The Wrap: Jason Mraz’s awesome new Richmond music video, the cigarette tax, Friday Cheers lineup, and more

The Wrap: Jason Mraz’s awesome new Richmond music video, the cigarette tax, Friday Cheers lineup, and more

Get caught up on the week’s top headlines, learn the five things you need to know, and find something fun to do this weekend with The Wrap!

Photo: @shutterpoltergeist

The week in brief

Hello my faithful Wrap readers, and happy Friday! We’ve made it to the end of another week. Here’s a look at the week in RVA news and goings-on.

It was announced earlier this week that Richmond will hold host to the 2020 Menuhin Competition, basically the Olympics of the violin. Mayor Stoney led a contingent to Geneva, Switzerland, where the announcement was made. Now we just need to raise at least $1.5 million in private money to pay for the event.

Where might we find such funding? Corporate donors, if I had to guess. And just who donates the most money annually towards arts and philanthropic causes? None other than Richmond-based Altria Group, maker of cigarettes, among many other things. A group of Altria employees donned red shirts reading “NO MORE TAXES” and took up approximately half of the council chambers at City Hall Monday evening as councilmembers voted against a cigarette tax of 85 cents per pack intended to raise upwards of $5.3 million annually to support Richmond Public Schools. That means Richmond is now the only major city in Virginia without one. Read on here.

We are just one week away from the return of Friday Cheers, everyone’s favorite riverside spring music series. Now in its 34th year, the Venture Richmond-organized event promises a great lineup of local, regional, and national talent beginning Friday, May 4th. Scott Castro has what I think may be the most comprehensive annual preview of the series right here, where you can watch and listen to all of the awesome bands headed our way soon.

Speaking of Music, Jason Mraz is back at it with a new music video for his recent single “Have It All.” And boy does it, when it comes to Richmond. The video showcases familiar landmarks around town and features more than 100 local SPARC and RPS students. Bet you can’t watch all the way through and not crack a smile! Check it out here.

It’s going to be a busy spring and summer at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts! From exhibits on Napoleon and Portugal to a gallery featuring notable black photographers and masks from Congo, there are so many things to see at the museum this year! Here’s a preview.

Has VCU’s well-known pep band, The Peppas, lost their spice? That’s the assertion of some current and former members of the band, who say there’s now more…salt than Peppa (a reader pointed out our obvious missed headline opportunity on this one!) in the band. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the shade in this article from our VCU CNS reporters–so much shade!

Did you know we have a local farmers market that will match SNAP (food stamp) purchases of fresh, local produce and other goods up to $20? We do, and it’s a service of the Birdhouse Farmers Market in Randolph. It returns on Tuesday–here’s what you need to know, and who you can expect to find there, vendor-wise.

Five things to know

  1. The 2018-2019 Richmond Forum speakers have been announced, and it’s an all-star roster.
  2. RVA Bike Month returns in May, and this year’s theme is cleverly-titled “Bike to the Future.”
  3. Hundreds of volunteers and even NASCAR drivers recently gave the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls a facelift.
  4. HCPS’ music education program was recognized among the best in the entire nation–again.
  5. Our own Richard Hayes has a wonderfully wacky and weird interview with Noah Scalin of the League of Space Pirates ahead of their show at Twisted Ales in Manchester this Saturday. You just have to see (and read) this.



About Trevor Dickerson 1700 Articles
Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.