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6th Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival Launches Today, Monday, April 10

Charlottesville, VA—The weeklong Founders Festival begins today, Monday, April 10, with signature weeklong art and food programs, and one of the perennial favorites of the Festival. The Festival will run through Sunday, April 16.

The Festival launches with its inaugural Community Picnic, IX Art Park, 5-7pm – which invites community members to share a meal with their neighbors alongside civic groups, nonprofits, student organizations, businesses, and families. The dozens of participants include the Building Goodness Foundation, Charlottesville Derby Dames, and Virginia Department of Veteran Services. At the picnic, the newly wrapped 2017 City Art Bus will be unveiled, as will a featured initiative, the StoryStream trailer, a remodeled Airstream that connects UVA students with the community.

Crowdfunded Pitch Night, IX Art Park, 7-9pm – Presented by Community Investment Collaborative, the Crowdfunded Pitch Night gives a platform to local innovators. Ten local entrepreneurs pitch to a live audience that has pledged to share funds with their favorite contestant. It’s a three-minute chance to hear others share their visions with the community and  inspire the crowd to action. Pitchers will include novel tiny houses (Craig Pleasants, the Octagonal Living Unit Project), opera performances (Brenda Patterson of Victory Hall Opera), and novel new businesses (Lamar Williams of Good Vibes Party Bus), among others.

Workshop Series, The community workshop series convenes leaders to share their skills, knowledge, creative process, and advice in diverse fields. Monday’s Workshops are:

  1. Cultivating Social Change Through Urban Agriculture, Friendship Court, 5:30pm & 6:30pm

  2. How to Brew Beer at Home, Random Row, 7-8pm


Farm to Table Restaurant Week, Various Locations, 5-11pm – Participating restaurants will feature a special dinner menu that highlights local food artisans and producers.

Craft Cocktail Competition, Various Locations, 5-11pm – Top bartenders create specialty “Tom Tom” cocktails, featuring local spirits and ingredients. Patrons will vote for their favorites throughout the week, and a panel of judges will also crown a winner.

City as Canvas: Mural Project, Various Locations – In its fourth year, Tom Tom’s 2017 Mural Project will transform underutilized spaces into public art–the embodiment of  Tom Tom’s “City as Canvas” initiative.

Office Hours Mentoring Series, During the week of Tom Tom, established professionals in a variety of industries take aspiring entrepreneurs and creative individuals out for coffee at Grit Cafe and one-on-one mentorship.


To read more about the Festival and the see the full schedule, please visit:


To register for press credentials, download approved photography and video, and see the press kit please visit:

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The Tom Tom Foundation is the nonprofit organization that hosts the annual Tom Tom Founders Festival. Supporting high-impact events throughout the year, the Foundation seeks to empower the innovators whose creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to community help ensure a better future for us all. Now in its sixth year, the action-packed Founders Festival is held during the week of April 13 (hometown hero Thomas Jefferson’s birthday) in Charlottesville, VA. Learn more:


The Tom Tom Founders Festival is presented by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, American Evolution, the Quantitative Foundation, and the i.Lab at UVA. It is also generously underwritten by a number of leading organizations, including the University of Virginia, Ting, C-Ville Weekly, New Belgium Brewing Company, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Charlottesville, Galant Center for Entrepreneurship, the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.


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