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PHOTOS & VIDEO: A recap of Saturday’s inauguration of Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring

Ralph Northam took office as Virginia’s 73rd governor on Saturday and urged citizens to maintain the strong “moral compass deep in our hearts” to help guide the state forward. Here’s a recap of the days events and video from the Capitol grounds.

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By Deanna Davison, Sarah Danial, Logan Bogert, George Copeland Jr., and Caitlin Barbieri

Ralph Northam took office as Virginia’s 73rd governor on Saturday and urged citizens to maintain the strong “moral compass deep in our hearts” to help guide the state forward.

In his inaugural address to a crowd of about 5,000 outside the state Capitol on a day of stinging cold, Northam reflected first on his childhood on the Eastern Shore, the time he spent fishing and crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay and the advice he received from his father.

“If things get dark or foggy, if you can’t find your way,” his father said, “keep your eye on the compass. It’ll always bring you home safely.”

Northam, 58, said Virginians can likewise rely on their inner compass.

“We all have a moral compass deep in our hearts, and it’s time to summon it again, because we have a lot of work to do,” said the former lieutenant governor and state senator.

Northam also spoke about transparency and the need for government officials to bridge the political divides. His core policy platforms as governor, he said, are those he believes are nonpartisan: expanding health care, reducing gun violence and ensuring equal access to education.

“Virginians didn’t send us here to be Democrats or Republicans,” Northam said. “They sent us here to solve problems. The path to progress is marked by honest give and take among people who truly want to make life better for those around them.”

Northam was sworn in after fellow Democrats Justin Fairfax took the oath as lieutenant governor and Mark Herring was sworn in for a second term as attorney general.

The inauguration drew a pair of demonstrations: About two dozen people protested the controversial natural gas pipelines, shouting “water is life” during a moment of silence. A smaller group, United We Dream, demonstrated on behalf of immigrants.

Capitol Square officially opened to the public at 9:30 a.m., and by 11:30 a.m., the stands were full. Spectators came prepared with heavy coats and gloves to brave the cold. Hot apple cider was served in blue Northam cups that said, “The Way Ahead.”

The inaugural parade began immediately after the ceremony, featuring dozens of groups from across the commonwealth. Cadets from Northam’s alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, marched across the grounds, saluting the new governor. The events concluded with representatives of Virginia’s Indian tribes giving a “Blessing of the Ground” for the new administration.

Northam’s first executive order was signed immediately after the parade. It “prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in Virginia state government.”

Among the parade participants with a connection to Northam was the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Northam served as a pediatric neurologist at the Norfolk hospital for 25 years. He said the lessons he learned there, including the importance of hope, will stay with him during his four years as governor.

“I have recognized the incredible power of hope and my responsibility to preserve it in the people I serve,” Northam said. “Hope is not just a source of comfort for the afflicted – it is a wellspring of energy to fight for a better tomorrow, no matter the odds. I am committed as your governor to fight every day for the hope that tomorrow will be better – for all of us, not just some of us.”

Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General sworn in

A new voice formally joined Virginia’s government Saturday afternoon as Justin Fairfax was sworn in as lieutenant governor, and a familiar figure, Mark Herring, took the oath of office to continue his role as attorney general.

The two, alongside newly instated Gov. Ralph Northam, headlined an inaugural ceremony attended by approving guests.

Rita Williams, who had worked with Fairfax’s campaign when he lost the Democratic nomination for attorney general to Herring in 2013, said she was proud of his accomplishments.

“He is a very, very intelligent young man, a gifted young man, and he will make an excellent lieutenant governor,” she said.

Fairfax is the second African-American elected to a Virginia state position, following Douglas Wilder as governor in 1989. He was sworn in by former U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Before retiring, Lee oversaw a number of high profile cases, including the convictions of Brian Patrick Regan for espionage and Ahmed Omar Abu Ali for conspiracy to assassinate then-President George W. Bush.

Thomas Horne, a former judge and commonwealth’s attorney from Loudoun County, returned to administer the oath of office for Herring as he had done four years ago. Herring spent his previous career as a lawyer in Horne’s Loudoun County courtroom.

Mia Masten, director of advocacy and professional relations for Pfizer in Washington, D.C., attended the event. She said she was unfamiliar with the two politicians but was enthusiastic about Virginia’s future with “the new influx of new energy, new blood, new excitement.”

Charles Cockrell, communication and business director at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, was also optimistic.

“I think we have great leadership in Virginia,” he said. “We see a lot of progress in technology and what we’ve done to foster economic growth in the Commonwealth. We look forward to seeing that continue in the next administration.”

Cold temperatures fail to deter crowd

Virginians had a lot of reasons to endure biting cold temperatures Saturday to witness Ralph Northam’s inauguration as governor. Some of the estimated 5,000 spectators came with a plea of help. Some wanted to witness democracy in action. And others had dedicated themselves to the Northam campaign.

“I’m here to celebrate our way ahead,” Christine Payne of Williamsburg said, referring to Northam’s inaugural theme. “I worked hard for him since his primary, and I am here to continue that support. I hope to see his campaign promises come to fruition, from the environment all to the economy.”

Sophin Sok, a Richmond resident from Cambodia, said she came to the inaugural ceremony in hopes of getting Northam’s attention to pardon her fiance, who has been detained for three months and faces deportation.  

“He  came here at the age of 3, and he’s the biological father to three of my kids.” Sok said. “About a decade ago, he plead guilty to a charge, but he served his time, paid his debt to society and he turned his life around and pretty much put his family as a priority.

“They didn’t prepare him for anything, they just took him. They didn’t allow us to prepare ourselves — so now it’s kind of hard for me because he is the main provider also and he’s a great father,” Sok said.

Sok said she and her fiance have children ages 1, 2 and 6. They  want Northam to write a pardon letter so he can come home and get a second chance to stay in America.

For Kevin Miller of Danville, the inaugural parade brought a special family meaning. He came to watch his son perform with the George Washington High School marching band. “It’s a great honor for them and an opportunity for them to do something they don’t get to do very often,” Miller said.

The ceremony and parade showcased Virginia’s diversity.

The day opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Boy and Girl Scouts from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center. And it closed with the blessing of the grounds by representatives of Virginia’s Indian tribes.

Universities from across the state took part in the parade, as did such groups as Equality Virginia, the Cultural Center of India and the Charlottesville Cardinals Wheelchair Basketball Team.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

Community

Road Closures for Richmond Folk Festival

Quick summary, all the roads around Brown’s Island

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Road Closures/No Parking 4 p.m., Friday, Oct 7 – 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Oct 9 Starting Friday afternoon, several roads near Brown’s Island will close through the weekend for the Richmond Folk Festival. Parking will be prohibited.

Road specifics.

  • North 6th Street between East Broad and East Grace streets
  • Tredegar Street between South 7th Street and Belle Isle lot
  • South 10th Street between Haxall Point and Federal Reserve Bank
  • Spring Street between South 2nd and Belvidere streets
  • East Byrd Street between South 2nd and South 7th streets
  • South 2nd Street between Lee Bridge off ramp and East Byrd Street
  • South 3rd Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 4th Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 5th Street between East Canal and Tredegar streets

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Craft + Design 2022 is Back and In-person this Year

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state.

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Richmond, VA (September 28, 2022) Craft + Design is back in person and this year, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond welcomes over 150 artists to Craft + Design 2022. The 58-year-old contemporary craft show takes place at Main Street Station’s train shed on the weekend of Oct. 14-16, 2022. All proceeds from Craft + Design go towards VisArts’ community and educational programs.

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state. A complete list of participating artists is available on the event website.

“It’s an honor to know that the very best artists travel from all over the country to exhibit their work at Craft + Design,” said Stefanie Fedor, executive director of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. “We’re thrilled to be back in person at Main Street Station celebrating our 58th year of Craft + Design with so many talented makers from Richmond and beyond.”

VisArts selected Brooklyn-based fiber artist Sarah Djarnie-Brown as the featured artist this year. Djarnie-Brown’s vibrant and colorful heirloom dolls are handcrafted out of salvaged materials including wood, fabric, wool and various other recycled mixed materials.
Six 2019 Craft + Design award winners return to the show this year, including:
  • Nicario Jimenz (Elisabeth Scott Bocock Best in Show Award, Presented by McGuireWoods LLP
  • Stephen and Tamberlaine Zeh (Claris Financial Innovative Use of Traditional Craft Materials)
  • Daniel Rickey (Friends of the Wood Studio at VisArts Wood and Recycled Materials Award)
  • Melissa Schmidt (Priscilla Burbank and Mike Schewel Glass Award)
  • E. Douglas Wunder (Genworth Best Booth Design Award)
  • Robert Patterson (Troutman Sanders Contemporary Design Award)
Local Richmond notable includes Paul Hansbarger, owner of Lineage in Carytown who will host and a Local Maker booth at this year’s show.

VisArts also invited 20 Richmond artists who are instructors at the center. Accepted teachers include: Angie Bacskocky, Claire Berry, David Camden, Merenda Cecelia, Lauri Jenkins, Paul Klassett, Claire McCarty, Shawn Norian, Christine Orr, Stephen Palmer, Al Pellenberg, Julia Pfaff, Kourtenay Plummer, Debbie Quick, Tracy Shell, Danielle Stevens, Nastassja Swift, Ashley Tamber, Sarah Tector, and Kristi Totoritis. VisArts teachers Alicia Dietz and Alyssa Salomon were accepted into Craft + Design 2022 through our juried application process.

This year’s show was juried by VisArts Master Teaching Artist Jay Sharpe, Craft + Design Committee Chair Anna Powers, and local craft collectors and arts patrons Karen Kelly, Virginia Lewis and Maggie Smith.

Craft + Design is nationally recognized for its competitive admission rate. Additionally, artist feedback describes Craft + Design as an extremely hospitable show. The hosted housing program and artists’ dinner are just two of the perks that set Craft + Design apart from other shows of its caliber.

There will be several local maker booths at the show this year, featuring the work of Richmond-area craftspeople. Local brick-and-mortar retailers Dear Neighbor, Lineage, Na Nin and knifemaker Join or Die Knives will curate these special group booths.

Richmond Magazine has partnered with Richmond-based modern furniture retailer, LaDiff to bring an interior design showcase to Craft + Design 2022. The beautifully designed space will feature works of art from participating artists Ashley Chiang, Jorgelina Lopez & Marco Duenas, Daniel Rickey and Robert Patterson.

The McKinnon and Harris Patrons’ Preview Party, which takes place on Fri., Oct. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m., includes beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to shop early. Tickets cost $60 for VisArts members and $65 for the general public.

The Rise + Shine Brunch, which pairs another early shopping opportunity with a light breakfast, bloody marys and mimosas, will run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 15. Tickets are $35 for VisArts members and $40 for the general public. At this year’s brunch, Richmond magazine presents featured speaker, Susan Hable, the artist and designer behind Hable Construction Design Studio.

Regular shopping hours run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Sat., Oct. 15 and Sun., Oct. 16. General admission tickets cost $10.

The education wing presented by Richmond Family Magazine, located on the lower level of Main Street Station, is a free-to-the-public, art-making space where both adults and children can explore the media Craft + Design artists use to make their work.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is once again the exclusive beer sponsor of Craft + Design this year, serving beer throughout the weekend. The beer garden will be in the middle of Main Street Station’s event space beside the Claris Financial Demonstration Stage, which will showcase live demonstrations by VisArts teaching artists. During Saturday and Sunday’s regular shopping hours, Espresso-a-Go-Go, Goatocado, and Alamo BBQ will be serving food and refreshments on the lower level.

People who would like to attend multiple events over the course of the Craft + Design weekend should consider purchasing a weekend pass. Weekend passes are $85 for members and $90 for the general public and include a ticket to Patrons’ Preview (with complimentary valet parking), a ticket to Rise + Shine, and unlimited admission during regular shopping hours.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

2nd Street Festival Cancelled Grand Master Flash Performing at Hippodrome

Although the festival is cancelled there is a least one show that will go on. Curse you Hurrican Ian, curse you.

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Sad news from Venture Richmond

Venture Richmond Events has made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel the 2nd Street Festival, scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 1-2.

Like many, the Venture Richmond Events team has watched Ian for days, hoping that it would not be the massive and potentially deadly weather event that it clearly is. While we are extremely lucky to be a few states away from the serious issues Florida is facing, we also know that this weekend promises uncertain amounts of rainfall and potential wind gusts for our area. After consulting meteorologists, vendors, contractors, security, and other event planners, and after considering the Governor’s State of Emergency, we concluded to the best of our ability, that the event, if held, would not be safe. We must put the safety of our patrons, artists, vendors, contractors, and staff foremost.

There is good news though – a portion of the party will go on indoors! Our festival headliner, Grandmaster Flash will perform indoors at The Hippodrome theater on 2nd Street in Jackson Ward on Saturday evening. This performance will be FREE and open to the public, but capacity is limited and based upon availability.

2nd Street Festival at The Hipp

A special performance by Grandmaster Flash with an opening band

Saturday, October 1, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Hippodrome Theater, 528 N. 2nd Street

Doors 4:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public with limited capacity and based upon availability.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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