Who We Are
Music & Visual Arts Take Center Stage at RVA East End Festival 2018
M E D I A A D V I S O R Y
May 7, 2018 – Richmond, Virginia – A nonstop extravaganza of music, arts, food and fun is planned
for the RVA East End Festival 2018, returning for a third year on Friday, May 25 from 5-9 pm
and Saturday, May 26 from Noon-9 pm at the 17th Street Farmers Market. The theme, “Sights
and Sounds of Our Future,” promises a sumptuous feast for the senses during the Memorial Day
This free family event features two packed days of exciting arts and musical performances by
local professionals as well as some of RVA’s talented youth musicians, dancers and visual
artists. Attendees also can browse among many food and beverage vendors, along with exhibits
of sponsors, boutique businesses and other community organizations. Special attractions for kids
include Paw Patrol characters, RVA Hoop House, Jenn B-The Balloon Lady, and PBS Kids
Ready to Learn.
The Brass Quintet and a String Ensemble from The Richmond Symphony Orchestra will kick off
the event on Friday at 5:00 pm, followed by an eclectic mix of stage performances over the two
days that are too numerous to list. A full list of artists performing at the festival, along with the
vendors and exhibitors, can be found at www.rvaeastendfest.org.
Proceeds from the festival support the music and visual arts programs at the following Richmond
Public Schools located in RVA’s East End community: 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.
“As a result of the inaugural festival in 2016, East End elementary schools went from seven
violins among them to enough instruments for a full classroom set of string instruments in each
school,” said the Reverend Marilyn Heckstall, pastor of Asbury Church Hill United Methodist
Church and 2018 festival chair.
She noted that other uses of financial resources from the past two festivals were to purchase new
gowns and tuxedos for music groups at two schools, as well as buying and repairing band
instruments. “Our goal for 2018 is to exceed $100,000 in proceeds to support cultural arts
initiatives in our East End schools,” Rev. Heckstall added.
As one of the festival’s most ardent champions, Richmond City Councilwoman Cynthia I.
Newbille (7th District) has been an instrumental catalyst for this event that celebrates creativity
and unites the East End community around engaging kids in the arts. “The East End Festival has
introduced hundreds of students to all aspects of the cultural arts in their elementary, middle and
high schools,” she said. “It is truly life-changing when students can learn and grow together by
experiencing the power of music and the arts.”
Bon Secours Richmond Health System, a major partner for the festival, believes that the event
helps to build strong relationships among diverse community stakeholders, the East End
residents and the local businesses including Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. “The
festival creates a positive synergy that provides a sustainable foundation for leadership in this
vibrant area of Richmond,” said Becky Clay Christensen, director of community partnerships in
mission services for Bon Secours Richmond Health System.
Other partners supporting the festival include Enrichmond Foundation, the City of Richmond,
Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, FWL
& Sons, Stone Brewing, Richmond Magazine and The Richmond Symphony. Individuals both
inside and outside the East End community have made donations on the website and there will be
a bucket collection during the festival.
Volunteers are needed to help on the weekend of the event and can sign up here. For more
information about the RVA East End Festival 2018 or to make a donation, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rvaeastendfest.org.