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Richmond named one of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s ’50 Best Places To Travel in 2021′

Richmond was named as one of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2021” this month by Travel + Leisure, one of the country’s leading magazines covering domestic and international travel.   

RVAHub Staff

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When it is safe to travel again, the Richmond region will be on top of many people’s vacation plan lists.

Richmond was named as one of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2021” this month by Travel + Leisure, one of the country’s leading magazines covering domestic and international travel.

The designation is significant for the region, according to Richmond Region Tourism, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the Region to meeting, convention and sports event planners, tour operators and leisure travelers.

“We know national recognition helps drive interest and visitors to our region,” said Jack Berry, Richmond Region Tourism’s President & CEO. “As we look to the future, we know the health of our region’s economy depends on a strong travel sector. Our team is actively working with partners to welcome visitors back to the region when it is safe to do so.”

Richmond Region Tourism launched TravelSafeRVA.com as a resource for visitors to navigate safety protocols when traveling in the future.

Travel + Leisure noted Richmond’s focus on inclusion, public art and central location as reasons to visit:

“One of 2020’s most indelible images, and the one that best captured the changing identity of Richmond, was that of Marcus-David Peters Circle on Monument Avenue: A statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee astride a horse, its stone plinth a kaleidoscope of tags in support of Black Lives Matter. Now, with the statue’s removal in the works, Richmond is looking toward a new, more inclusive future. Virginia’s governor announced a proposal to allot $10 million in state funding to redesign the site, along with the stretches of Monument Avenue that once held similar tributes to Confederate figures. Another $9 million is proposed to help improve Richmond’s existing Slave Trail and establish a Slavery Heritage Site. Elsewhere in the city, look for public art created this year as part of Mending Walls RVA, a project spearheaded by muralist Hamilton Glass that brings together artists from disparate backgrounds to create murals around Richmond. Newly launched nonstop flights from Florida, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles will make visiting in 2021 a breeze, and Richmond’s location — within easy reach of Charlottesville, Virginia Beach, and wine country — makes it an ideal home base for a lengthier exploration of the state.”

Earlier this year, Richmond Region Tourism released its 10-year strategic plan aimed at responsibly growing the region’s tourism industry while supporting quality of life for residents. “Richmond Region 2030” focuses on experience development, infrastructure investments, and hospitality industry advocacy. The plan will be an important roadmap as the region’s tourism economy rebounds.

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Community

Results from “Lost Cause” Studio Project Survey Reveal a Richmond Eager to Confront its Past

The survey asked Richmond region residents to share their knowledge about and ongoing impact of the Lost Cause myth, their desire to learn about this complex history and how a transformed Valentine Studio can address community needs.

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From the Valentine.

Today the Valentine released the results of a community survey, conducted in October and November of 2020.

The survey asked Richmond region residents to share their knowledge about and ongoing impact of the Lost Cause myth, their desire to learn about this complex history and how a transformed Valentine Studio (the location on the museum’s campus where sculptor Edward Valentine created many Lost Cause works) can address community needs. More than 1,000 participants, representing a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds, completed the survey.

A diverse team of historians, activists, local leaders, Valentine family members and community members developed the survey. The Valentine also held focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of the variety of opinions about the Lost Cause, the role of cultural institutions in sharing this history and the potential installation of the damaged, paint-covered Jefferson Davis statue, until recently displayed on Monument Avenue, in the space. The results of the survey and the focus groups will inform and guide the project development.

Results included:

A majority of respondents stated that they would like to see the Valentine use the reinterpreted studio to explore the history of power and policies in Jim Crow Richmond, the art and artistic processes that created Lost Cause sculptures and the history of racial oppression in Richmond.

Additionally, 65% of respondents from the Richmond region agreed that museums should acquire the monuments from Monument Avenue and display them with context. For the Valentine specifically, this reinforced our request to the City of Richmond to acquire and display the graffiti-covered Jefferson Davis statue on his back as he fell.

Additionally, focus group participants, moderated by project partner Josh Epperson, felt that using the studio to explore Lost Cause history and connect it to the present would be a valuable use of the space. Focus group participants also affirmed the Valentine’s commitment to continuing its high level of community engagement, which they expected to be critical to the success of the reimagined studio.

You can find additional survey results HERE.

“Based on the survey feedback we received from our fellow Richmonders, we are confident that this is the best next step for this space and for this institution,” said Director Bill Martin. “We look forward to providing a location where Richmonders can learn about the Lost Cause, consider Richmond and the Valentine’s early role in disseminating the damaging Lost Cause myth and ultimately gain a deeper, more nuanced, more empathetic understanding of the region we call home.”

The Valentine will continue to solicit and address community questions, comments or concerns as the Studio Project develops.

On December 31st the Washington Post had an article on the museum taking a closer look at the role that founder of Edward V. Valentine had in the lost cause.

Today, the artist’s studio is closed to visitors at the Richmond museum that bears his family name — the Valentine. But museum director Martin and others see the workshop as the center of what could be a public reckoning with the racist mythology that Valentine’s sculptures helped bring to life.

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Community

Bookbinder’s Brings you Mac & Cheese on Another Level with BIGWIFE’S Pop-Up

This isn’t your typical mom’s mac & cheese. If your mom makes mac & cheese like this we would like to be adopted.

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Old Original Bookbinder’s Seafood & Steakhouse has launched a new experimental pop-up concept focusing exclusively on macaroni and cheese. BIGWIFE’S Mac & Cheese is operating for delivery and carryout from the Bookbinder’s kitchen.

The inventive menu includes creative spins like Buffalo Mac with spicy chicken and gorgonzola cheese; Little Figgy Mac with goat cheese, ham and fig; Mac Lorraine with bacon, scallions, and gruyere; and Greek Wedding Mac with tomato, olive, artichokes, pepperoncini and feta. Any mac can be made gluten free.

Orders can be placed at https://www.bigwifesmac.com/ and via Grubhub. BIGWIFE’S is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Old Original Bookbinder’s is located at 2306 E Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23223.

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Crime

City of Richmond declares State of Emergency due to “credible threats” related to planned protests

The city’s declaration opens up funds for emergency use and was voted into effect unanimously by City Council Monday evening.

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The City of Richmond and Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration has declared a State of Emergency for the city due to what officials call “credible threats” of violence related to planned protests leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20th.

The declaration follows Governor Ralph Northam’s declaration of a statewide State of Emergency, which allowed the administration to send National Guard troops and State Troopers to Washington, D.C. to help with security, logistics, and other immediate needs following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

The city’s declaration opens up funds for emergency use and was voted into effect unanimously by City Council Monday evening.

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