Christina Newton 
Member since Apr 12, 2011

Recent Comments

Re: “Richmond Chilly to Naked Readers

Well, maybe the lack of promotion about the event had something to do with it.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Christina Newton on 05/29/2013 at 1:59 PM

Re: “Artistic Hull

Living in the 9th District where Hull Street Road intersects, and having worked in the arts community for years, I'm glad to see South Richmond receive overdue coverage, but this article is misleading and missing some important details. True, there was a VCU urban planning project done on the Hull Street Corridor over 4 years ago, but the City of Richmond, Chesterfield County, and the Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation have moved forward on an official plan for the area called the Hull Street Corridor Revitalization Plan. Information including the detailed presentations can be found at

Having attended the community meetings and read the proposal, many wonderful ideas are included to help transform this gateway to the city and county, but the arts are actually lacking in the proposal and there certainly is no mention of an arts walk program. Also having created the First Fridays Art Walk program, I can easily see Mayor Jones blindly touting the program since he has no idea how to actually implement it or what organic growth needs to inspire such a transformative economic development effort. That said, I would of course love to see the arts included because there is irrefutable evidence that the arts inspire economic development and can positively transform communities and lives.

Rather, the study focuses on the aforementioned current offerings of four distinct locations along the route - education, retail, wellness, and entertainment. Public art is thankfully included to help beautify and better connect areas such as the Chippenham Parkway overpass. That said, who knows what could come out of this plan since studies can be amended along the way and the work will be based on whether funding is allocated, which of course applies to this proposal. Federal grants have been applied for and the City of Richmond has included monies in its current budget for a sports facility in the district.

The 9th District may be the city's forgotten district, but Southside is not simply a run down area full of crime and lazy people living off the mailbox. It's one of the least expensive areas left in the city, offers many amenities, beautiful architecture, easy access to anywhere in the area, and includes a richly diverse population, including a growing number of artists. Many of us in the district will miss the hard work of our former Councilman Doug Conner who brought the community together and made great strides toward representing his constituents at city hall. Even so, the district continues to lack basic infrastructure and street scape improvements, money for education, entertainment and dining options, and we remain a food desert. Even enforcement of city code would begin necessary steps toward a goal for community prosperity. So anyone who thinks it's just a 'band-aid' to actually have something as simple as attractive and safe sidewalks takes too much for granted and is greatly ill-informed.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Christina Newton on 04/07/2013 at 1:50 PM

Re: ““Premature” Arts District Signs Unnerve Artists

The city's proposed arts and cultural district ordinance actually includes no benefits and simply puts forth a means to designate geographic boundaries. The Department of Economic Development's work-in-progress program "ArtBusiness Richmond" includes benefits already available from the city but no tax incentives as referenced. This is actually the main point of contention.

Posted by Christina Newton on 06/01/2011 at 7:46 PM

Re: “Best Arts Event

Thanks so much to everyone who voted to make First Fridays Art Walk Richmond's top arts and cultural event!!!
Christina Newton, Director
Curated Culture

Posted by Christina Newton on 05/31/2011 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Empty Canvas

To City Taxpayer, I thought I should take a moment and let you know that we actually had around 80,000 visitations to First Fridays Art Walk last season. As a monthly event, this breaks down to around 6,000 people, give or take the weather or what special events are happening. Our organization and partners are excited by the number of people we help attract to Downtown and I encourage you to attend and take in the activities and exhibitions. You can find out more at our website:

And I wholeheartedly agree with you that our historical sites and amenities are amazing assets that should be celebrated more often. Issues of history are often investigated by the exhibiting artists at First Fridays, so that may be of particular interest to you.

Thanks, Christina Newton

Posted by Christina Newton on 04/26/2011 at 2:57 PM

Re: “Empty Canvas

thank Style for allowing me the opportunity to express my concerns and those of my colleagues. Unfortunately revisions made by the editors have changed an important element of my opinion piece that I must clarify.

Regarding the boundaries, I did not include any mention of a specific program or location when noting why the proposed ordinance boundaries would be problematic to promote. Rather, I argue that promoting almost the entirety of Downtown is a misguided idea because it is not walkable (as most traditional districts are) and the larger it is, the less of an identity it has. It is too large to market correctly and the public won't buy into it. My argument has nothing to do with our First Fridays program nor any one street. What's in question is the whole of Downtown.

Posted by Christina Newton on 04/12/2011 at 10:46 PM

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