Richmond Region Tourism and The Black Experience Initiative, an advisory board of community members focused on developing unique ways to attract tourism while highlighting Richmond’s Black culture, have launched BLK RVA. The new tourism campaign highlights and celebrates the Black cultural experience in the Richmond region.
Richmond Region Tourism, the advisory board, and Ryano Graphics have dedicated the past two years to develop the initiative that fosters tourism and patronage of Black businesses in Richmond. BLK RVA encompasses four pillars: Arts and Entertainment, Food and Drink, History, and Community.
“Black business, Black culture, and Black creative expression continue to flourish in this region, making it more vibrant than ever before,” says advisory board chair Enjoli Moon. “The Black experience in Richmond is rooted, yet rising—this is a place where we connect with our past, celebrate the present, and look toward a bright future.”
Ryano Graphics, owned by Visual Strategist Shannon Bass, joined the Richmond Region Tourism team to provide the graphic and web design, videography and digital strategy that brings the campaign to life. The team includes Janna M. Hall, Andre Johnson, and Antonio “Knoxx,” all of whom are Richmond residents who understand the importance of making the Black experience a cornerstone of Richmond area tourism.
The campaign comes in time to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans to Virginia in 1619. In fact, 1 in 4 African Americans in the United States have roots in Richmond, Va. Creating the opportunity for others to connect with this history and Richmond’s Black community is the crux of BLK RVA.
“The Richmond region is a vibrant, multicultural hub,” said Katherine O’Donnell, executive vice president of Richmond Region Tourism. “We are very grateful for all the community volunteers and leaders who came together to create the BLK RVA campaign.”
BLK RVA provides opportunities for residents and tourists to support Black-owned businesses through in-person patronage and online engagement while telling important stories of the historical landmarks that make the Richmond Region what it is today.
Current BLK RVA partners include:
- Afrikana Independent Film Festival
- Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
- Chesterfield County Economic Development
- Elegba Folklore Society
- Hanover County
- Henrico County
- Library of Virginia
- Mama J’s Kitchen
- Preservation Virginia
- PWT, LLC
- Richmond Black Restaurant Experience
- Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
- Samantha Willis, Writer, journalist, co-creator of the Unmasking Series
- Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church
- The American Civil War Museum
- The Valentine
- Town of Ashland
- Untold RVA
- Venture Richmond
- Virginia Africana Associates
- Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
- Virginia Museum of History & Culture
- Virginia State University
- Virginia Tourism Corporation
To learn more about the BLK RVA campaign, go to www.visitblkrva.com.