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GRTC awarded $11m for cleaner bus fleet, facility improvements

More environmentally friendly public transit is coming to the streets of Richmond thanks to an $11 million federal grant announced by U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

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More environmentally friendly public transit is coming to the streets of Richmond thanks to an $11 million federal grant announced by U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

GRTC will receive more than $10 million to replace 19 of its aging diesel buses with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, which release fewer harmful emissions, help improve air quality, and combat climate change. It also was awarded over $952,000 to demolish an existing building on its property and use it as a surface parking lot to store vehicles for existing and expanded transit service.

The funding was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Fiscal Year 2022 Low or No Emission Vehicle Program which helps state and local governments purchase or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquire and construct support facilities. It was made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by Sen. Kaine.

At the August 16, 2022, GRTC Board of Directors Meeting, CEO Julie Timm expressed appreciation for the foresight of current GRTC Board Member Eldridge F. Coles for his initiative to start the conversion of the GRTC fleet from diesel to CNG fuel during his tenure as CEO with the support of the City of Richmond over 10 years ago. “With this award,” stated Timm, “GRTC will be nearing completion of the conversion to a greener, cleaner fleet. However, even as this transition is nearing completion, GRTC is preparing to study newer and cleaner technologies for the bus fleet and bus facilities of 2050.”

Demolishing and remediating the aging building will both clean up the site and provide GRTC with land needed to manage its fleet expansion and growing ridership.

“GRTC’s maintenance facility and yard are at their capacity to hold our existing fleet and nearing capacity to meet the fleet’s CNG fueling needs,” Director of Planning & Scheduling Sam Sink said. “However, based on our significant post-COVID ridership recovery, we can already predict the need for increased service coverage and frequencies on our local bus routes and on the Pulse BRT line – which means we will soon need more buses of all sizes.”

GRTC was one of two Virginia transit agencies to receive federal funding under the announcement. Suffolk Transit was awarded $565,000.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration awarded a total of $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the country to invest in 150 clean bus fleets and facilities.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.

Community

Road Closures for Richmond Folk Festival

Quick summary, all the roads around Brown’s Island

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Road Closures/No Parking 4 p.m., Friday, Oct 7 – 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Oct 9 Starting Friday afternoon, several roads near Brown’s Island will close through the weekend for the Richmond Folk Festival. Parking will be prohibited.

Road specifics.

  • North 6th Street between East Broad and East Grace streets
  • Tredegar Street between South 7th Street and Belle Isle lot
  • South 10th Street between Haxall Point and Federal Reserve Bank
  • Spring Street between South 2nd and Belvidere streets
  • East Byrd Street between South 2nd and South 7th streets
  • South 2nd Street between Lee Bridge off ramp and East Byrd Street
  • South 3rd Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 4th Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 5th Street between East Canal and Tredegar streets

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Arts & Entertainment

Craft + Design 2022 is Back and In-person this Year

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state.

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Richmond, VA (September 28, 2022) Craft + Design is back in person and this year, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond welcomes over 150 artists to Craft + Design 2022. The 58-year-old contemporary craft show takes place at Main Street Station’s train shed on the weekend of Oct. 14-16, 2022. All proceeds from Craft + Design go towards VisArts’ community and educational programs.

Over 40 artists are new to Craft + Design this year and over half of the show’s artists are traveling from out of state. A complete list of participating artists is available on the event website.

“It’s an honor to know that the very best artists travel from all over the country to exhibit their work at Craft + Design,” said Stefanie Fedor, executive director of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. “We’re thrilled to be back in person at Main Street Station celebrating our 58th year of Craft + Design with so many talented makers from Richmond and beyond.”

VisArts selected Brooklyn-based fiber artist Sarah Djarnie-Brown as the featured artist this year. Djarnie-Brown’s vibrant and colorful heirloom dolls are handcrafted out of salvaged materials including wood, fabric, wool and various other recycled mixed materials.
Six 2019 Craft + Design award winners return to the show this year, including:
  • Nicario Jimenz (Elisabeth Scott Bocock Best in Show Award, Presented by McGuireWoods LLP
  • Stephen and Tamberlaine Zeh (Claris Financial Innovative Use of Traditional Craft Materials)
  • Daniel Rickey (Friends of the Wood Studio at VisArts Wood and Recycled Materials Award)
  • Melissa Schmidt (Priscilla Burbank and Mike Schewel Glass Award)
  • E. Douglas Wunder (Genworth Best Booth Design Award)
  • Robert Patterson (Troutman Sanders Contemporary Design Award)
Local Richmond notable includes Paul Hansbarger, owner of Lineage in Carytown who will host and a Local Maker booth at this year’s show.

VisArts also invited 20 Richmond artists who are instructors at the center. Accepted teachers include: Angie Bacskocky, Claire Berry, David Camden, Merenda Cecelia, Lauri Jenkins, Paul Klassett, Claire McCarty, Shawn Norian, Christine Orr, Stephen Palmer, Al Pellenberg, Julia Pfaff, Kourtenay Plummer, Debbie Quick, Tracy Shell, Danielle Stevens, Nastassja Swift, Ashley Tamber, Sarah Tector, and Kristi Totoritis. VisArts teachers Alicia Dietz and Alyssa Salomon were accepted into Craft + Design 2022 through our juried application process.

This year’s show was juried by VisArts Master Teaching Artist Jay Sharpe, Craft + Design Committee Chair Anna Powers, and local craft collectors and arts patrons Karen Kelly, Virginia Lewis and Maggie Smith.

Craft + Design is nationally recognized for its competitive admission rate. Additionally, artist feedback describes Craft + Design as an extremely hospitable show. The hosted housing program and artists’ dinner are just two of the perks that set Craft + Design apart from other shows of its caliber.

There will be several local maker booths at the show this year, featuring the work of Richmond-area craftspeople. Local brick-and-mortar retailers Dear Neighbor, Lineage, Na Nin and knifemaker Join or Die Knives will curate these special group booths.

Richmond Magazine has partnered with Richmond-based modern furniture retailer, LaDiff to bring an interior design showcase to Craft + Design 2022. The beautifully designed space will feature works of art from participating artists Ashley Chiang, Jorgelina Lopez & Marco Duenas, Daniel Rickey and Robert Patterson.

The McKinnon and Harris Patrons’ Preview Party, which takes place on Fri., Oct. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m., includes beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to shop early. Tickets cost $60 for VisArts members and $65 for the general public.

The Rise + Shine Brunch, which pairs another early shopping opportunity with a light breakfast, bloody marys and mimosas, will run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 15. Tickets are $35 for VisArts members and $40 for the general public. At this year’s brunch, Richmond magazine presents featured speaker, Susan Hable, the artist and designer behind Hable Construction Design Studio.

Regular shopping hours run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Sat., Oct. 15 and Sun., Oct. 16. General admission tickets cost $10.

The education wing presented by Richmond Family Magazine, located on the lower level of Main Street Station, is a free-to-the-public, art-making space where both adults and children can explore the media Craft + Design artists use to make their work.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is once again the exclusive beer sponsor of Craft + Design this year, serving beer throughout the weekend. The beer garden will be in the middle of Main Street Station’s event space beside the Claris Financial Demonstration Stage, which will showcase live demonstrations by VisArts teaching artists. During Saturday and Sunday’s regular shopping hours, Espresso-a-Go-Go, Goatocado, and Alamo BBQ will be serving food and refreshments on the lower level.

People who would like to attend multiple events over the course of the Craft + Design weekend should consider purchasing a weekend pass. Weekend passes are $85 for members and $90 for the general public and include a ticket to Patrons’ Preview (with complimentary valet parking), a ticket to Rise + Shine, and unlimited admission during regular shopping hours.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

2nd Street Festival Cancelled Grand Master Flash Performing at Hippodrome

Although the festival is cancelled there is a least one show that will go on. Curse you Hurrican Ian, curse you.

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Sad news from Venture Richmond

Venture Richmond Events has made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel the 2nd Street Festival, scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 1-2.

Like many, the Venture Richmond Events team has watched Ian for days, hoping that it would not be the massive and potentially deadly weather event that it clearly is. While we are extremely lucky to be a few states away from the serious issues Florida is facing, we also know that this weekend promises uncertain amounts of rainfall and potential wind gusts for our area. After consulting meteorologists, vendors, contractors, security, and other event planners, and after considering the Governor’s State of Emergency, we concluded to the best of our ability, that the event, if held, would not be safe. We must put the safety of our patrons, artists, vendors, contractors, and staff foremost.

There is good news though – a portion of the party will go on indoors! Our festival headliner, Grandmaster Flash will perform indoors at The Hippodrome theater on 2nd Street in Jackson Ward on Saturday evening. This performance will be FREE and open to the public, but capacity is limited and based upon availability.

2nd Street Festival at The Hipp

A special performance by Grandmaster Flash with an opening band

Saturday, October 1, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Hippodrome Theater, 528 N. 2nd Street

Doors 4:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public with limited capacity and based upon availability.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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