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Richmond Folk Festival and 2nd Street Festival Cancelled

There will be more announcements regarding virtual celebrations for both festivals that showcase favorite past performances, new live performances, online children’s activities, a virtual marketplace, demonstrations, giveaways, and much more.

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Not unexpected but bummer news this morning from Venture Richmond this morning.

For the safety of our patrons, volunteers, artists and staff due to the unpredictable and ongoing threat posed by the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with our government officials’ phased approach to group gatherings, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 2nd Street Festival and Richmond Folk Festival.

​Developments related to state, national, and international events in 2020 have made it clear that as the organizer of these two free, large-scale community festivals, the necessary health precautions simply cannot be taken without radically changing the nature and scope of the events.

​We have not reached this decision easily. We know that especially in these times of community isolation it’s important to come together and celebrate our shared culture and experiences, whether they are the rich traditions of the historic Jackson Ward community, or cultures from around the nation and the world presented on our downtown riverfront. Certainly, the joy we receive from producing these two festivals every October is immeasurable. However, we do not believe it is responsible or in the best interest of our community to bring together tens, and even hundreds of thousands of individuals in very close proximity, with no ability to control attendee numbers, distancing, or to sufficiently enforce precautions.

​However, we don’t plan to let these two weekends go unnoticed and are working now with our sponsors and partners to determine the most meaningful and safe way we can bring the community together, even if only virtually. We hope you’ll stay tuned for more announcements regarding virtual celebrations for both festivals that showcase favorite past performances, new live performances, online children’s activities, a virtual marketplace, demonstrations, giveaways, and much more.

​Remember to “Save the Date” for:

  • 2nd Street Festival: October 2-3, 2021
  • Richmond Folk Festival: October 8-10, 2021

Until then, stay tuned to our social media pages and websites!

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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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Topgolf in Scott’s Addition reopens doors with new safety restrictions

“We’re very excited about being open again, I mean we waited so long. We wanted to make sure we took all the right steps so when we do reopen, we open safe for all our guests and all our associates.”

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From WRIC:

For the first time in months, Richmonders were once again able to tee off at Richmond Scott’s Addition Topgolf location.

With more than 50 reservations made for reopening day, the three-story entertainment venue was proof of how eager people were to get out and have some fun on a hot summer day.

Cliff Twiggs, Topgolf’s Director of Operations, says a “commitment to play safely” is what guests will find at the high-tech driving range moving forward as a result of the pandemic.

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Explore Virginia’s natural beauty with new exhibition at Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Celebrate the efforts in preservation and horticulture made by the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) during its 100-year history with a new exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, “A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100.”

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Celebrate the efforts in preservation and horticulture made by the Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) during its 100-year history with a new exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, “A Landscape Saved: The Garden Club of Virginia at 100.”

Featuring photographs and objects from the past century of the organization’s history, this exhibition highlights the work of the GCV and its dedicated members in advancing the appreciation of horticulture and the advocacy for land preservation, particularly regarding the formation of the state parks system.

“As the first conservation organization in Virginia, the achievements of GCV have bettered the lives of all who live in or travel through the Commonwealth,” the VMHC said in a release.

The Garden Club of Virginia is now a partnership of 3,400 community and civic leaders active in 48 garden clubs across the state.

Learn more about the exhibition here.

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The Byrd Theatre hires first ever Executive Director amid COVID-19 pandemic

Stacy Shaw, the new Executive Director, as of July 1, 2020, comes to the Byrd Theatre with 30 years experience as an arts administrator having worked for 2 other historic theaters in her past, The Wells Theatre in Norfolk, VA and The National Theatre in DC.

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Closure due to COVID-19 isn’t stopping the Byrd Theatre from continuing to focus on the strategic plan and its long-term future. When closure happened in Mid-March, the Byrd Theatre Foundation was already well into a national search for the first Executive Director to lead the non-profit theatre as part of the Phase 2 Strategic Plan. Thanks to the more than $1,100,000 raised in early lead gifts toward a second phase of the Strategic Plan, funds have been earmarked for both capital improvements and restorations as well as opportunity funds to finance this leadership position at the theatre.

Stacy Shaw, the new Executive Director, as of July 1, 2020, comes to the Byrd Theatre with 30 years experience as an arts administrator having worked for 2 other historic theaters in her past, The Wells Theatre in Norfolk, VA and The National Theatre in DC. She spent the last 6 years at The National Theatre as the Director of Institutional Advancement establishing corporate, capital, endowment, and major donor campaigns while expanding foundation and government support. She lives in Petersburg, VA with her wife who teaches at Virginia State University.

“We are so thrilled to have someone with Stacy’s experience and expertise join the Byrd. We are confident in her ability to lead the organization through the current times and into a successful future.” Said, Ted Haynes, Byrd Theatre Foundation President.

“In my experience, Stacy Shaw is a talented arts administrator who brings an amazing amount of knowledge, passion, and heart to everything she undertakes.  I have no doubt that she will bring that same energy to the Byrd Theatre and its mission.“ Sarah Chaplin, former Executive Director of The National Theatre and current President and CEO of The State Theatre of New Jersey.

While the Governor’s Phase 3 opening date is July 1st, the Byrd Theatre will remain closed for now. Shaw has worked with the Board of Directors to make the decision to remain closed and focus internally on updating cleaning and seating protocols to meet COVID-19 standards. This is a difficult financial decision, continued closure means operating funds are slim, but the increased cost to open and operate the theatre under the COVID-19 standards make the margins challenging. The Theatre was fortunate to get a PPP loan early on that allowed the Theatre to continue paying the primarily part-time staff until mid-June when the funds ran out.

Stacy Shaw said, “We have already reached out to our wonderful patrons for their input to make sure they feel confident about their attendance at the Byrd as well as following updates on cleaning protocols. We are particularly fortunate that the Byrd has a large seating area that social distancing is easily accomplished when compared to the movie theatres of today. Meanwhile, we are utilizing this time to do as much cleaning, updating, and capital improvements as possible. One of the most exciting projects has been the completion of a total renovation of the Wurlitzer Piano in the upper left balcony!”

There are capital funds earmarked for Phase Two capital improvements that will begin to happen late summer and into 2021.

Planned Phase Two Capital Improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Renovation of the women’s restroom
  • Concession area improvements
  • Replacement of the carpet and expansion of the seat replacements
  • A range of replacements of various systems: lighting, mechanicals, PA system
  • Replacement of rear doors
  • A range of front of stage improvements
  • Further care of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ and Wurlitizer Piano

Stacy Shaw said, “I am excited to be part of the organization and to be joining at such a pivotal moment in time.” With Phase Two fundraising underway, Shaw also said, “We looking forward to the next multi-year phase of restoration and growth. The Foundation will be expanding its philanthropic efforts to meet the estimated goal of $2.4 million and to offer donors a range of unique naming and commemorative options.”

Phase One projects replaced the roof as well as heating and cooling systems; installed a digital server and state-of-the-art 4K projector; organ repairs; restored historic plasterwork and center seats; and created a wheelchair accessible seating area and ADA family restroom.

While closed, the Byrd Theatre is not bringing in operating funds, therefore, the theatre is actively looking for creative ways to bring film out into the community. Look for the Byrd Theatre to partner with different organizations and spaces for drive-in and other movie night type events throughout the summer and fall. The Virtual Screening Room will remain up and active as well, bringing new films not able to be seen on the big screen to your living room. Renting a film from the Byrd Theatre Virtual Screening Room supports the theatre while you enjoy a film!

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