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News From the Community: CultureWorks & the Richmond Region Cultural Action Plan

In 2009, the Richmond Region Cultural Action Plan was published as the result of input from 3,000 residents of the Richmond region and a 27-person task force composed of representatives from corporations, foundations, city and county administrators, and arts and cultural organizations and practitioners.

The goal was to make comprehensive and strategic use out of the region’s rich and complex arts and culture organizations, program, events, and practitioners – a plan that would provide guidance for an even better Richmond region. Undergirding all of this was the recommendation to form an independent organization that could help facilitate, coordinate, serve, and lead: CultureWorks.

Five years after its development, let’s take a look back and highlight some accomplishments by a variety of organizations and persons in the Richmond Region:

Leveraging Arts & Culture for Economic Vitality

  • Greater Richmond Chamber’s establishment of a priority focus on innovation and creativity
  • Ashland’s Main Street designation
  • City of Richmond’s creation of a downtown Arts and Culture District
  • Hopewell’s renovation of its historic Beacon Theatre

Expanding Cultural Participation

  • Venture Richmond’s arts and culture activities that now annually attract 350,000 attendees
  • Virginia Museum’s Fine Arts’ growth to include more than 40,000 members
  • 1/3 of VCU School of Arts’ 3,000 students stay in Richmond after graduation to make their careers

Strengthening Cultural Diversity

  • Emerging Virginia Center for Latin American Art
  • The region-wide conversation, “The Future of Richmond’s Past”
  • Festival of India
  • Down Home Family Reunion
  • Que Pasa Festival

Strengthening Creative Education – Programs Provided by the Following:

  • Visual Arts Center of Richmond
  • West End Assembly of God
  • Petersburg Area Art League
  • Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation

Growing Arts and Culture Organizations and Practitioners:

  • $75M-renovated and expanded CenterStage
  • $150M-renovated and expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU

Enhancing Coordination, Advocacy, and Dialogue:

  • Arts & Culture Xpo
  • Issues-related commentaries for local media
  • Monthly one-question survey of thousands of arts and culture patrons


CultureWorks is nonprofit organization that gives grants to arts and culture organizations and individual practitioners; acts as a convener to address issues, solve challenges, meet opportunities, plan strategies, and facilitate partnership; conducts advocacy, working to assure that elected officials and other decision makers are knowledgeable about issues and actions related to arts and culture; provides an extensive range of services to individuals, not-for-profit and for-profit entities, community organizations, and government bodies; and act as a repository of information and knowledge about the region’s arts and culture. Want to learn morre?

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