vibrant arts community, representing virtually all of the various art forms—from visual arts to performing arts. The town’s art scene has grown significantly over the years and is poised to grow even more with recent developments.
The art scene in town took its first major step forward in 2004 when the Colonial Beach Artist Guild was formed to promote the visual arts to the community. The guild was formed by seven local artists and now numbers nearly 70, most of whom are practicing artists. The Guild has evolved over the years and has several signature activities including the 2nd Friday Art Walk which occurs throughout most of the year and currently includes over a dozen venues throughout town that show artwork produced by local artists. Other Guild activities include the Potomac River Regional Art Show, participation in various other local and regional art promotional activities and support for the local school system.
Another milestone for the arts community in Colonial Beach was when the first real art gallery opened in 2007—Jarrett Thor Fine Arts Gallery—which featured artists from the D.C. to Richmond region. The gallery morphed in 2017 when the gallery became the home of the Artist Alliance—an artist cooperative whose members include 20 of the top artists from the area. The Artist Alliance is directed by a team of three volunteers. Many different artistic media are displayed, including painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pastel), photography, pottery, encaustic, stained glass, and jewelry. The Artist Alliance has featured artists at is various shows and is one of the participating venues of the 2nd Friday Artwalk. https://www.artgallerycolonialbeach.com/
Another initiative which was established in 2017 is the Beach Arts, Music and Mentoring (BAMM) organization. The initiative was started to mentor local youth with an emphasis on arts and music. It is funded through public donations to the BAMM Fund at the Colonial Beach Community Foundation. Its mission has evolved as the needs of students and the local school system has evolved, especially in response to the Covid pandemic.
Also launched in 2017, the Colonial Beach Performing Arts Association (CBPAA) was formed to be the parent organization to the Colonial Beach Playhouse—a local performing arts theater. CBPAA organizes plays and other types of performances. It is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. As a community theater, it provides a place for the residents to be entertained and to provide a safe place for people of all ages, cultures, and experiences.
In 2022, another group, CB Creative, was formed to provide further support of all modalities of arts by having a facility where visual arts can be created, musicians and other performing artists can rehearse and perform, and where art will be on display and sold. CB Creative is a nonprofit and is working on developing a maker space to promote various types of creative arts.
As for the music scene in Colonial Beach, there are at least half a dozen venues in town that have live music—mostly with local talent. Also, there are various festivals throughout the year where local and regional bands perform. For a town of its size, Colonial Beach has a very sizeable and talented pool of musical artists.