Charlottesville, VA (September 6, 2017) — The Tom Tom Founders Festival is pleased to announce the nine recipients of this year’s Founding Cville Awards, an annual project celebrating artists, entrepreneurs and civic leaders who shape Charlottesville. Starting today and continuing through the month of September, each recipient’s portrait will be featured on a lamppost banner on the Downtown Mall. Their founding story will be published in a commemorative brochure, and they will be publicly acknowledged at the Tomtoberfest block party on Friday September 22, 2017.
Lamppost banners featuring portraits of the nine recipients will be unveiled on the Downtown Mall on Wednesday, September 6 at Central Place next to The Paramount Theater, with Old Metropolitan Hall to be used as a rain venue.
The recipients are:
“This fall, we will once again honor the local founders who have shaped this region and created positive change in Charlottesville and across the globe,” commented Paul Beyer, the Festival’s Director. “After the tragic events here in Charlottesville over these past weeks, it is essential to remember that this city has been blessed by enormously talented and community minded individuals who have spent decades building our civic, business and cultural life. The Founding Cville project will honor these pioneering investors and medical researchers and internationally lauded educators and advocates, and civic leaders who have defined Charlottesville and Albemarle.”
“No single founder could have a more relevant story than Martin Burks,” commented Beyer. “Mr. Burks led a community effort to preserve the Jefferson School, a historically segregated school for African Americans and which was the only public school to stay open during Massive Resistance in 1958. The Jefferson School now stands as a City Center and home to the African American Heritage Center. We celebrate and honor Martin’s and all the recipients’ contributions to our city.”
A public nomination process over the summer surfaced artists, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs whose endeavors have had tremendous local, national, and even global impacts. A selection committee comprised of past recipients and the Tom Tom Advisory Board selected the 2017 recipients.
In-depth interviews and the founding stories of each recipient will be featured in a commemorative brochure that will be included in the September 13th edition of C-VILLE WEEKLY. Full profiles and exclusive Founding Story interviews available online at: tomtomfest.com/foundingcville
Recipient Short Bios:
# # #
ABOUT THE TOM TOM FOUNDATION AND THE FOUNDERS FESTIVAL
The Tom Tom Foundation is a nonprofit organization that celebrates entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and creators who are shaping cities and communities across the nation. Tom Tom’s signature event is a weeklong festival of ideas and culture that takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia, each April in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. This cross discipline, multi-venue experience transforms the historic downtown and empowers the innovators, who are envisioning a brighter future. Since its inception in 2012, the Foundation’s Spring and Fall programming has showcased over 700 speakers and 280 bands to 172,000 program attendees, and has channeled $2.8 million to new ventures and projects. Learn more: www.tomtomfest.com.
The Tom Tom Founders Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, American Evolution, the Quantitative Foundation, and the i.Lab at UVA. It is also generously underwritten by a number of leading organizations, including the University of Virginia, Ting, C-Ville Weekly, New Belgium Brewing Company, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Charlottesville, UVA’s Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at the McIntire School of Commerce, UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, UVA’s Curry School of Education, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.