fbpx

Hear Together: RVAgriculture

After suffering a series of accidents and injuries, Lisa Dearden found that the key to regaining her health was changing her diet. She became passionate about local food sources, and opened a farm and started a market of her own.

Eleven seasons later, RVAgriculture has expanded to include five farmer’s markets and a robust online marketplace. The nonprofit has even incorporated creative programming, like their ‘Chef At The Market,’ where different chefs provide a recipe tutorial featuring seasonal food.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Dearden about the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and how RVAgriculture has worked to keep local producers and local businesses alive during the pandemic.

You can listen at the audio link below, and sign up for their virtual classes and online marketplace here.

2021-03-24T10:29:36-04:00March 5th, 2021|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Reach Out And Read

From fairy tales and Dr. Seuss rhymes to mystery books and science fiction, storytelling has always sparked imagination and creativity in early childhood development. But research proves that the cognitive benefits don’t stop there. Reading leads to better social and emotional outcomes, and facilitates school readiness and language development.

Reach Out and Read is a book-sharing program where pediatricians prescribe parent/child reading and provide a book during wellness check-ups. The national program began 30 years ago in Boston; Now, there’s 100 Reach Out and Read sites statewide in the Commonwealth of Virginia that serve over 100,000 children.

Dr. Bergen Nelson is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, one of the latest offices to offer Reach Out and Read. Since their start last July, they’ve given out an upwards of 4,000 books. We spoke with Dr. Nelson for this Hear Together profile. Listen at the audio link below, and learn more about Virginia’s Reach Out and Read programming here.

2021-03-02T15:04:15-05:00March 2nd, 2021|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Park View Community Mission

Park View Community Mission, located in Lynchburg, is the largest client-choice food pantry in the state of Virginia west of Richmond. Last year alone, the organization’s Food for Families program served over half a million pounds of food. They established Food for Thought in 2018, which is a backpack program providing meals for school-aged children. Park View’s commitment to health and food security extends to its Life Skills Institute, which provides nutrition classes and teaches homemaking skills to clients. Recently, Park View expanded its offerings to include Clothing Connection, a donation-based clothing space.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Park View’s Director of Development, Ashley Steinweg, along with Jeanell Smith, who has been teaching nutrition classes at Park View for a decade. You can listen at the audio link below, and learn more on their website.

2021-02-08T11:23:03-05:00February 8th, 2021|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Jubilee Family Development Center

The Jubilee Center has been helping children and adults in the Lynchburg community achieve a path to success for over 20 years. They offer multifaceted opportunities for all age levels – from after-school tutoring, mentoring programs, and summer camps for kids to GED classes, vocational programs, and computer workshops for adults. They have a robust athletics program and a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) center.

We spoke with founder and Executive Director Sterling Wilder for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more on their website.

2021-01-18T10:11:11-05:00January 14th, 2021|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Circles RVA

Richmond’s adult poverty rate is nearly double the national average, which means that one in four people in Richmond are living in poverty. Two years ago, a group of concerned citizens created a nonprofit, Circles RVA, to break the cycle.

Circles RVA is a long-term, high-impact program that works with families in the Greater Richmond area, providing them the social network, financial tools, and emotional encouragement that people need to grow.

Participants enrolled in the program are called Circle Leaders, as they are leading their own journeys. As part of the program, they’re paired with Circle Allies, who help them along their path to financial stability and independence. Graduates of the Circles RVA program have celebrated major milestones like improved credit scores, purchasing vehicles, and paying down debt.

We spoke with Circles RVA Community Coordinator Kristin Blalock for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more on their website.

2020-12-21T13:29:56-05:00December 18th, 2020|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Kindness Cafe & Play

Currently adults with disabilities are underemployed or unemployed at a rate of 70% or higher in most communities. While school systems often provide daily structure, peer connection, and options for growth, these beneficial opportunities are lost in adulthood with a lack of employment.

That’s where Charlottesville’s Kindness Cafe + Play comes in. Located in the Piedmont Family YMCA, the cafe was founded in order to provide meaningful employment for adults with cognitive disabilities.

We spoke with founder and owner Katie Kishore for this Hear Together profile. Listen at the audio link below, and learn more on Kindness Cafe & Play’s website.

2020-12-07T14:42:19-05:00December 7th, 2020|Hear Together|

‘Hear Together’ Presents: Hearing Hidden Voices

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native who made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

These interviews were recorded and produced in late 2019 by Desire Moses and music was provided by Richmond’s Spacebomb house band. Listen below to learn more about Tennis Hall of Famer Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson, pioneering aviator Chauncey Spencer, and ticket-taker and community icon Lottie Payne Stratton who worked for three decades at the segregated box office at the historic Academy Theatre. (more…)

2020-09-18T14:15:29-04:00September 14th, 2020|Featured, Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Lottie Payne Stratton

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

The Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg recently oversaw the renovation and reopening of the Historic Academy Theatre — an entertainment venue that was segregated from 1912 until its closing in 1958. Its reopening in 2018 was monumental; It marked the first time the space was integrated.

Throughout the restoration process, the Academy was mindful of the theatre’s history, and made sure to pay tribute to a community icon and theatre mainstay: Lottie Payne Stratton. Stratton ran the venue’s segregated ticket booth, and gained notoriety for her gestures of kindness and compassion.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with the Academy Center’s Executive Director Geoffrey Kershner. Learn more about the Academy Center’s history spotlight here.

 

2020-09-18T11:24:55-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Chauncey Spencer

 

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

Located in the Pierce Street District in Lynchburg, The Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum honors the contributions of Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer. But it also tells the story of another historical figure: her son, Chauncey. With an affinity for flight and a desire to serve his country, Chauncey Spencer became one of the pioneers of aviation. In 1934, he left his hometown of Lynchburg for Chicago, and joined a group of African American pilots in the National Airmen Association of America (NAAA). Inspired by a meeting with Spencer and fellow NAAA member Dale Lawrence White, President Truman signed an executive order integrating the U.S. airforce in 1948 — an action that paved the way for the Tuskegee Airmen. Spencer’s flight suit is now on display at the Smithsonian.

Recorded live from the stage of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre, we spoke with Chauncey’s daughter, Shaun Spencer Hester, for this Hear Together profile. You can learn more about Chauncey Spencer here.

 

2020-09-18T11:28:32-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|

Hearing Hidden Voices: Whirlwind Johnson

Hearing Hidden Voices is a three-part Hear Together series committed to amplifying voices in our community, even when the spotlight has been turned off. Each profile highlights the work of a different Lynchburg native whose tenacity made seminal strides in the fight for inclusion and equality of the Black community in our area — and beyond.

A member of the Tennis Hall of Fame, Dr. Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson was a guiding force in the integration of professional tennis. He ran an elite tennis camp from the court that he built in the backyard of his home in Lynchburg. Every summer, promising African American players from around the country would gather on Dr. J’s court. Two of his students — Hall of Famers Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe — would go on to become the first two African American Grand Slam Champions.

Dr. J’s court sat unused after his death in 1971. In conjunction with the United States Tennis Association, the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation restored the courts for public use a couple years ago. We spoke with Dr. J’s granddaughter, Jolynn Johnson Smith, and her son, Evan Smith, for this Hear Together profile. You can find out more information about Whirlwind Johnsonhere.

 

2020-09-18T13:42:24-04:00September 14th, 2020|Hear Together|