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Patrick Patrong named VMFA’s new Chief Diversity Officer

As Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Deputy Director for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and HR Strategic Initiatives, Patrong will assist in leading EDIA strategies defined in VMFA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan and co-lead the museum’s commitment to the ONE Virginia Plan recently launched by the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced the appointment of Patrick Patrong to the position of Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Deputy Director for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and HR Strategic Initiatives. Patrong comes to VMFA with more than 25 years of experience as a public service leader.

Currently the lead facilitator for his consulting firm, Patrong Enterprises, Inc., he has also worked as Construction Training Manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation and Director of the Training, Education and Exercise Division for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. In addition, he led organizational diversity initiatives for seven professional schools of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, while serving as Director of Organization and Employee Development.

“Patrick has a solid background in implementing and managing diversity programs at several agencies in the public sector. We are delighted to have someone with his extensive experience joining the museum’s human resources team,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Patrick will play a leading role taking VMFA’s EDIA initiatives to the next level and ensuring that the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility are fully integrated into everything the museum does and shared with all VMFA employees.”

As Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Deputy Director for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and HR Strategic Initiatives, Patrong will assist in leading EDIA strategies defined in VMFA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan and co-lead the museum’s commitment to the ONE Virginia Plan recently launched by the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

For more than a decade, VMFA has actively worked to diversify its collection, exhibitions, staff and audience. Building on the success of its previous strategic plan, the museum strives to become a more vibrant, inclusive cultural leader. The museum’s current strategic plan demonstrates its commitment to the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. VMFA’s vision is to be an institution that empowers all Virginians — through art and creativity — to reflect and connect to each other, their communities and the wider world.

“I am excited to join the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts team, to work with employees and the museum’s community on expanding the institutional EDIA initiatives. VMFA’s diverse organizational culture already has unique advantages when it comes to attracting diverse staff and visitors and developing museum exhibitions, art collections and programs that appeal to diverse communities,” said Patrong. “Communication, idea generation, creativity and connectivity are all enhanced through engagement with the museum’s representative communities.”

“Patrick’s knowledge and experience will help VMFA continue to advance towards instilling EDIA values and practices, becoming a more valuable and relevant community resource, and providing even greater access to the arts for all people in the Commonwealth,” said Kimberly Wilson, VMFA’s Chief Operating Officer and CHRO/Deputy Director for Human Resource Services, Museum Operations and Volunteers.

Patrong will begin his position at VMFA on July 26. For more information about VMFA’s strategic plan and EDIA initiatives visit www.VMFA.museum.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Arts & Entertainment

2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival Dates Announced

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Two of Virginia’s largest and most beloved events return this fall to Downtown Richmond.

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, is October 1-2, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts and the City of Richmond, is October 7-9, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront.

“Venture Richmond Events is proud to produce these two festivals that have brought so much attention to two Downtown neighborhoods – Jackson Ward and the Riverfront,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events for Venture Richmond. “Both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival are economic drivers bringing a combined 200,000+ people Downtown and generating $39.5 million in economic impact annually. With six stages along the Riverfront and four stages in Jackson Ward, these two events that are only a week apart, showcase world class entertainment, food, arts and culture in Downtown.”

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia Union University, Brown Distributing, CoStar Group, and Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., CarMax, CoStar Group, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia is for Lovers, National Council for the Traditional Arts, Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the Children’s Museum.

Check out pictures from last year’s Folk Festival here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Tonight’s Friday Cheers is Cancelled Due to Weather

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

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This is the first time that I can remember that Friday Cheers has pulled the plug due to weather concerns. Understandable due to the forecast of high winds.

Hot off the press release printing press.

For the safety of our patrons, artists and staff we must unfortunately cancel tonight’s Friday Cheers with Japanese Breakfast and Abby Huston. We understand this is a tremendous disappointment, and we share that sentiment.

“We’ve produced hundreds of outdoor events and have hosted hundreds of thousands of patrons, but I don’t believe that we have ever had a more definitive forecast predicting unsafe weather as we have for this evening,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We have been advised by several meteorologists that severe weather is certain and, frankly, cancelling is our only choice.”

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

Thank you for understanding this difficult decision.

Website: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/friday-cheers-2022/

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Arts & Entertainment

Arts on the Lawn returns to Hermitage Richmond for second year May 14th

Open to all residents, families, team members, and community friends who share a love of art and creating.

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Retirement community Hermitage Richmond is hosting its second annual Arts on the Lawn event on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The event is free and will be held outdoors on Hermitage Richmond’s front lawn at 1600 Westwood Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talent we have here at Hermitage Richmond,” said Amy Chapman, Hermitage Richmond’s Executive Director. “Our resident artists are excited to share their work with the community and invite other artists to do so as well. We want everyone to know that the fine arts are alive and thriving at Hermitage Richmond. It is such a great way to kick off the summer and have our residents and community come together.”

More than 50 local artists and creators will feature their paintings, photography, pottery, fiber art, handmade jewelry, woodwork, and more. All artists will benefit 100% from their sales.

There will also be three food trucks and live music from Chris and Suzi of Thorp Jenson plus GreenSpring International Academy of Music student performers at the event.

Net proceeds at Arts on the Lawn will benefit Hermitage Richmond’s Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, which is an evidence-based intergenerational art-making program benefiting people with dementia.

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