Bright Lights, Bold City

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A Group Effort

RVA Creates is a collaborative effort between Venture Richmond, the City, universities, businesses and over 100 other stakeholders to create a stronger identity for Richmond.

A work group of six creative organizations—The Martin Agency, VCU Brandcenter, West Cary Group, J H I, Elevation and The Hodges Partnership—is collaborating with Venture Richmond and the City on the development and structure of this experiment, as well as developing strategies to engage the community.

The Structural Approach

It's a simple idea: create an open source experiment in identity and creativity that the community can own. Sort of a brand, without the catchy slogans and formal rules that accompany most brands.

We know that creativity is both the fuel for individual achievement and the key ingredient for a successful city. Today's creative city attracts innovative people and businesses with new experiences and ideas in every aspect of personal and professional life. Working together, we can help individuals and companies from all over Central Virginia discover the creativity and vibrancy of downtown Richmond.

Creativity in Action

Richmond's past, present and future is the story of creativity in action. Today, it's home to some of the nation‘s most innovative individuals, businesses, organizations and neighborhoods.

We have the nation's leading graduate programs in advertising and fine arts. Every organ transplant in the country is processed through UNOS, headquartered in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, which runs the nation's transplant system, matching organs from deceased donors to those on the national waiting list. Architects, engineers and developers have transformed thousands of old buildings into chic spaces to live, work and play – making Richmond one of the largest beneficiaries of historic tax credits in the country.

Creative companies such as MWV and Owens & Minor are pioneering new products every year. The Squirrels are playing baseball. And the list of creative things happening in Richmond keeps growing!


Challenging Conventional Wisdom

Patrick Henry takes on England with his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech
Thomas Jefferson writes a statute guaranteeing religious freedom
Edgar Allan Poe comes to Richmond to edit The Southern Literary Messenger, drinks too much, gets fired, gets sober and gets rehired
Richmond talks the talk as the first city in the South to have telephone service
The first electric streetcar system in the United States rolls through downtown
Maggie Walker, a child of slavery, becomes the country's first female bank president
Native son Bill “Bojangles” Robinson steps up America's idea of dance
Reynolds Metals' can-do attitude results in the first recyclable all-aluminum can
MCV Hospitals collaborates with other medical centers to form the nation’s first computerized donor-recipient matching system for kidney transplants
Arthur Ashe changes the face of tennis forever
Richmond releases GWAR, “Scumdogs of the Universe,” on an unsuspecting nation
As the first state lab to use DNA to help solve crimes and create a database of offenders, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science becomes the original CSI
The Martin Agency is recognized as “U.S. Agency of the Year” by Adweek and vows to be named “Milky Way Galaxy Agency of the Year” in 2011

These are just a few examples. Send others to us at