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Richmond native lands work on Netflix show

Richmond native Emlyn Crenshaw, 26, moved to Los Angeles in 2016 after graduating from Georgetown University. A year later she landed a job as a showrunner assistant on the Netflix series “Raising Dion,” which debuted in October.

Capital News Service

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By Aliviah Jones

Plenty of unemployed college graduates pack up and head for sunny California. Richmond native Emlyn Crenshaw, 26, moved to Los Angeles in 2016 after graduating from Georgetown University. A year later — one that Crenshaw described as “a yearlong panic attack” — her connections helped her land a job as a showrunner assistant on the Netflix series “Raising Dion,” which debuted in October.

“When you come from somewhere like Virginia, working in TV seems like pie in the sky,” Crenshaw said. “It doesn’t seem like a real job that you can actually have.”

“Raising Dion” was created by showrunner Carol Barbee who adapted the series from the original superhero comic of the same name by Dennis Liu.

The sci-fi show tells the story of a widowed mom trying to solve the mystery surrounding her husband’s death and her young son’s emerging superpowers, while keeping his extraordinary gifts under wraps. Michael B. Jordan, known for his film roles in “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed” and “Black Panther,” is the executive producer of the show and plays Dion’s father.

Dion is played by Ja’Siah Young in his first lead role, while his mom is portrayed by Alisha Wainwright.

The series highlights diversity and representation as Dion explores his newly discovered powers. He is struggling to fit in at a new Atlanta elementary school where he is one of two black students, while also grappling with the loss of his father. He learns emotional strength from his best friend, Esperanza, who is in a wheelchair, and his mentor Pat, played by Jason Ritter.

Crenshaw was involved in all stages of production, especially in the writer’s room where she pitched ideas to writers, something Crenshaw said was rare for someone at an assistant level position.

“It was a really special show on screen but also behind the screen,” Crenshaw said. “It was really diverse and thoughtful.”

Before moving to LA, Crenshaw was heavily involved in Richmond’s theater scene. She attended the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, also known as SPARC. After years of performing on stage, Crenshaw began to learn more about production and said she gravitated toward the behind the scenes aspect.

While attending Georgetown University, Crenshaw was involved with comedy and the improv team but said she never saw it as a viable career. She didn’t study theater, but majored in justice and peace studies, and minored in sociology.

After her freshman year, Crenshaw and four of her high school friends started the Richmond-based Full Circle Theater Project. The production company formed as a way for the friend group to work on creative projects together again after going to different schools across the country.

The five-member group produced the play “From Up Here” with Crenshaw directing and casting the show. The group did everything from fundraising, marketing, and stage design to costume design, casting and stage direction.

 “I think that experience always stuck out in my head as like, in a perfect world I would be doing something like this,” Crenshaw said.

Allison Gilman, who grew up performing at SPARC with Crenshaw, said the theater company was a culmination of their years performing together.

“We grew up doing theater together, but we were never the ones producing it and doing all of the behind the scenes stuff,” Gilman said.

Crenshaw began working for a nonprofit after graduating from Georgetown University but realized she yearned to do something more creative, so she moved to LA to fully pursue a career in television writing.

“It still took me another eight months, maybe, not to be terrified of saying that I wanted to write,” Crenshaw said.

The cast and crew of “Raising Dion” are still waiting to hear about a second season. All nine episodes of season one are available for streaming on Netflix.

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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.

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Kickstarter-funded Ruby Scoops ice cream shop to open on Brookland Park Boulevard later this fall

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

RVAHub Staff

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Rabia Kamara recalls drinking a sweet, sugary Colombian beverage as a 5-year-old in Silver Spring, Md. It wasn’t until she was at an international market over 25 years later that she came across the beverage again and fell in love with it anew.

Kamara wants to create similar memories for customers at her ice cream shop, Ruby Scoops Ice Cream and Sweets, which is in the works on Richmond’s Brookland Park Boulevard in North Side. There, Kamara plans to add a unique spin on ice cream flavors, with twists such as Peaches N’ Herb, Sweet Corn Basil and Lemon Honey Chamomile.

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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Want to kick in to the Ruby Scoops Kickstarter? You can do that here.

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CEO of Richmond-based Elephant Insurance’s parent company gifting employees $13 million

As a thank you to all the staff at Admiral and Elephant Insurance who have made his 29 years with the company so special, David Stevens and his wife, Heather will give £1,000 to every full-time member of staff and £500 to all other staff. For employees in the United States, this equates to around $1,300 for full-time employees and $650 for part-time employees.

RVAHub Staff

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David Stevens, CEO and co-founder of Elephant Insurance’s parent company, Admiral Group, announced yesterday he will give a personal gift of around $13 million to over 11,000 employees ahead of his retirement.

As a thank you to all the staff at Admiral and Elephant Insurance who have made his 29 years with the company so special, David Stevens and his wife, Heather will give £1,000 to every full-time member of staff and £500 to all other staff. For employees in the United States, this equates to around $1,300 for full-time employees and $650 for part-time employees.

“Saying thank you to all the Admiral staff in this way is the right thing to do, and I’m so proud and fortunate to have worked with such a special group of people,” said David Stevens, CEO and co-found of Admiral. “Their hard work and dedication has allowed Admiral to grow from a start-up with one brand, zero customers and 57 members of staff, to a FTSE 100 company worth around £8 billion with multiple brands, millions of customers and over 11,000 staff worldwide. Thank you from myself and my wife to everyone at Admiral.”

All Admiral staff, whether they work in Richmond or Rome, Newport or Delhi and everywhere in-between, will benefit from the gift.

“Today and every day, we are so appreciative to work for a company under the Admiral umbrella,” said Alberto Schiavon, CEO of Elephant Insurance. “David Stevens’ generosity will impact all of Elephant’s more than 630 employees, most of whom are here in Richmond. We wish him well in this new stage of life and look forward to welcoming Admiral’s new CEO, Milena Mondini de Focatiis.”

For more information about Elephant Insurance, visit www.elephant.com.

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Urban Farmhouse in Scott’s Addition closes doors after six years

The local chain of market cafes is now down to just two locations – one in Shockoe Bottom and the other in Midlothian.

RVAHub Staff

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From Richmond BizSense:

A local café-and-market chain has retreated from Scott’s Addition as it cuts costs amid the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Urban Farmhouse has shuttered its location at 3015 Norfolk St., capping off an almost six-year stint in the neighborhood. The homegrown brand is now down to two locations, one in Shockoe Slip and the other in Midlothian.

The chain, which had six shops in 2016, eliminated the 4,000-square-foot Scott’s Addition location as it seeks to come out on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, owner Kathleen Richardson said.

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