How to Tom Tom, if you’re a creative



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April 10

Monday – Evening

Kick off Tom Tom by sharing a meal during the Community Picnic, 5PM-7PM, IX Art Park. This informal potluck event assembles civic groups, nonprofits, student organizations, businesses, and families to celebrate the diversity of our community. Stick around for the Crowdfunded Pitch Night, 7PM-9PM, IX Art Park during which 10 local entrepreneurs and inventors pitch to a live audience that has pledged to share funds with their favorite contestant.

April 11

Tuesday – Evening

Head over to the Violet Crown for special screenings of The History of College Radio” by WTJU, 7PM-8PM, The Paramount Theater and River of Gold,” 7PM-8:30PM, Light House Studios  highlighting  the Amazon Aid Foundation.

April 12

Wednesday – Evening

Miss the movies last night? Violet Crown will continue screenings of River of Gold,” 7PM-8:30PM, Light House Studios and “Seats at the Table,”6PM-7PM, The Paramount Theater  which highlights “Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature, and Leadership,” an internationally recognized program bringing together incarcerated youth and university students. Grab dinner and a cocktail prior to taking in  Oracle, 6:30PM & 8:30PM, Old Metropolitan Hall, a one-of-a-kind tarot opera. In this entrancing musical event, the creative minds of Victory Hall Opera mix possibility with performance, allowing the audience to have their fortunes read, and revealing their divination through customized arias sung by some of the world’s premier opera singers. 

April 13

Thursday – Evening

After dinner and a cocktail, listen to some of Charlottesville’s most talented musicians perform at bars and restaurants as part of our Downtown Concert Series, 7PM-12AM, Downtown Mall. Cap off the night dancing to your own beat at the Silent Disco, 9:30PM-11:30PM, Old Metropolitan Hall.  

April 14

Friday – Evening

Friday is packed, with the Founders Summit and the Hometown Summit starting at 9AM and ending with the Friday Night Block Party, 5PM-8PM, Lee Park. The Hometown Summit is Tom Tom’s newest initiative, highlighting innovation–including such subjects as “creative placemaking”– in small cities across the U.S.  The Founders Summit is Tom Tom’s marquee event, combining talks, competitions, and exclusive access to leading founders. Of particular interest to artists are keynote speakers Craig Dubitsky and Justin Ahrens, who’ll speak on the creative process, redefining consumer brands, and ideation.

Founders Summit attendees also have exclusive access to industry-specific Summit Luncheons, which offer an opportunity to meet and connect  with speakers and other attendees. Join Craig Dubitsky & Todd Wickersty for a luncheon focused on Design and Branding.

After the Founders Summit, head over to Charlottesville’s central park for the Friday Night Block Party, 5PM-8PM, Lee Park. With amazing free concerts, a New Belgium Craft Beer Garden, and C’ville’s top-notch food trucks,  this party is the perfect way to kickoff the weekend.

April 15


Start off the morning on a bright note at the Color Run at Burnley Moran, 8AM-10AM, Burnley-Moran Elementary School. The race will feature color powder stations throughout the course– your white shirt will be a masterpiece by the time you cross the finish line!  

Starting at noon in Lee Park, join the Saturday Block Party, 12PM-11PM, Lee Park for Artisanal Tom Tom, an open-air market featuring local and regional vendors selling their vintage and hand-made jewelry, apparel, art, home goods, and furniture. Stay for more great free concerts, local food trucks, and some truly outstanding art events. Be sure to join local painters, illustrators, and sculptors for the Art Attack, a day of on-the-spot art-making.

Stroll over to the McGuffey Open House, 12PM-4PM, McGuffey Art Center to explore downtown’s largest art space! Throughout the day, McGuffey will host workshops, demos, en plein air painting, mural painting, and yoga. The open house is perfect for those who want to create, learn, or just take in the scene.

Walk the Downtown Mall to see City Stages, 12PM-2PM, Downtown Mall, in which a series of ad hoc public “stages” play host to a variety of musical and live art performances. It’s your chance to enjoy everything from acoustic ensembles, a cappella groups, and dance performances.

April 16


Head back over to Charlottesville’s central park for the Sunday Block Party, 2:30PM-8:00PM, Lee Park. All day, we’re hosting friends and neighbors for arts and crafts, a community picnic, all-local music, a New Belgium craft beer garden, and a food truck rally.

The Sunday Block Party, 2:30PM-8:00PM, Lee Park kicks off with Pop up Park(ing) Spaces,  reimagining public parking spaces as stages, art installations, and environmental amenities. Next, there’s the Public Art Bike Ride, which departs from the park at 3PM. Bike riders will visit some of Charlottesville’s best public art, including the new City as Canvas murals. Wrap up Tom Tom with the beloved Porchella,7PM-9:15PM, Belmont acoustic concert series, during which  local musicians perform pop-up sets on neighborhood porches in the historic Belmont neighborhood.

April 10-16

All Week

View the work of Artist-in-Residence Paul Hostetler, a freelance illustrator, painter, and comic artist. Paul graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 with his BFA in illustration, and is currently a McGuffey incubator artist. His clients include Virginia Living, Adbusters, Whurk, Utne Reader, and The Jefferson Center for Free Speech. As this year’s City Art Bus competition winner, Paul will be hosting an illustration workshop during the festival: Life-Size Caricatures, 11AM-2PM, McGuffey Art Center.

Now entering its third year, the City Art Bus is a collaborative project between Tom Tom and the Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT). The annual bus is a key component of Tom Tom’s City as Canvas initiative, which aims to recast shared everyday experiences into public works of art. Hostetler’s dinosaur design wraps a 35-foot clean diesel bus, transforming it into a mobile mural seen by more than 200,000 commuters throughout Charlottesville. Take the bus from Grounds to Downtown…and back again!

This year, we’re partnering with Virginia Festival of the Book to host writer-in-residence, Roye Okupe. If you’re intrigued by graphic novels, be sure to check out Okupe’s  comic artwork.

Created as part of a multi-month project by UVA student Cody Simms, a revitalized Airstream camper serves as an unorthodox community center on wheels. Throughout the spring, the Airstream Storytelling project will travel around Charlottesville collecting and presenting stories from neighborhood residents.  Cody and his Airstream will also make an appearance at the IX Art Park during the Community Picnic, 5PM-7PM, IX Art Park.

Check out our annual City as Canvas Mural Project, which funds the painting of vibrant, colorful murals in high-visibility spaces  throughout the city. Enjoy Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week  menus that highlight local produce  and our region’s premier chefs throughout the week. Also, enjoy the concoctions of our Craft Cocktail Competition mixologists,  and get a Tom Tom Cocktail featuring at least one local ingredient. Don’t forget to review the cocktail online!