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RVA East End Festival: The Gift of Music

M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y

RVA East End Festival 2016 Will Give the Gift of Music to
Thousands of Students in Richmond’s East End – 7th District, May 6-8, 2016

February 9, 2016 – Richmond, Virginia: 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.com 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.com or call 804.788.4717.


To date, festival sponsors include:
Bon Secours Richmond Health System
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
The City of Richmond
The Richard and Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust Stone Brewery

To date partners include:
31st Street Baptist Church
Ashbury United Methodist Church
Bon Secours Richmond Health System
Boys and Girls Club Metro Richmond
Church Hill Activities & Tutoring
Church Hill Association
Church Hill Central Civic Association
Church Hill Residents
City of Richmond – Office of Mayor Dwight C. Jones
City of Richmond – Office of Councilwoman Cynthia I. Newbille
City of Richmond – Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities
Creighton Count Tenant Association
East End Fellowship
Friends Association for Children
Friends of Chimborazo Park
Fulton Civic Association, Neighborhood Resource Center
Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Holy Rosary Church
Mosby Court Tenant Association
Mount Olivet Baptist Church
New Light Baptist Church
New Visions
Peter Paul Development Center
Richmond Hill
Richmond Public Schools
Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation
Robinson Community Arts Theater
Rotary Club of Church Hill
Rotary Club of Richmond
Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club
St. John’s Church
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Union Hill Civic Association
Unity Civic League
WCVE Ready to Learn


About the Richmond Symphony
Founded in 1957, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy concerts, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach programs. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Bon Secours Richmond Health System
Bon Secours Richmond is part of Bon Secours Virginia, which provides good help to thousands of Virginians through a network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities across the Commonwealth. The not-for-profit health system employs more than 8,400 people, including nearly 420 providers as part of the Bon Secours Medical Group. The fourth largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia offers a full range of services including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences and surgery at eight award-winning hospitals.  Bon Secours Richmond is St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital, Rappahannock General Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center.  Bon Secours Hampton Roads is Maryview Medical Center, DePaul Medical Center and Mary Immaculate Hospital.