2018 Grant Awards

          2018 Grant Recipient Oakwood Arts - East End Quilt Collective Project

         2018 Grant Recipient Oakwood Arts - East End Quilt Collective Project

CultureWorks announces 17 organizations and 9 professional artists were funded through the 2018 cycle of the Annual Grants Program. These grants support a wide variety of projects and experiences taking place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 and focus on two distinct areas: building capabilities and cultural equity. Building capabilities grants support the overall growth of an organization or artist, helping them to reach strategic goals, while cultural equity grants are supporting organizations and artists for initiatives that reach or highlight underrepresented populations in the community.

Awards totaled $129,995 and were made possible through the generosity of Altria Group and The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.

“Every day we work to support, create, and celebrate a vibrant community. To be a vibrant community, arts and culture must be by and for everyone in our community.  CultureWorks ensures a thriving arts and culture community is felt way beyond a stage or a gallery, and is helping to create a regional destination the world is noticing. These grant investments build stronger communities by nurturing vital programs, projects, exhibitions and events provided by organizations and artists that drive significant economic, educational and social impacts in our Central Virginia community.” said President Scott Garka.

For Richmond Story House, a relatively new nonprofit organization, the cultural equity grant will advance an established program for incarcerated women. “We are so grateful to CultureWorks and its funders for this grant, which will help sustain and grow our work at the Richmond City Justice Center. We believe in the power of story - to heal at a personal level, and to connect across difference at a relational one. This support will help us deepen and focus our work at this facility, and will increase our capacity for replication of the program both at the RCJC and at other facilities.” said Founder and Director Rachel Pater.

“Belong Here Now”, 2015 embroidered portrait performance, free-motion embroidered rayon on silk organza

“Belong Here Now”, 2015
embroidered portrait performance, free-motion embroidered rayon on silk organza

For fiber artist and fashion designer Michael-Birch Pierce, who received a BFA in fashion design from VCU where he now teaches, a building capabilities grant allows him to advance his artistic vision.

Michael-Birch shared, “The CultureWorks Building Capabilities grant is so important to my artistic practice at this point in my career. The scale of my embroidery has been growing, my clientele is changing, and it's become necessary to overhaul my studio and equipment to meet these demands. With this grant, I'll be able to transform my professional relationship with clients across the globe while also developing new skills on new machines. CultureWorks' support feels like a validation of my artwork and commitment to the arts community in Richmond and I couldn't be more grateful.


2018 Grants Awards


1708 Gallery - $5,000 -To support 1708 Gallery's 40th Anniversary communications plan.

Afrikana Film Festival - $10,000 - To expand the youth programing throughout the three-day Festival event.

Art for the Journey - $9,400 - To increase the time of the Assistant Executive Director for the program.

Byrd Theatre Foundation - $4,000 - To support the development and coordination of a professional marketing program.

Firehouse Theatre - $5,000 - To support the time of the Community Engagement Director and other FORUM expenses.

Groundwork RVA - $9,912 - To support various activities associated with the Highland Park GABRIEL DAY 2018 Parade, engaging local youth.

Latin Ballet of Virginia - $3,050 - To support a collaborative project with Turnaround Arts:Richmond to partner with the dance education programs at Binford Middle School and Martin L. King, Jr. Middle School.

Monument City Music - $1,500 - To support the establishment of a Chorus Manager position.

Oakwood Arts - $6,500 - To support a year of presentations, conversations, and collaborative art projects will culminate in the creation of a large-scale piece of art: a quilt representing East End’s multifaceted past.

Podium Foundation - $7,000 - To pilot a side-by-side family writing programs to improve youth writing, communication, healthy personal expression and communication among family members.

Poe Museum - $4,500 - In collaboration with the Storytellers Channel, production and and distribution of audio recordings of every Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories and poems.

Richmond Story House - $10,000 - To support story-sharing classes within the Richmond jail, and a a pen pal program to connect jail residents with community.

Richmond Triangle Players - $8,000 - To help create a new Community Engagement Manager staff position.

Robinson Theater Community Arts Center - $6,400 - To support year-round arts and culture classes, arts youth summer camp, and the Fall Festival.

St. John's Church Foundation - $8,300 - To support the hiring of new a part-time Group Tour Coordinator.

Stavna Ballet - $6,000 - To support programming and instruction for East End-based students to develop skills and explore various aspects of ballet.

Virginia Voice - $5,000 - To support project providing audio description of live theater and other community cultural experiences for the visually impaired.



Sara Bouchard - $2,000 - To support the installation of Breathe, River, sound work based on water-quality data from the James River, as part of the Sound Arts Richmond festival.

Alexis Courtney and Emily Wicks - $2,000 - To purchase equipment, specifically a kiln for a new shared studio space.

Free Egunfemi - $2,000 - Support role as artist organizer and community caretaker of the dynamic untold Gabriel narrative.

Dawn Flores - $2,000 - To support completion of her artist studio.

Kevin Orlosky - $3,000 - To support The Way We Love Project addressing the subject of all forms of love and relationships in order to help shine light and acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Michael-Birch Pierce - $2,950 - To upgrade existing studio equipment.

Lynda Ray - $644.02 - Update to studio ventilation system.

Nastassja Swift - $2,839.82 - The support Remembering Her Homecoming analyzing the history of the black female in Richmond, VA through a communal workshop and collaborative public performance.

Sir James Thornhill - $3,000 - To support lead artists time on a collaborative mural project with VCU and Martin Luther King Jr Middle School for east end of the MLK bridge.