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6th Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival – Wednesday Events

Charlottesville, VA—Tom Tom Founders Festival announces highlights for the third day of the 2017 Festival, which runs from Monday, April 10 through Sunday, April 16.

Future Forum, The Paramount Theater, 6-8:30 – Presented with Charlottesville Tomorrow, the Future Forum gathers the region’s leaders for a second annual look into the future of the arts and entrepreneurial economy. 2017 speakers are: Mike Signer (Mayor of Charlottesville), Nikki Hastings (Cofounder, CvilleBioHub), Wendy Brown (Cofounder, Community Investment Collaborative (CIC)), Dr. Rick Shannon (Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Virginia), Lynn Easton (Founder, Easton Events), Sarad Devenport (Executive Director, City of Promise), Ludwig Kuttner (Developer and Founder, IX Art Park), and Brian Wheeler (Executive Director, Charlottesville Tomorrow).

Oracle: Tarot Opera, Old Metropolitan Hall, 6:30-8:00 and 8:30-10:00 – In this entrancing musical event, the creative minds of Victory Hall Opera audience members will have their fortunes read through custom-chosen arias sung by some of the world’s premier opera singers.

Screening – Seats at the Table, The Paramount Theater, 6-7pm – This work-in-process documentary film follows two groups of students – the free and the incarcerated – who are equally transformed through a semester of intense and meaningful discussion of classic Russian literature.

Screening – River of Gold, Vinegar Hill Theater at Light House Studio, 7:00-8:30 – Narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, River of Gold is a feature length documentary that exposes the disturbing account of a clandestine journey into Peru’s Amazon rainforest to uncover the savage unraveling of pristine jungle.

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

  1. How to Build a Chatbot, WillowTree, 4:00-6:00pm

  2. Wild Cider Tasting, Kardinal Hall, 6:00-7:30pm

  3. Wedding Industry, Sweethaus, 7:00-8:00pm


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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