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Richmond Region Tourism launches BLK RVA campaign to highlight Richmond’s black experience

“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.”

RVAHub Staff

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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
  • JMI
  • 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.

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Business

New York Deli crowdfunding project to add Carytown’s first rooftop bar, outdoor movie theater, and event venue

The plans would see the one-story restaurant add a deck and dining options to their roof as well as a stage for events and a large projection screen upon which to show movies.

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One of Richmond’s oldest restaurants has announced a new Kickstarter campaign they hope will help them become Carytown’s first rooftop bar and movie theater, and one of the few event spaces in the neighborhood. New York Deli, located at 2920 W. Cary Street, announced the campaign yesterday.

The plans would see the one-story restaurant add a deck and dining options to their roof as well as a stage for events and a large projection screen upon which to show movies.

The campaign has already raised $17,000 as of this writing; owners hope to raise $145,000 to cover construction costs in addition to a $25,000 downpayment made to a local construction company handling the project.

New York Deli is offering a range of incentives to supporters ranging from a date night dinner for two package all the way up to a catered event and full event venue rental that’s being pitched to brides and grooms to be who may have had to change their wedding plans during the pandemic.

If all goes to plan, the space should open in July. You can learn more about the project here.

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Business

Mediterranean restaurant taking over former Urban Farmhouse spot in Scott’s Addition

The vacant space at 3031 Norfolk Street is being renovated for a planned July open date.

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From Richmond BizSense:

One of the more prominent restaurant spaces in Scott’s Addition left vacant due to the pandemic has been snapped up by a pair of local industry veterans.

John Reynolds and Steve DeRaffele are preparing to open Pinky’s, a full-service Mediterranean restaurant in the former Urban Farmhouse space at 3031 Norfolk St.

Pinky’s menu will take influences from the entire Mediterranean region, while the restaurant’s name is a nod to DeRaffele’s late mother whose nickname was Pinky.

“I learned how to cook from her and want to make the kind of stuff I learned to make at home,” DeRaffele said. “Now I can bring people into our space and cook for them like I would if they were at my house.”

Continue reading here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Weekly pop-up market coming to the Diamond every Saturday beginning April 10th

River City Festivals is partnering with The Richmond Flying Squirrels to present a new weekly Popup Market that will be held Saturdays at The Diamond in Richmond, beginning April 10th from 10 am-4 pm.

RVAHub Staff

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River City Festivals is partnering with The Richmond Flying Squirrels to present a new weekly Popup Market that will be held Saturdays at The Diamond in Richmond, beginning April 10th from 10 am-4 pm.

PopUp Market at The Diamond will feature dozens of rotating artisans, craft, and other local business vendors as well as food and dessert sales and beer and wine. Each week will showcase a new lineup of vendors including Woodworking, Art & Homemade, Activities & Games, Clothing, Jewelry & Accessories, Kitchen & Beverage, Beauty Supplies & Services, Pet & Pet Supplies, Kids Games & Activities, Desserts, Beer & Wine, Locally Grown Products, CBD, Non-Profit & Cause Based, and more, according to organizers.

The full lineup of participating vendors can be viewed at RiverCityFestivals.com. Local vendors and other businesses interested in participating can find more information and register at the same website.

PopUp Market at The Diamond will be held rain or shine in the “Blue Lot” directly next to The Diamond located at 3001 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.

All COVID guidelines will be strictly adhered to according to the then-current requirements and guidelines.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels are the host organization for the PopUp Market, River City Festivals is the organizer and promoter, proceeds from the event will go towards Giving Local, helping to support small businesses.

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