We ensure a thriving arts and culture community is felt way beyond a stage or a gallery, and are helping to create a regional destination the world is noticing.


Our mission

To drive a vibrant community by inspiring, enabling and cultivating world-class arts and culture.

CultureWorks serves the Richmond and Tri-Cities region (City of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, along with the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan, and the town of Ashland) which includes an array of constituents from individual practicing artists, and grassroots arts organizations, to large well-established cultural nonprofits. 

equitable + inclusive

CultureWorks is an organization that inspires, enables and cultivates the cultural life of our community. As such, we value diversity and inclusivity.

CultureWorks endeavors to ensure a thriving arts and culture community. This goes beyond a stage or a gallery. Everyone in our community should have access to arts and culture, as well as the opportunity to express their culture through the arts.

Arts and culture have the power to teach and inspire, to uplift and heal, to empower and liberate, to transform a community.

CultureWorks is committed to fostering creativity, conversations, experiences, relationships, organizations and artists that provide access to arts and culture all across our region and that help create a destination the world is noticing.

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Our Team

CultureWorks is led by a small team dedicated to driving a vibrant community through arts and culture for the Richmond and Tri-Cities region.


SCOTT GARKA, President
804.340.5280 ext. 2

Scott joined CultureWorks in 2015, with a diverse history of nonprofit and corporate leadership experience and a reputation for driving results through collaborations. Scott is deeply involved with the Richmond Region’s arts and culture community serving in the past as Board Member, Development Chair, and Treasurer for the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. When he’s not working, he can be heard singing with the Richmond Men’s Chorus, or enjoying a show, occasionally performing, at some of our incredible local theater companies.


ERIN FRYE, Director of Programs & Outreach
804.340.5280 ext. 3

Erin joined CultureWorks in 2019 with significant experience in marketing, outreach, and special events. She previously led marketing efforts for the Richmond Symphony, managed VIP retention events with Capital One, and led volunteer recruitment and outreach efforts for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Erin has a B.A. in Public Relations from JMU and is motivated by elevating people and communities. Her travels as a volunteer musician have spanned from Africa to Europe, and across North America. She is also an RVA-based singer-songwriter, the founder of Gals for a Cause, and a Teaching Artist/Performer in SPARC’s inclusive LIVE ART program.

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CANDRA PARKER, Director of Grant Programs & Development
804.340.5280 ext. 1

Candra joined CultureWorks in 2019 with over 20 years of professional fund development and grant experience.  She has previously worked for local, regional and national non-profits such as the Neighborhood Resource Center, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United Negro College Fund. Candra is a passionate and mission-driven servant leader with an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. In addition, she is a quilt and textile artist. She is founder of Sisters of the Yam African American Quilters Guild and a founding member of the Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild. Her work has been featured in exhibits at the Black History Museum and Culture Center of Virginia, the Virginia Quilt Museum and the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.


MARY CLAY WATT, Communications & Marketing Specialist
804.340.5280 ext. 0

Mary Clay joined CultureWorks in 2018. Mary Clay oversees the arts and culture calendar as well as manages social media for CultureWorks and artoberVA. Mary Clay returned to her hometown after graduating from Christopher Newport University in 2017 and is excited to experience all that Richmond has to offer. A passionate theater kid during high school, the arts hold a special place in her heart. Mary Clay likes to take advantage of the talented theater scene in Richmond or check out the latest festival with friends.



Our Board of Directors

current members


Frazier Millner Armstrong, Managing Partner, Armstrong Partners

Jonathan Baliles, Community Volunteer

Kenya Blake (Chair), Leading Developer, Manufacturer, and Marketer of Tobacco Products (Altria)

Sherman V. Burroughs IV, Customer Segment Consultant, Bank
of America

Pam Martin Comstock*, President, Gilbert C. Martin Company

Juan Conde, Anchor/Reporter, 8 News/WRIC-TV

Sara Cowherd*, President, FM Solutions

Douglas Dorsey, Broker/Owner, Engle & Volkers

Don Garber, Chairman, Kjellstrom & Lee

Professor James B Gates, Jr., Virginia State University Director of the Dr. Billy Taylor Jazz Studies Program

Thomas S. Gay, Head Crabber, Blue Crab Investors LLC

Scott Hammer, Principal Consultant, Impact Makers

Dr. W. Weldon Hill, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Virginia State University Department of Music

D. Brennen Keene, Partner, McGuireWoods LLP

Jenni Kirby, Owner, Crossroads Art Center

Justin Laughter, Attorney, Threshold Counsel, PC

Blake O'Brien (Secretary), Director - Sustainability, Governance and Engagement, Dominion Energy

Charles Piper, Principal, Quinn Evans Architects

Daphne Maxwell-Reid, Entrepreneur

Dr. E. Gaynell Sherrod, Chair, Dept. of Dance & Choreography, VCUarts

Jessica Simmons, Owner, River City Tattoo and Dermaklenz

Brooks Smith, Partner, Troutman Sanders, LLP

Lisa Streat (Past Chair), Senior VP, Private Client Services, Capital Bank

Marcia Thalhimer, Community Volunteer

Greg Williams (Treasurer), Advisory Senior Manager, EY

Jerry Williams*, Owner, TVJerry and SIFTER

*ex-officio, non-voting members



James Rothrock (Director Emeritus)
Rejena Carreras • David Christian • Michael Falzone • Gordon Fruetel • Charlotte Minor • Kim Scheeler • Geoffrey Sisk • Brock Vaughn