A Community Engagement Program of the Virginia Arts Festival

The Rhythm Project is a world percussion ensemble dedicated to the nurturing of self-esteem through individual and cooperative achievement. Founded in 1996, the program was started in Portsmouth, VA by the Virginia Arts Festival. There are four elementary and four middle school Rhythm Project programs that feed the program’s premiere performing ensemble, the All-Stars. The All-Stars is a year-round program for high school students that focuses on instilling discipline and dedication in students through performance and touring opportunities. Additionally, two high school programs complete the family of eleven Rhythm Project ensembles that serve the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth.

The All-Stars, 2009, 2010, and 2019 Virginia International PANFest Grand Champions, have earned international acclaim and collaborated with many prominent artists. They have opened for Gladys Knight, shared the stage with pan artist Victor Provost and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and performed at the Royal Nova Scotia and Virginia International Tattoos. In May 2014, the group was featured on NPR’s “From the Top” program showcasing outstanding talent in high school students.

The Rhythm Project is supported in part by: ADS, Inc., AT&T, Bank of America, Capital Group Companies, Clark Nexsen, D. Baker Ames Charitable Foundation, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Langley For Families, Leah S. Wohl Musical Arts Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Marietta McNeill Morgan & Samuel Tate Morgan, Jr. Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, Newport News Shipbuilding, Old Dominion University’s Hixon Community Engagement Fund, PRA Group, Tidewater Children’s Foundation, USAA, Sentara Optima Health Virginia Premier, and the following municipalities and/or their Arts and Humanities Commissions: Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.