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RVA East End Festival Supports Arts Education

RVA East End Festival Supports Arts Education


I’m Becky Clay Christensen, and I am the Director
of Community Partnerships for Bon Secours Richmond. I’m involved with the RVA East End Festival
as a committee member and as a volunteer. The RVA East End Festival is a wonderful community
collaboration that allows folks to come together and celebrate the music and the arts one weekend
a year. This is our third festival. It started in Chimborazo Park and now we’re
at the 17th Street Marketplace. But we bring out the kids that are in the
schools, we bring out local and regional partners, it’s really a celebration of music and the
arts. It’s also a party with a purpose. We plan to net a hundred thousand dollars
out of this festival that will go directly into music and arts needs at RPS schools in
the East End. The RVA East End Festival has a couple of
benefits for the community. First of all, it’s about the children. We know that children who get to study the
arts, and music specifically, they do better in school. We know its a part of the building block process
of learning, and we’re excited about the opportunity for children in the elementary, middle, and
high school levels to get a chance for music education. We know it’s going to make a difference in
their job path in the future. We’re also excited to be a part of this festival
because it brings together folks in a community leadership experience. We have residents. We have non-profit leaders, some folks from
Bon Secours and other organizations. We’ve been all working together, pulling together
as volunteers, over the last several months to create a great, family fun weekend. And we hope folks will come out. But we think that this is a great place for
Bon Secours to lend its support. Bon Secours is engaged with the East End Festival
because we are committed to the East End of Richmond. There’s a 30 year disparity in life expectancy
in the East End as compared to other parts of our region. We understand that community events as well
as other programming and community investments are part of a whole process in transforming
this community. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of, and
Bon Secours is glad to be a part of it. The festival will be May 25th and 26th at
the 17th Street Farmer’s Market. We really want folks to come on down and start
their Memorial Day weekend with us. We’re very excited and we want to have a great
turnout.

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