Tuesday, February 9, 2016

City Announces RVA East End Festival: the Gift of Music

Teams with Richmond Public Schools, Bon Secours and Richmond Symphony.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:45 AM

click to enlarge Richmond Symphony performing under the Big Tent.
  • Richmond Symphony performing under the Big Tent.

This morning, city officials announced a new music festival, the RVA East End Festival: the Gift of Music, which will be a community celebration for three days on May 6 through 8, anchored by a performance by the Richmond Symphony under its new big tent.

Two of the artists scheduled to perform include Richmond faves No BS Brass and Desiree Roots. As part of the event, sponsor Bon Secours has "a pledged goal of $100,000 to provide musical instruments and related materials to students at Bellevue Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, Fairfield Court Elementary, George Mason Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Armstrong High School and Franklin Military Academy."

Other sponsors include: the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the City of Richmond, the Richard and Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust, and Stone Brewing.

If you'd like to participate, learn more at the fest site here.

From the news release:

The City of Richmond, Mayor Dwight C. Jones, The Honorable Cynthia I. Newbille, Councilwoman, Richmond City Council, Richmond East End 7th Voter District, Richmond Public Schools, Bon Secours Richmond Health System and the Richmond Symphony are pleased to announce a special festival celebrating communities in Richmond’s East End. The RVA East End Festival: The Gift of Music will be an inclusive community celebration highlighting the diverse neighborhoods and unique quality of Richmond’s East End. The Festival will feature three days of performances and activities on May 6-8, 2016. Anchored by a performance by the Richmond Symphony under its new “Big Tent”, the festival will also give many professional, community and school groups a chance to perform on the Symphony’s new state-of-the-art outdoor stage.

"This new festival in the East End is exactly the type of outcome we envisioned with the Richmond Symphony’s acquisition of their new “Big Tent,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones "Expanding the Symphony’s footprint into neighborhoods like the East End is only the beginning of the wonderful partnerships and community engagement that this mobility will continue to inspire. I’m so pleased that many of our elementary schools are some of the first beneficiaries of support through this enhanced outreach."

“The Richmond Symphony is thrilled to be a partner in the 2016 RVA East End Festival,” said Executive Director David J. L. Fisk. “We see the “Big Tent” as an opportunity to foster community pride, and showcase what the Richmond area, and its people, have to offer by using music’s power to unite and entertain. Keep a look out for the Symphony bringing the “Big Tent” to other local communities across the region in the coming months and years. We are excited to launch the first festival in Richmond’s East End.”

“I am so happy that our beloved East End will be “Alive with the Sound of Music”, says The Honorable Cynthia I. Newbille, Councilwoman, Richmond City Council, Richmond East End 7th Voter District. “I invite, encourage and hope everyone can and will come out for this exciting event!” In addition to festival performances and activities, the event is designed to create a lasting and positive benefit to the East End community. To this desired end, Bon Secours Richmond Health System has joined festival partners as a sponsor towards a pledged goal of $100,000 to provide musical instruments and related materials to students at Bellevue Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, Fairfield Court Elementary, George Mason Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Armstrong High School and Franklin Military Academy.

This support will specifically help bolster East End music education programs - positively impacting thousands of students for years to come.

“We are so pleased to offer our partnership with the City of Richmond, Richmond Public Schools, the Richmond Symphony and other critical partners,” said Mark Gordon, CEO, Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. “Bon Secours understands that building a healthier community requires that we extend our efforts beyond the realm of traditional health care delivery. We see this gathering as a way to enhance community relationships and enrich the educational experience of our kids, both of which undoubtedly help create a healthier community.”

"We sincerely appreciate this gracious donation from Bon Secours," said Superintendent Dr. Dana T. Bedden. "The integration of fine arts into the instructional curriculum is an important component to the overall academic development of our students and these new instruments will be a huge benefit to the schools that receive them."

“We are honored that Bon Secours has chosen to give the gift of music with this phenomenal grant” added David Fisk. “Even though it hasn’t happened yet, the festival already feels successful because of the support it is generating for the East End’s schools. I extend the Symphony’s deep appreciation to Bon Secours, the City of Richmond, to individual, foundation and corporate donors stepping up to contribute, and the other tremendous community partners who are making this initiative happen.”

The RVA East End Festival 2016 will kick off Friday, May 6 with performances by Richmond’s favorite No BS! Brass Band, vocalist Desiree Roots and the Richmond Symphony. Saturday will include a variety of performances by students from Richmond Public Schools, the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program and many local artists. The festival will conclude Sunday afternoon with performances by local spoken word artists, gospel artists, and several church choirs. Other activities during the festival include a “Kids Zone” featuring face painting, arts and crafts, a community mural project and other hands-on activities for children to enjoy.

The festival is intended to attract thousands of people from throughout the region over the course of the weekend. Local restaurants, craft beer, vendors, businesses and non-profits will also be featured. Festival admittance is free and open to the public.

Organizations, artists, and vendors who wish to participate in the festival should go to rvaeastendfest.org to complete an interest form. There will be limited performance time availability. Entry fees may apply to participating vendors. Sponsor, business partnership and individual support opportunities are also available. For more information, please visit rvaeastendfest.org or call 804.788.4717

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