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Tucked in the ancient Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia is a vibrant culture of tradition, food, music and craft. It’s a region of spectacular views, abundant outdoor recreation, and rich natural resources. Rooted deep in history, this culture is authentic… distinctive… alive.
Southwest Virginia includes 19 counties, four independent cities, and 53 towns located on Virginia’s southern and western border. Its 8,600 square miles – more than a fifth of Virginia’s total – are located along mountain ridges and in fertile valleys, with two national parks, 11 state parks, and over a thousand square miles of national and state forests. It’s where you’ll find a culture of music and craft that is authentic, distinctive, and alive, as well as a natural landscape that is breathtaking in its magnitude and scope. It’s a place where the pace of life is slower, people are friendlier, and there are outdoor recreation opportunities of all kinds.
By capitalizing on the unique qualities of our region, Southwest Virginia utilizes its cultural and natural assets to build a comprehensive, long-term, sustainable economy through initiatives like the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace (formerly Heartwood), The Crooked Road,’ Round The Mountain, and related cultural heritage organizations and venues that promote entrepreneurial and employment opportunities.
The Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace is the gateway to Southwest Virginia music, crafts, outdoor recreation, food and local culture. Here we celebrate the unique natural and cultural assets that make Southwest Virginia such an incredible place to live or visit. With the objective of making Southwest Virginia known all over the United States and the world, we focus on the region’s natural beauty, unique culture, and welcoming and hospitable people. Several organizations, all headquartered at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace, join forces to celebrate this beautiful region of Virginia that we get to call home including The Crooked Road, ’Round the Mountain, and SWVA Outdoors.
The Friends of Southwest Virginia helps artists, craftspeople, localities, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs mobilize and succeed. The Friends of Southwest Virginia works hard to serve all 19 counties and four cities of the region to advance their local economy through creative initiatives. Our organization is making a real impact and we want you to experience it!
Southwest Virginia is growing fast and so is our team. Explore our current job openings and get your career started with the SWVA Team! We’re always on the lookout passionate, motivated people who want to be involved in the region.
The Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace is the gateway to Southwest Virginia’s rich culture and creative economy. Here you can see the work of regional artisans and musicians and find out about Southwest Virginia’s history and heritage.