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Great Backyard Bird Count Flies in this Weekend

This post is for the birds, literally.

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We post our fair share of winged friends on this site. I’m mostly entirely to blame for the proliferation of plumed pals. If you share my same fascination with creatures that can defy gravity and come in so many shapes and sizes please consider signing up the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you’re interested in finding out even more about our local birds you can always go hang out with the Richmond Audubon Society.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you can participate from your backyard, or anywhere in the world.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, more than 160,000 participants submitted their bird observations online, creating the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded.

The 23rd annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2020. Please visit the official website at birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.

It wouldn’t be a post about birds if I didn’t share some new bird photos. This is a Great Blue Heron spotted grabbing dinner at Chez Forest Hill Park Lake.


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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Events

Local artist Doug Orleski, better known as RVA Coffee Stain, selected as Monument 10K “Dash for the Cash” participant

Though he acknowledges that he still has plenty of work left to do to prepare before race day, Orleski already has plans for the $2,500 if he does cross the finish line first: he’ll donate the winnings to the VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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Doug Orleski, the Richmond-based artist known as ‘RVA Coffee Stain,’ has been selected for an opportunity to win $2,500 on Saturday, March 28, as the Dash for the Cash participant at the 2020 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger. In the Dash for the Cash, one participant is selected to get a head start on the course and race against the rest of the field in hopes of being the first to cross the finish line. If the contestant can outrun the fastest elite runner, the Dash for the Cash prize is theirs for the taking.

Orleski’s head start will be based on his estimated predicted time on his race entry form, previous running experiences, and estimated times of elite runners in the field. His goal is to attempt to cross the finish line before any of the other athletes running in the full 10k (6.2 miles). If he does outpace the rest of the field to the finish line, he will win the $2,500 cash prize.

The 2020 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k will be Orleski’s first-ever race after taking up running several years ago as part of a commitment to improving his health through active living. He began exercising and running on a regular basis and in the process lost 60 pounds on his journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Through his cartoon and sketch work as RVA Coffee Stain, Orleski says he’s able to celebrate Richmond through art, and his work helped him become part of the community after he moved to the area in 2012. Taking part in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k is a natural extension of that community involvement and another great way to celebrate Richmond’s love for active living and big events.

“I was surprised and excited to be approached with the opportunity to take part in the Dash for the Cash,” Orleski said. “I was looking forward to the experience already since this will be my first actual race, and now I am anticipating race day on March 28 even more.”

Though he acknowledges that he still has plenty of work left to do to prepare before race day, Orleski already has plans for the $2,500 if he does cross the finish line first: he’ll donate the winnings to the VCU Massey Cancer Center, one of the official charity partners of the 10k, to help aid in their fight against cancer and support the lifesaving research being done here in Richmond.

In addition to the training he’s already done, Orleski plans to utilize the help of the Richmond Road Runners Club Advanced 10k Training Team, particularly to build speed. Orleski joked that after learning he’d been selected, “I texted my wife and said it looks like it’s time to start training so I don’t look like a fool out there,” but he knows this is a rare opportunity and a unique way to engage with the 10k, and he says he’s looking forward to the experience: “I’ll plan to do some fun stuff on RVA Coffee Stain social media leading up the race…. this will be really cool.”

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Arts & Entertainment

The world is coming to Richmond for the Menuhin Competition – the “Olympics of Violin” – this May

The world is coming to Richmond from May 14-24, 2020 for the Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists. This Competition, called the “Olympics of the Violin,” is held every two years in different cities around the world.

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The world is coming to Richmond from May 14-24, 2020 for the Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists. This Competition, called the “Olympics of the Violin,” is held every two years in different cities around the world. Richmond is set to be the host city in 2020—only the second time that the Competition has been held in the U.S.

The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 will showcase the exceptional talents of 44 competitors: 22 Juniors ages 15 and under, and 22 Seniors from ages 15-21. A record 321 candidates from 32 countries and five continents applied by the Oct. 31 deadline, and the 44 global competitors were announced in January. One of the competitors is from Virginia, Kayleigh Kim.

For 11 days in May, Richmond will be transformed into a celebratory festival of music with competitions, performances, master classes and concerts in several music genres throughout the region. Co-hosts are the Richmond Symphony, the City of Richmond, the University of Richmond, VCU and VPM.

The first round events at Camp Concert Hall at the University of Richmond are free to the public, but a ticket is required for admission and can be requested here. Semi-final rounds will be held at the W.E. Singleton Center at VCU, and final rounds will be held at the Dominion Energy Center downtown.

For more information about the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020, including dates, times, venues and tickets for all of the events, visit the website.

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Business

Richmond-based company launching digital TV streaming network today with event at VMHC

Richmond-based Soulidifly Productions will launch the new streaming TV network today and is throwing a launch party tonight in celebration.

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Richmond based Soulidifly Productions is launching a new digital TV streaming network today known as SoulVision.TV. The new network will feature over 200 hours of “authentic, positive, and often untold human stories shown in feature films and movies, TV shows, news, interviews, cartoons, and more,” according to a news release.

The network will be accessible from all devices including all leading streaming platforms – Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire – and on all mobile platforms, tablets and other devices including smart TVs and home computers.

Entertainers Cecily, Carla Jackson, JJ Squire, and vocalist Imani Waters will headline an event this evening at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture ahead of the network’s launch.

The event takes place beginning at 6:30 PM at the museum at 428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Tickets are $20; $10 for students. Attendees can also get complimentary tickets by entering code “SVTV” on the ticketing page.

Learn more and get tickets here and check out a preview of the new network below.

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