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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.

RVAHub Staff



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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Arts & Entertainment

Stuck at home? Explore some of Virginia’s most significant historic, cultural sites online for free

Just because you’re social distancing it doesn’t mean you cant explore some of Virginia’s most magnificent cultural and historical sites virtually, online, for free. Here’s a roundup of where you can explore and what you can learn.

RVAHub Staff



By Caroline Logan, Virginia Tourism

With the international crisis regarding COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus, visitors may be canceling or rescheduling upcoming travel plans and staying home.

While people are self-isolating and social distancing, many museums, historic sites, and other tourism destinations are offering virtual options for visitors to explore and learn.

Mount Vernon will continue its mission to educate people around the world through its robust digital presence. The historic site will provide digital tours of the mansion through The Washington Library has also prepared digital resources for students and their parents will be working with its network of teachers nationwide to support their educational efforts. These resources can be accessed at Mount Vernon’s YouTube channel also features a livestream of the estate’s newborn lambs.

Monticello hosts a number of online exhibits including “The Declaration Around the World,” “The Life of Sally Hemings,” and “Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello,” among many others. Users can also download the Slavery at Monticello: Life and Work on Mulberry Row app for free.

James Madison’s Montpelier has publicly accessible blog posts, websites, podcasts, and social media posts for visitors to enjoy. Access to podcasts and video series can be found on the site’s YouTube page. Those interested in the research, history, archaeology, and collecting at Montpelier can visit the Digital Doorway for a wealth of information at

Colonial Williamsburg is adding content to its Explore From Home website from the people who bring history to life. Resources include guides for teachers, quizzes and puzzles for students, interactive timeline, pages for exploring art collections, and printable coloring sheets from The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, as well as libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond will be offering free online video content, webinars, student learning resources, and virtual tours at

The National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle has a virtual tour and numerous distance learning opportunities. The rich, interactive virtual environment will serve as the gateway for Marines and visitors to see the museum from the comfort of their homes. The museum’s online distance learning programs engage audiences with the history of the United States Marine Corps.  Programs include a plethora of virtual learning experiences and subject matter for people to learn important and interesting topics related to the Marine Corps. Take the virtual tour at and access the distance learning programs at

The Chrysler Museum of Art located in Norfolk’s NEON Arts District features 50 galleries, 30,000 objects, and a world-renowned glass collection. Viewers can take a virtual tour through the galleries as well as explore the museum’s Digital Collections featuring European and American paintings, sculptures and decorative arts and works from African, ancient Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures.

Join the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk for a Virtual Voyage every day at 2 p.m. (March 16 – 30, 2020) on its Facebook page. Visitors can go behind the scenes, tour the zoo, and check in on their favorite animals. The zoo’s Virtual Voyage website also offers augmented reality tours, printable activity sheets, a YouTube video series, and more.

Take a virtual walking tour of historic Fincastle in Botetourt County with over 50 individual “stops,” each complete with a picture and background about the location.

The Kids Square Children’s Museum in Roanoke will go live on Facebook at least once a day during the week until reopening. They’ll be doing everything from science experiments to book reading. Visitors joining the livestream have the chance to win one of the items that Kids Square is playing with that day.

The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum in Ferrum offers the following online exhibits for individuals to learn more about folk heritage in the Blue Ridge region.

  • Full Throttle: Racing and Rodding in Southwest and Central Virginia
  • Moonshine: Blue Ridge Style
  • Deathly Lyrics: Songs of Virginia Tragedies
  • Earthenware Along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee

The Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke has images and background information on nearly every item in the rail, road, air, and ship collections. Collections are separated by category and can be accessed here.

The William King Museum of Art in Abingdon will be broadcasting live via Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. Videos will include tours of the galleries, insider looks at collections, family-friendly art projects, and live art demos.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond is sharing  “Virtual Visits” on its Facebook page as well as putting resources for learning (including activities for kids) and ideas for relaxation and mental health on its website

Take a virtual tour around Virginia Beach’s cultural enclave by using this Google Mural Map to explore the ViBe Creative District on a virtual, self-guided mural tour. Click on the map icons to find information about the artists, artworks and locations, along with multiple images of the artwork and video links of murals created during the last two years of the ViBe Mural Festival.

The Barter Theatre in Abingdon is working to offer its patrons the ability to stream productions from home. The production of “Peter Pan” that was originally scheduled to open on April 7 will be online to patrons as well as access special bonus features. The theatre will also be providing coordinating educator resources, including lesson plans and a study guide. More information can be found here:

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach will provide entertaining, educational content to fans including live streams, video footage, crafts for kids, and behind the scenes peeks on its website and social media channels.

The City of Alexandria created a new web hub called ALX at Home, which brings residents and nearby visitors their favorite Alexandria restaurants, shops and attractions to the comfort of their own home. Features include:

  • 50+ restaurant and 15 retail deals and offerings
  • Attraction offerings such as virtual tours and a “Ride it Out” bike rental program from Unlimited Biking.
  • Cocktail Corner for Happy Hour at home with instructional videos from The Hour boutique.
  • Puppy Love, bringing a daily dose of cuteness from Alexandria’s four-legged friends.

The Omni Homestead ResortThe Omni Homestead Resort’s podcast, Beyond the Tower offers an insider’s look into one of America’s most iconic resorts. From historical anecdotes to one-of-a-kind experiences, Beyond the Tower includes topics from the history of the resort and golf to the Garth Newel Music Center and the resort’s partnership with a local farmer. Each episode begins and ends with “Welcome to My Homestead,” an original composition from David Hill, a native of Roanoke, Virginia and one of the resort’s most popular musicians.

For those interested in historic moments of Virginia, listen to the Following Harriet podcast. Following Harriet takes a closer look at the life of one of the bravest and most extraordinary women in our country’s history. It also puts Harriet in a broader context, examining the 19th Century experience of African Americans, especially in Virginia.

Do you know of any other online options that attractions are providing? Let us know in the comments below.



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Arts & Entertainment

Planned Weekend Opening for Goochland Drive-In Canceled

If you want to catch a movie on a big, really, really big screen this is pretty much your only option.




Update from Goochland Drive-In:

As you know, the GDIT had planned to open this weekend – with modifications to our operations that would promote social distancing and responsibility.

The news and mandates continue to change daily. The latest info from our health department states we can open, but no concession sales. We simply don’t know what restrictions may be imposed tomorrow.

Right now things are unfamiliar and uncomfortable for all of us. But we believe brighter days are ahead……as they always are. They’ll get here quicker if we all do our part….and that’s what we plan to do.

So we’ve decided to delay the start of our 2020 Season…..we sincerely hope you understand and promise to keep you all updated. Thank you all for the love & support.

Hope to see you soon under the stars.

With kindest regards,


It’s easier to practice social distancing when you’re in a car. That being said the folks at Goochland Drive-In are making some changes outlined below. I can only speak to one of the movies being shown. 1917 was an amazing film that benefits from being on the big screen of a normal theater I can only imagine what it’ll look like at the drive-in.

Goochland Drive-In Facebook


  • Parking limited to 70% of capacity


  • Markers placed in service lines at Snack Bar to separate folks
  • Condiments will be handed out in packets – self-serve pumps removed from front tables
  • Outside Food Permit — while we survive off concession purchases, this weekend patrons may bring in their own food for an extra $15 per vehicle….paid at the Ticket Booth along with admission…..and will be provided a food permit to display


  • We have always been sticklers for cleanliness…that will never change — but for now….a Crew member will be present to constantly clean and sanitize
  • Doors to the restrooms will be propped open to allow fresh air and to avoid touching the door.


  • Children have proven to be nearly immune – but in the best interest of all, the playground will be closed…….however, feel free to bring along your own frisbees, cornhole, games, etc. to stay entertained before the show

Thank you all for taking a moment to read this post — we look forward to seeing you guys this weekend!!!



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Arts & Entertainment

Music at Maymont announces Carbon Leaf as first 2020 season show

The Richmond favorites will take the stage July 18th at historic Maymont as part of their Brothers In Arms tour.

RVAHub Staff



Haymaker Productions has announced the first act for Music at Maymont for the 2020 series: Richmond’s own Carbon Leaf will take the stage Saturday, July 18th at 7:00 PM. After their Richmond start, Carbon Leaf has been entertaining audiences worldwide for well over two decades.

Blending rock, folk, Celtic, bluegrass and Americana traditions into a high-energy style the group calls ether-electrified porch music, Carbon Leaf’s poetic songs are brought to life with acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, fiddle, bass, drums, cello, banjo, pennywhistle, pedal steel, accordion, and rich vocal harmony.

The Virginia quintet writes, records and produces its music independently from their studio in Richmond and has performed over 2,400 lives shows across 17 albums in their long career. The group’s independent music and spirit continue to resonate with its fans.

Doors open at 6:00 PM. Tickets for Carbon Leaf are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate.

Children under 10 free with paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased beginning March 13 at The Maymont Stage is located at 1700 Hampton Street.



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