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Speaker lineup announced for 2017 TEDxRVA event to be held June 23rd

This year’s diverse range of speakers include surgeons, professors, entrepreneurs, performers, and even presidential aides.

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Organizers of TEDxRVA have announced the speaker lineup for the fifth consecutive annual event set for June 23rd, a day that will bring a diverse range of individuals with varied backgrounds to the city to share insights exploring this year’s theme, “Change.”

As put by the event producers:

From shifting seasons to greying hairs, Change is a force that shapes our future and an ever-present part of life. Whether on a global scale, at the community level, or in our personal lives, change happens either because or in spite of us. So what does great Change take, what does it look like and how can it lead to meaningful transformation? How do you become a change-maker rather than a witness? And where do we begin?

The speaker lineup includes a former aide to President Barack Obama, a virtual reality artist, a hand transplant pioneer, a former marketing manager at Cadillac, a surgeon practicing in fetal medicine, and many more.

As in years’ past, TEDxRVA will include both the speaker series and multiple interactive experience elements throughout the day designed to engage audience members through creative collaboration and strategic thinking. A curated selection of breakfast, lunch, and snack items for attendees will be provided by local businesses. TEDx Talks and sessions will revolve around the concept of activating change: to one’s self, one’s community, and the world at large.

“TEDxRVA has become an annual institution in Richmond and offers an immersive, connective experience for attendees, and the speakers selected for the Change event will no doubt continue on this tradition,” said Katie Shea, producer of the event. “These speakers both from inside the Richmond region and outside of Virginia will offer those at the conference and others following along online with inspiring and creative insights, and no doubt change the way all of us view the world.”

This year’s TEDxRVA conference speakers and performers include:

  • Eneuri Acosta: Communication Strategist
  • Melody C. Barnes: Co-Founder, MB2 Solutions, Senior Fellow in Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, Former Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Barack Obama
  • Carlos Betancourt: Multi-Disciplinary Visual Artist
  • Arthur Burton: Executive Director, Kinfolk Community Empowerment Center
  • Linda C. Cendales, M.D.: Hand Transplant Pioneer, Associate Professor of Surgery and Director, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, Duke University Medical Center
  • Courtney D. Cogburn: Assistant Professor, Columbia University
  • Tom Doland: Founder and Producer, Spiral Richmond Arts Collective
  • Elda Stanco Downy, Ph.D: Global Citizen and Educator, Founder and CEO of Roanoke Spanish
  • Lindsay Ellyn & Taylor Alexander: Singer-Songwriters, Musical Artists
  • Mark England: Co-Founder, Procabulary
  • Dave McCormack: President, Waukeshaw Development, Inc.
  • Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth
  • University and Faculty Affiliate at Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
  • Amber J. Phillips and Jazmine “Da K.O.S.” Walker: Podcasters, The Black Joy Mixtape Podcast
  • Oluyinka Olutoge: Professor of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine and Co-Director, Texas Children’s Fetal Center
  • Rachel Pater: Founder, Richmond Story House
  • Amy Pruden, Ph.D: Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in the Graduate School at Virginia Tech
  • Mo Regulinski: Richmond Artist and Designer
  • Semi Ryu: Korean Shamanism Puppetry Artist
  • Jen Siomacco: Creative Director and Co-Owner, Catalyst Wedding
  • Ben Sollee: Cellist, Composer, and Creative
  • Vida Williams: Data Scientist
  • Dean Whitbeck: Photographer Covering the RVA Refugee Population
  • Desiree Roots:Performer, Musician
  • Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company: Performer, Richmond Dance Group

TEDxRVA will be held June 23rd at the Dominion Arts Center from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The performing arts center can seat about 1,800, and those who can’t make it are invited to join a free, livestream viewing party to take place at dozens of participating venues across the area, and can follow along on social media at #tedxrva.

Check out the event website for more information and to purchase tickets.

 

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Well known local tattoo artist auctioning off mural of George Floyd adorning Carytown shop

“I didn’t really want to board up my business, but it was recommended so we decided to follow suit,” he says. “After we put it up, I thought, there’s a surface that needs to be decorated. I didn’t want to just write ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over everything. I wanted to create something that was more impactful.”

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The City of Richmond has remained an apex of the evolving Black Lives Matter movement. The city is known for its statues and monuments honoring leaders from the Civil War era, but also its prolific and progressive artist community who have come together to deploy a series of creative and uplifting responses during the past month. This includes the owner of Loose Screw Tattoo, Jesse Smith.

When the rest of his Carytown business neighbors boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of predicted riots and looting, Smith followed recommendations and added plywood to the front of his tattoo shop.

“I didn’t really want to board up my business, but it was recommended so we decided to follow suit,” he says. “After we put it up, I thought, there’s a surface that needs to be decorated. I didn’t want to just write ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over everything. I wanted to create something that was more impactful.”

Smith snagged up a couple of cans of spray paint he had laying around in his garage and headed over to his shop. The mural took four hours in total to complete. His George Floyd portrait is one of many new murals related to the Black Lives Matter movement in Richmond. Other mural artists who have added color to the city include Hamilton Glass, Nico Cathcart, Nils Westergard, Emily Herr, and many other artists who have come together to be a part of the Mending Walls Project. Artists around the country have also marked buildings and landmarks with designs, words, and other calls to action.

Smith’s mural will be up for auction to benefit Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – Richmond (MAD RVA) starting July 7. The network launched in 2018 in response to needs associated with public housing.

“We operate collectively and are primarily functioning as a supply delivery for folks who cannot access medicine, food, cleaning supplies, and other life necessities,” says member Tamanna Sohal.

MAD RVA also has a mini-grants program that provides communty members with direct financial aid of up to $125, prioritizing Richmonders who are Black, brown, queer, trans, immuno-compromised, elderly, pregnant, and/or have several people in their household. All funds raised are redistributed through items for their supply drive and mini-grants.

The auction is presented by the Giving Arts Foundation (GAF), founded by Smith. The mission of GAF is to unite the arts community to support urgent and meaningful causes locally and internationally.

Learn more about MAD RVA here.

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1708 Gallery’s InLight Richmond Planned for November

The 13th annual InLight Richmond will take place from November 12th – 16th, 2020 at sites across Richmond and will address the paired themes of Safety and Accountability.

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1708 Gallery is pleased to announce that its 13th annual InLight Richmond will take place from November 12th – 16th, 2020 at sites across Richmond and will address the paired themes of Safety and Accountability.

InLight is a public exhibition of contemporary light-based artworks—multimedia and interactive projects, video, projection, sculpture, installation, performance, community-based work, digital and virtual projects—and has historically taken place in a singular location each November. Past sites include Chimborazo Park, the streets, facades and alleyways of the downtown Arts District and the sculpture garden and grounds of the VMFA.

In response to COVID-19, InLight’s multi-site platform will allow for socially distanced and virtual viewing. Further inspired by the ongoing community dialogues surrounding the unjust and inequitable treatment of Black lives and by Richmond’s coming together in support and aid during these crises, this year is focused on Safety and Accountability.

1708 invites artists, community groups, and stewards of spaces in Richmond to propose projects that can illuminate issues of Safety and Accountability. We seek proposals that respond to what these key terms mean spatially, historically, socially, and politically. We invite proposals that demonstrate profound consideration for designated sites and their communities.

For more details about InLight 2020 and to submit an entry, visit 1708gallery.org.

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VMFA to exhibit “Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities” beginning July 4th

The exhibition features nearly 300 objects, mostly from underwater excavations of the ancient Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has announced the East Coast premiere of Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities.

The exhibition features nearly 300 objects, mostly from underwater excavations of the ancient Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion. Sunken Cities is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to experience the grandeur and complexity of Ptolemaic Egypt, one of the wealthiest, most powerful and influential kingdoms of the ancient Mediterranean.

The exhibition was curated by Franck Goddio, the director of the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) and organized for VMFA by Dr. Peter Schertz, VMFA’s Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art. Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities will open at the museum on July 4, 2020.

The exhibition highlights ancient artifacts retrieved from Aboukier Bay off the coast of Egypt by a team of underwater archaeologists led by Goddio. In addition to some 250 works recovered by IEASM, 40 additional works from museums in Egypt help tell the story of Ptolemaic Egypt and one of its most important cults, the annual celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique experience to our visitors,” said VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “VMFA brings the world to Richmond, and this exhibition explores the fascinating history of two lost cities of ancient Egypt. This is the last time this groundbreaking exhibition will be on view in North America, and we hope to attract a wide range of visitors.”

Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities is presented by Dominion Energy. “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with VMFA through this exciting exhibition,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, President of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “Promoting cultural diversity and community vitality is an important goal for us, and we are proud to help bring these rare pieces of art to our community.”

“When people come to this exhibition, they’re going to see amazing works of art that reveal the diversity of the ancient world and the ways that the civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome interacted and influenced each other more than 2,000 years ago,” says VMFA’s Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art Dr. Peter Schertz.

Highlights of the exhibition include a nearly 18-foot-tall, 5.6-ton statue of the god Hapy, the largest stone statue of a god recovered from ancient Egypt, beautiful statues of other gods and rulers of that civilization, as well as fascinating objects used to celebrate the annual Mysteries of Osiris. Powerful photography, films, maps, graphics, and an audio guide provide context and background on how these cities were lost and rediscovered. Visitors to the exhibition will discover the cosmopolitan society that emerged from the blending of Greek and Egyptian cultures after the conquests of Alexander the Great. A key aspect of the exhibition is the exploration of the cult of Osiris, ruler of the underworld and god of new life, who was celebrated throughout Egypt. Goddio’s excavations have brought to light a wealth of implements used in the celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris, one of the great religious ceremonies of ancient Egypt, which involved a maritime procession through the canals that once connected the two cities.

The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, state employees and teachers, as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families; $20 for adults; $16 for seniors 65+; and $10 for youth 7–17 and college students with ID.

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