TOM TOM FOUNDATION

Celebrating entrepreneurship, creativity, and community building in Charlottesville and beyond.

Tom Tom’s mission is to celebrate and empower the founders of creative, civic, and entrepreneurial projects. The signature project of the Foundation, the Tom Tom Founders Festival, occurs each April over Thomas Jefferson’s birthday week (April 13), as Charlottesville’s historic downtown is reimagined as a creative canvas.
 
Like the founding polymath, the Founders Festival explores diverse disciplines – society, education, energy, food, and technology — and links the rich history of the City with an exploration into the future. Ultimately, the festival seeks to leave lasting legacies of creativity throughout Charlottesville through public art and business formation.

As the Foundation has grown, new initiatives have been added, including the Fall Tomtoberfest Block Party and Founding CVille Project, as well as signature public art projects and thought-leader convening throughout the year.
 
The festival’s founder and director, Paul Beyer, alongside dedicated staff and volunteers, continues to lead the Festival and Foundation. The programmatic and strategic direction alongside the Advisory and Fiduciary Board.
 
Complete list of Staff & Board.

MISSION

Celebrate Founding

 

Inspire the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs and civic leaders

Connect Resources

 

Match visionaries with the mentors and the means to create

Leave Legacies

 

Transform the City year round through public art, new businesses, and new ideas

America’s Founding City

Charlottesville is known for its history– for Thomas Jefferson, the founding fathers and as a birthplace of democracy and higher education. The idea of revolutionary founding is in the very fabric of the City. The Tom Tom Foundation exists to inspire a future for Charlottesville that sparks a new generation of Founders and contemporary innovators, who shape the future of Charlottesville, and the nation.

What does the name mean?

“Tom Tom” is a friendly nod toward Thomas Jefferson, author of The Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, architect of Monticello, and Third President of the United States. Jefferson was a visionary farmer, winemaker, art patron, and inventor, whose revolutionary legacy inspires the difficult and visionary work of founders today.

What’s with the buffalo?

The buffalo is a symbol of the frontier. Lewis and Clark returned from their exploration of the American West with a buffalo hide displaying Native American painting and cartography. Thomas Jefferson sponsored their historic journey, and this hide now hangs in the foyer of Jefferson’s home Monticello, as a reminder of the value of American risk-taking.

YEARLY INITIATIVES


Mural Project

OUTCOMES

Crowd

Since 2012, over 128,000 attendees have experienced music, art, innovation, and food programming at Tom Tom.

Michael Mallory at Tom Tom

We recognize the work of local founders and engage with national creators and innovators.

Becca at workshop

We highlight the intersections of art, commerce, and civic leadership and inspire the next generation.

Volunteer at Tom Tom

We are community led. Each year over 400 organizations and 300 volunteers make Tom Tom happen.

Nonprofit pitch, ballet

We connect resources. Over $2,800,000 of grants, awards and investment facilitated.

bus, city as canvas

We leave lasting legacies of creativity that transform public spaces through our City as Canvas project.

Pop Up Parking Spaces

We produce creative stages. Over 300 bands, 350 speakers, and dozens of artists and installations have brought the entire community together.

Child_at_Tom_tom

We help inspire an identity for the region that is creative, entrepreneurial and focused on the future.

America’s Founding City
Charlottesville is known for its history– for Thomas Jefferson, the founding fathers and as a birthplace of democracy and higher education. The idea of revolutionary founding is in the very fabric of the City. The Tom Tom Foundation exists to inspire a future for Charlottesville that sparks a new generation of Founders and contemporary innovators, who shape the future of Charlottesville, and the nation.

What does the name mean?
“Tom Tom” is a friendly nod toward Thomas Jefferson, author of The Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, architect of Monticello, and Third President of the United States. Jefferson was a visionary farmer, winemaker, art patron, and inventor, whose revolutionary legacy inspires the difficult and visionary work of founders today.

What’s with the buffalo?
The buffalo is a symbol of the frontier. Lewis and Clark returned from their exploration of the American West with a buffalo hide displaying Native American painting and cartography. Thomas Jefferson sponsored their historic journey, and this hide now hangs in the foyer of Jefferson’s home Monticello, as a reminder of the value of American risk-taking.