Connecting Art & Community through the d’Art Center and the NEON District

With the assistance of SST, d’Art Center, founded in Norfolk in 1986, recovered, regrouped, and revived itself after an explosion caused major damage to the d’Art Center at the Selden Arcade. The center’s mission is to connect the community and artists to create an appreciation for visual art by providing a unique opportunity to watch, create, learn, collect, and enjoy work from diverse artists in an interactive environment. SST is currently assisting the center with securing, moving, and renovating the new location in the New Energy of Norfolk (NEON) Arts District.

             The center faced another setback with the COVID-19 pandemic when they were forced to temporarily close. Closing all exhibitions in their gallery, reducing staff and artist hours, and canceling all classes, workshops, and community programming put a strain on the nonprofit. SST helped d’Art Center identify varied revenue streams, seek local/state and federal grant opportunities, and corporate investments while also helping staff and artists open an online store in order to continue selling their artwork during the shutdown. Through strategic planning & coaching, SST has successfully taken d’Art from zero to $350,000 worth of funding applied for and secured in the last year, as well as an additional $500,000 applied for during the COVID-19 pandemic.
            To help with revitalization needs of the area, the d’Art Center & SST partnered with the Norfolk Commission on the Arts, the NEON District, and the Downtown Norfolk Council to host the Exhibition Opening on September 17, 2020, during the 6th Annual NEON Festival, which is a free two-day event that encourages visitors to explore and discover Norfolk’s NEON District. However, due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, the NEON Festival was cancelled this year. Last year over 500 visitors came through the Center over a two hour period. The d’Art Center & SST also conducts and connects the Title 1 Norfolk Public Schools Art & Financial Literacy Program to its community revitalization efforts by inviting families from the program to tour the NEON District. The d’Art Center instructors take the students on tours of the NEON district showing how the murals and signage have revitalized the area, discussing what it means to become an artist, and delving into the business of art as well. Linking these valuable programs for the children and families who live and learn within our shared community will further the revitalization efforts so that community members all can find a place to burn bright.

              The SST marketing/fundraising team includes experts in social media marketing, market research, graphic design, and business development to meet our clients’ marketing and fundraising goals. Recent successful SST marketing campaigns include the promotion of one of SST’s clients, d’Art Center, in Norfolk, Virginia, when they moved to a new state-of-the art space that more than doubled the center’s current capacity in the NEON District. The press releases and social media marketing garnered a 20 minute radio interview with Entercom, which represents four radio stations in the Hampton Roads marketplace, an article in the Virginian Pilot, an interview in VEER Magazine, a WHRO (public radio) PSA and interview, 1,800 email communications, and over 200 responses on social media. Finally, during Tricia’s career, she has raised over $50 million dollars in private support of various organizations throughout the Hampton Roads community. SST is known for its custom approach to all campaigns, marketing, plans, and processes. We do not subscribe to the one size fits all approach. We work in partnership with our clients and believe in high-touch, hands-on consulting.

Let us help you build a successful future for your organization. Please call our office at 757-536-9937 or reach out to Strategic Solutions by Tricia, LLC via Facebook, or at

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