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CultureWorks marks milestone with over $1 million invested in community over past decade

“We must nurture arts and culture now, so that our great region can draw on these vital components during and after the current crisis, and continue to thrive.”

RVAHub Staff

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As CultureWorks celebrates its Tenth Anniversary year, the organization is thrilled to announce the investment of $1 million in the arts and culture community in Richmond and the Tri-Cities region over the past decade.

These funds have strengthened and supported artists and arts and culture organizations, built infrastructure, increased access to arts and culture in underserved communities, and provided critical relief in response to COVID-19.

“Arts and culture are critical to our region’s health and success, so a decade of making this kind of impact is significant. These investments build a foundation for communities to thrive through successful, creative, innovative, artists, and arts and culture organizations. Our grants program touches many who would otherwise be too small or too new for other funding opportunities as well as those who are experienced but need a little help. Our goal is to be inclusive and broad-based. We’re thrilled that our reach and our impact continue to grow.” said President Scott Garka.

2020 CultureWorks Grants Program

CultureWorks Grants Program supports a wide variety of projects and experiences taking place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The current round of grant awards totaled $67,150 and were made possible through the generosity of Altria Group, the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond, and other individual local arts supporters.

In light of the global pandemic, CultureWorks and a coalition of partners launched the COVID- 19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund in April 2020. The Relief Fund provided financial assistance to professional artists of all disciplines (visual, performing, and more) throughout the Richmond and Tri-Cities region who lost income from canceled paid creative opportunities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

To date, CultureWorks has awarded $500 grants to 164 individual professional artists in need, spanning 32 disciplines. Additionally, CultureWorks issued emergency operating support grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for 21 arts and culture organizations in critical need as a result of the pandemic. In total, CultureWorks has provided $162,000 of funding for the Region through the Relief Fund to date.

“We must nurture arts and culture now, so that our great region can draw on these vital components during and after the current crisis, and continue to thrive,” a spokesperson said in a statement. You can click here to make a contribution.

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RVA Fashion Week makes comeback with socially distant events October 5th through 11th

RVAHub Staff

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The people behind Richmond’s growing fashion industry are making their 12th year happen through a combination of virtual and socially distanced events, shining a light on talent across Richmond and throughout Virginia.

RVA Fashion Week, which was held over from the spring, will run October 5-11. Events include runway shows, panel discussions, personal development workshops, and charity support.

Brands, designers, models, and producers have collaborated to showcase a diverse fashion and art community for people of all shapes, sizes, and tastes. Programming covers streetwear, evening wear, artistic expression, and fashion suitable for the workplace.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with such a resilient team under these challenging circumstances,” says Jimmy Budd, executive producer of RVA Fashion Week. “This season shows how tight-knit the Richmond community is.”

Mental health awareness is a topic discussed every fashion week through its partnership with the local nonprofit Runway2Life, which aims to spread awareness and provide support.

This season’s artwork features sketches from Amanda Campbell, of ABLE designs, who is in recovery for a severe eating disorder, Budd says: “Her focusing on sketches is a huge motivator for her to power through these difficult times and we are honored to share her work.”

A small group of students at Virginia Commonwealth University launched what would become RVA Fashion Week in 2008. The shows, all run with volunteer effort, have served as a springboard for new talent through the years. Find complete info at rvafw.com.

The Lineup:

Monday, Oct. 5

Event: RVA Fashion Week Launch Event by POSH PR
When: 6 p.m.
Where: The Doll HQ
What: An invite-only launch party. Featuring designers, entrepreneurs, models, and other creative professionals in Richmond’s fashion industry. Follow RVA Fashion Week and POSH PR via Instagram for an inside look at the evening’s event. For media inquiries, email [email protected]

Tuesday, Oct. 6

Event: Fashion Show Presented by Neechic
When: 2 p.m.
Where: Dillard’s, Stony Point Fashion Park, 9200 Stony Point Parkway
What: This show will display timeless and chic comfort for the professional and everyday woman. The looks will showcase women of all shapes and sizes, which is reflective of the real world. This show is in collaboration with Runway2Life to help continue raising awareness around mental health.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Event: A Virtual Fashion Experience (A.V.F.X.)
When: Noon
Where: Broadcast from Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, VA.
What: Fall/Winter Debut by The Dapper Luq Collection, featuring suits, tuxedos, and coats for both men and women, designed by Dapper Luq.

Event: The Versatility of Looks in a Professional Environment
When: 3 p.m.
Where: Gather, Arts District Location, 313 E. Broad St.
What: Gather and 707 Fine Clothing team up for this seminar about the ins and outs of versatile looks suitable for a variety of work environments and business events. Sweets will be provided by Sugar & Twine, and plenty of space will allow for social distancing. RSVP required.

Event: The I.D. Fashion Education Panel at Very Ashley
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Stony Point Fashion Park, 9200 Stony Point Parkway
What: This panel is presented by StitchbyChanel and RVA Fashion Week — a space to view fashion in a different light. Fashion should not only be worn, but also tell a story. Creatives from different walks of the fashion industry will share wisdom, personal experience, and industry knowledge. “It’s not about the dress or pants you wear, it’s about the life you lead in that outfit.” Your I.D. is your story.

Thursday, Oct. 8

Event: Streetwear Designer Shows
When: Throughout the Day
Where: Virtual Event
What: Streetwear designers have created virtual shows that will be on display throughout the day at RVAFashionWeek.com.

Friday, Oct. 9

Event: Runway2Life Virtual Show
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual Event Broadcast on Runway2Life’s YouTube Channel
What: Runway2Life will bring fashion and beauty together while continuing the conversation on mental health and suicide prevention. Runway2life will host smaller shows virtually for 2020 until we can meet up again. Runway2life’s goals are to help save lives during these difficult times. Tune in to our social media platforms and subscribe to Runway2Life’s YouTube channel to support fashion and beauty while furthering our cause.

Saturday, Oct. 10

Event: One Drop Yoga Virtual Session presented by Michelle Lee Landon.
When: 10 a.m.
Where: Virtual Event
What: This session focuses on movement, breath, and meditation accessible to everyone. Socially distant (weather permitting) and family-friendly flow. Michelle is a community yoga instructor and high school Family and Consumer Science educator at Varina High School, where she teaches Intro to Fashion, Relationships, and Life Planning. She believes in the healing power of yoga and mindfulness to transform and heal individuals as well as entire communities. Her community yoga and mindfulness offerings are accessible for every experience level, trauma-informed, and family-friendly.

Event: Emotional Intelligence Workshop
When: 2-5 p.m.
Where: 707 Fine Clothing, 310 E. Broad St.
What: This workshop is presented by Brandon Burho, a graduate of the Ascension Leadership Academy (San Diego, CA). Brandon will hold a motivational and developmental workshop at 707 Fine Clothing from 2-5 p.m. His focus is “Building the Foundation of Powerful Relationships.” The course is designed to help attendees identify core values to know what they stand for, discover and overcome limiting beliefs in all relationships, and master communication and generous listening to empower those around you. Free to attend, RSVP required because of limited seating by emailing [email protected]

Sunday, Oct. 11

Event: Evening Wear and Professional Designer Shows
When: Throughout the Day
Where: Virtual Event
What: Designers have created virtual shows that will be on display throughout the day at RVAFashionWeek.com.

Event: Beauty Has No Limits Fashion Show
When: 4-7 p.m.
Where: James River Cellars Winery, 11008 Washington Highway, Glen Allen
What: Since launching in 2017, EVOLVE has been on a mission to celebrate beauty in all its forms. It works to include women of all different shapes, sizes, ages, races, gender identities, and abilities. EVOLVE holds its second annual Beauty Has No Limits fashion show. Tickets will be released this week.

Event: Cirque De Couture
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Broadcast from Bombshell, 4821 Commonwealth Centre Parkway, Midlothian
What: Bombshell Beauty Lounge is host to an evening of fashion and whimsical fun, opening a vision without limits. Join us on a magical ride for which everyone has a reserved, virtual seat.

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Virginia Opera Announces New General Director and CEO

Peggy Kriha Dye is the organization’s new General Director and CEO. Kriha Dye officially steps into the role, succeeding retiring current Virginia Opera President and CEO, Russell P. Allen, on October 18, 2020.

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On Wednesday the Statewide Board of Directors of Virginia Opera, The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is very pleased to announce the appointment of Peggy Kriha Dye as the organization’s new General Director and CEO. Kriha Dye officially steps into the role, succeeding retiring current Virginia Opera President and CEO, Russell P. Allen, on October 18, 2020. The appointment comes after a months-long national search process.

Paul Winslow, chairman of the Opera’s Statewide Board of Directors said, “We are extremely excited to welcome Peggy to our Virginia Opera family, my fellow board members and I are confident her vision will launch our organization into what will be a new, innovative era as we approach our 50th anniversary in the 2024-2025 Season. We believe Peggy to be the right person not only to maintain our high artistic standards, but also to successfully attract new audiences to our beloved musical form.”

A native of Minnesota, Peggy Kriha Dye received her BA in Music Education from Saint Cloud State University (MN) and pursued her graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard Opera Center. As a soprano, she performed on more than 100 stages in over 40 productions throughout the world from 1992–2017, originating the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, written and conducted by André Previn at the San Francisco Opera, and reprising the role with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington National Opera. Her other significant roles include Musetta in La Bohème with the San Francisco Opera and Shanghai Opera House, among others. Her final performances were in the title role of Medea in Toronto and Versailles (2017).

In 2011, Kriha Dye turned her focus to her administrative career at Opera Columbus (OC), a company with whom she served successfully for nearly a decade, beginning as Director of Education and Community Programming (2011–2014), Artistic Director (2014–2017), and, finally, General and Artistic Director + CEO (2017–2020). Under her leadership, OC has become renowned for skillfully and sensitively combining visionary new artistic programming and commissioned works—2018-2019 saw the world premiere of The Flood, OC’s first new work in nearly 20 years and winner of the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Excellence Award—with traditional operatic ones. Under her leadership, OC continually achieved balanced budgets and operating surpluses, expanded fundraising opportunities, and fostered critically lauded community and creative partnerships at national and international levels.

In addition to her former organizational oversight of Opera Columbus, Kriha Dye continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of Opera America, is involved in the Women’s Opera Network and is past recipient of such accolades as Musical America’s 2018 Professionals of the Year/”Movers and Shakers” Edition award.

Of her appointment as General Director and CEO of Virginia Opera, Kriha Dye said: “It is an honor to be chosen to lead the Virginia Opera in the next exciting chapter of its statewide history. I am humbled and excited to join its valuable leadership, staff, artists and creative partners and Artistic Director, Maestro Adam Turner, as we collectively look toward the Virginia Opera’s 50th Anniversary Season. To be certain, as the challenges for the performing arts we love and hold so close continue in the months ahead, it is with equal certainty that I know we will meet and prevail in those challenges. Together, we will continue to joyfully build a stronger, inclusive, diverse, and successful Virginia Opera. Our best moments are yet ahead. I look forward to beginning the journey in October.”

Virginia Opera 2020-2021 Production Overview

La Voix Humaine – Francis Poulenc
Gianni Schicchi – Giacomo Puccini
DOUBLE BILL: Norfolk – FEB 5, 7 & 9, 2021 | Fairfax – FEB 13 & 14, 2021 | Richmond – FEB 19 & 21, 2021

The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) – W.A. Mozart
Norfolk – MAR 12, 14 & 16, 2021 | Fairfax – MAR 20 & 21, 2021 | Richmond – MAR 26 & 28, 2021

The Pirates of Penzance – W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Norfolk – APR 16, 18 & 20, 2021 | Richmond – APR 23 & 25, 2021

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“Big Tent Festival: African American Voices” kicks off Richmond Symphony at Maymont Saturday

Due to COVID-19, all seating will be pod-style and groups are asked to sit at least six feet apart. Proceeds from this event support the purchase of musical instruments for elementary and middle school students in Richmond Public Schools’ 5th District.

RVAHub Staff

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The 2020-2021 Richmond Symphony season opens tomorrow with a one-day Big Tent Festival at Maymont, supported by the City of Richmond. This will be the first time the orchestra has played together since the pandemic hit.

Music Director Valentina Peleggi will open her first season with a program theme of African American Voices, recognizing the perspectives of the Black employees of the Dooley family who originally lived at Maymont, which is represented through the new Below Stairs exhibit at the Dooley Mansion and portrayed by actors during the festival.

It all takes place Saturday, September 12th from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. Gates open at 2:00 PM. Richmond Symphony will perform at 6:30 PM alongside actors portraying African American Maymont staff members of the Dooley era. Maymont is located at 1700 Hampton Street in Richmond.

Due to COVID-19, all seating will be pod-style and groups are asked to sit at least six feet apart. Proceeds from this event support the purchase of musical instruments for elementary and middle school students in Richmond Public Schools’ 5th District. For more information about the Big Tent and to reserve tickets, click here.

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