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Culture Under Construction

Nineteen arts groups want to change Richmond -- they just need $500 million.


From grassroots organizations like Richmond Indie Radio, which is hoping for $30,000 to get on the air, to big state institutions, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and its $150 million expansion, our arts scene is under construction this fall. No matter how large or small, they're all hoping you'll contribute to their cause. The cost of the following 19 projects, which include nonprofit arts and historical institutions, totals approximately $500 million, of which about half has yet to be raised.

Interestingly, the two largest projects, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' $150 million expansion and the $161 million Virginia Performing Arts Complex, have had the most divergent fund-raising results. While the 68-year-old museum is nearly finished with just $20 million to go, the proposed VPAC has at least $117.5 million more to raise. About half of the projects will be occurring downtown, and more than half have missions to teach history.

While we have included a broad spectrum of projects, these aren't the only ones. Some groups, such as the Richmond Mural Project and Polkadot Arts, haven't established their nonprofit status yet to seek public funds. The University of Richmond, in the midst of a $200 million endowment campaign, hasn't specified how much of that money will go to the arts.

But even if you don't have money to give to arts groups, they could use your time. We've compiled a list of the types of volunteers different groups are looking for, from gardener to Webmaster. And the fall arts calendar will guide you through the season ahead — we've highlighted events we think are especially exciting.

More Fall Arts...

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