Best Mind-Stimulating Local Event or Series

Readers' Pick

The Richmond Forum

Second Place: TEDxRVA

Third Place: RVA Makerfest

This long-running Richmond Forum series brings such heavy hitters as presidents, humanitarians and entertainers to discuss the issues of the day. You get a two-parter, too — typically a presentation followed by a sit-down, onstage interview to which you have an opportunity to submit questions. President Bill Clinton, Steve Martin, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Oprah Winfrey are among the star-studded throngs that have appeared. This fall, the series will bring renowned Harvard professor Michael Sandel, award winning “MASH” actor Alan Alda, and Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister of Australia. But good luck getting tickets — the series has a faithful following. The locally organized, innovative concept of short talks that is TEDxRVA also draws praise from voters. And RVA Makerfest, a celebration of hands-on creators and hobbyists in fields of fashion, music and art, gets a nod as well.

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