Providing transformative arts education for students of all ages is at the heart of the mission of Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA). Since 2009, the BrightLights Education Initiatives have aimed to serve educators, students and families from across the Richmond region, working to increase equity in access to the arts and arts in education.

Our programs take place in schools, community settings and in the venues of RPAA. We believe in the power of the arts to enrich, enliven and educate children and adults in transformative ways that lead to new understandings in learning and life, which inevitably improves the quality of living across our region.


The Genworth BrightLights Education Center serves as the hub for the education programs of Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA). With three rooms of varying sizes, the Center hosts a variety of meetings, workshops (for educators, artists and students) and classes offered by RPAA, our resident companies, and other arts partners and community organizations. Examples include rehearsals of the Richmond Symphony’s Youth Orchestra Program and dance classes offed by Latin Ballet of Virginia.


Thousands of students from all across the region have participated in our arts education programs. Through our school programs, we develop artistic, academic and social skills that extend beyond the art form. Our community programs are geared towards families and youth by exposing audiences to the arts — many for the first time — or engaging participants in the artistic process.

Lights Up! Youth Open House

Held bi-annually, Lights Up! opens the Dominion Arts Center to the entire community! Over the course of the day, more than 25 participatory workshops, lecture-demonstrations and performances are scheduled, and all events are free for children and families! With offerings in the performing and visual arts for children and youth ages 3-18, there promises to be something for everyone.

Wells Fargo OnStage Family Series

The Wells Fargo OnStage Family Series features performance groups from across the Richmond region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Performances represent a variety of art forms including music, theater, puppetry and more. Past performers have included Barefoot Puppets Theatre, techno and juggling performer Mark Nizer, theater artist Charmaine Crowell-White, and Virginia Opera.

Video Production for the Performing Arts

This is a course for high school students (and middle school by recommendation and interview). From setting up a camera to shooting, editing and uploading content, students learn all aspects of video production. They put their skills to use by serving as the crew for many of our live-streamed and recorded events. Endorsed by the Virginia Department of Education, this course is also eligible for Independent Study credit for high school students.

For further information or to get involved, please contact: or call 804-592-3330.