We believe in connecting communities & sharing solutions to build a brighter tomorrow.
We are a story-telling organization whose impact is driven by bringing diverse communities together to envision the future. We are optimistic and hopeful, and believe Tomorrow’s solutions will come forward with collaboration and connection. People can change. Communities can change. The past doesn’t have to define the future.
Tom Tom began in 2012 as a spring community festival — an attempt to bring people together to celebrate the creativity and entrepreneurship of Charlottesville, Virginia. The following year, the Tom Tom Foundation — a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization — was formed to steward the event and expand its focus to a fuller suite of themes required to make flourishing, opportunity-filled hometowns. In the decade since, we’ve experimented with dozens of program formats and events; from Festivals, to Summits, to online communities, to bring people together.
By bringing multi-sector leaders together to discuss the innovative (and often undersung) solutions happening across the country, we’re helping facilitate the collaborative path forward that cities need most. Our first layer of impact is around Charlottesville, both our local economy and the local stories we highlight. A broader story is around America’s small cities —those with populations fewer than one million residents -- who account for roughly 97 million Americans or a third of our country. We’ve seen these communities as underserved when it comes to access to peer-scaled solutions; and our impact is centered on sharing them. Learn more about our impact methodology.
Our 2022 focus is on “Tomorrow’s Charlottesville.” The story of our hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia is a complicated one, but it’s as universal as it is unique. Charlottesville is a microcosm for small cities everywhere as we struggle with economic and social inequality, historical contradictions, and enormous structural challenges—issues the events of August 12, 2017 made manifest on the world stage. That Charlottesville has begun to confront its past head-on while actively working toward a more equitable future for all of its residents is a dynamic we’re proud to be a part of.
If nothing else, Tom Tom has been an experiment. How do we united communities -- to talk, to ideate, to celebrate, to have fun. We continue not only our Festival, but also distinct online programs. The templates for connection are relevant not just for Charlottesville, but cities everywhere. If you are interested in joining these conversations, or being part of expanding them, please contact us.
Ok, we get this a lot. What does the name mean? We are an organization focused on the future; tomorrow. Tom Tom is shorthand for Tomorrow Tomorrow. But it is more fun to say. It also is the central drum in every rock band on the planet; and speaks to the power of music and connection. Dreaming up tomorrow is a big responsibility, but it can’t be a weighty and drawing everyone together to have fun and build community together is essential.