Saturday, April 10, 2010

CultureWorks updates: RVA arts and creative cultural developments

This week RVAAB attended two meetings led by CultureWorks. The first meeting was a bloggers meeting, and the second meeting took place Thursday night at the Visual Arts Center and was open to the public.

CultureWorks has been busy working to bring the business and creative communities of Richmond together, but how much do you know about this group and what they’ve been up to? Some recent developments you should be aware of…

The Richmond Region Cultural Action Plan has celebrated its first birthday. What is RCAP? Click here to get a slightly more comprehensive view of the Plan, its history and goals. Briefly stated: RCAP sought to determine “how best to take strategic and visionary advantage of the rich array of arts and culture in the Richmond region.” This was determined through much volunteer effort, questionnaires and interviews with arts organizations, practitioners, and others- the data compiled was then used to develop the goals of RCAP. (The entire Plan may be read at

Why should you care about the Plan? The Plan’s seven broad goals probably affect you and your creative or business practice in some way- click the link to find out more about the Plan and how it relates to you.


Talks about one or more arts districts in Richmond are ongoing. (Click here and here for our previous posts related to the topic, here for some coverage from Style.) Currently a “hub and spokes” model for RVA arts districts is being favored; this would mean that there would be a primary arts and culture district, but there could be others as well that would not necessarily have to share geographic proximity.

Several potential areas for arts/culture districts have been recognized, and each of these areas has been charged with organizing themselves, meeting and talking to determine the needs and wants of their individual areas and how the city might support these in ways other than monetarily.

This has been another recent step towards progress- the City has been supportive of and participatory in arts/culture district talks. (Way to go, Richmond!)


CultureWorks wants to know if Richmonders want to take advantage of services provided by Fractured Atlas (this was the main topic of Thursday night's Visarts meeting). Some services provided by Fractured Atlas include:

-fiscal sponsorship: enables individuals and organizations to apply for nonprofit status in order to participate in fundraising efforts (fundraising efforts can take place online, similar to the structure of DonorsChoose or Kickstarter)

-health insurance and/or liability insurance: liability insurance may be especially useful to artists who, as a stipulation of commissioned works must be able to provide their own liability insurance

-professional development resources: Fractured Atlas offers online courses to assist artists/creatives in the business of making their work

If you have any interest in services provided by Fractured Atlas, it is strongly recommended that you click the links to learn more about them and what they do, and then contact CultureWorks to let them know that you would like to take advantage of these services. OR if you DO NOT think Fractured Atlas would be good for Richmond, CultureWorks would probably like to hear your opinion about that, too.


Visual Arts Center is launching a series of workshops next fall titled “Creativity at Work.” This program has been “designed to reach out to the business community to provide tools and strategies for driving innovation in the workplace,” and there will be 3 full-day workshops addressing this and related topics.


CultureWorks is exploring the idea of “Cultural Shareholders” in RVA- this could be a way for arts organizations, arts practitioners, arts patrons and supporters to stand up and be counted for the many ways we compose the complex structure of Richmond’s arts community. This idea is still in development, but be on the lookout for more information about it in the future.


Have you wondered what’s been going on with the arts website that CultureWorks determined was a primary need of arts practitioners in Richmond? (This is included under Goal V of RCAP.) The most recent update on this is that ways of accomplishing this task are still being explored- could we make better use of something we already have (e.g. ConnectRichmond)? Is there another platform already out there that we could easily adopt (something like or Artsopolis)? Or do we really need to reinvent the wheel for the sake of a comprehensive online Richmond arts resource?


Wow- this is a lot of information- what do you think?

Have you had positive or negative experiences with Fractured Atlas?

Do we need a Richmond arts website- if so, what would you like to see on it? Do you currently use ConnectRichmond or something else to find out about Richmond’s arts scene? First Fridays and The Creative Change Center are also great examples of arts resources we already have available.

What else would you like to see happening in RVA's arts community?

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