Creative Economy Development

The Friends of SWVA Development team focuses on sustainable creative economy development through the facilitation and implementation of creative economy strategies, collaboratives, and projects.  

  • Collaboration with partners organizations including The Crooked Road and ’Round the Mountain 
  • Facilitation for creative economy development in all 8 anchor areas
  • Sustainable creative economy development (arts, music, outdoor recreation, agritourism, community development)

Creative Economy Definition:

The Creative Economy is defined as innovative business development techniques finding success based on novel imaginative qualities that no longer rely on the limited resources of land, labor, and capital.


Area served by Southwest Virginia

Marcia Dempsey

Marcia Dempsey

Development Programs Administrator
Emily Mayo

Emily Mayo

Creative Economy Development Specialist
Idalina Walker

Idalina Walker

Creative Economy Development Specialist

Engage with us:

Helping community advocates identify opportunities to enhance their communities

  • Anchor area collaboratives 
  • Anchor area engagement
  • Capacity building and community engagement strategies
  • Business collaborative strategic support through Opportunity SWVA
  • AIR Shift program facilitation
    • Arts Build Business Builds Arts

Networking & Connectivity:

Opportunities for relationship building and continuing education. 

  • Annual 2 week informational session and networking event
  • Bi-annual outdoor recreation networking
  • Anchor area quarterly engagement events


Facilitating regional collaboratives to develop strategies for sustainable and thriving economies

  • Anchor area development and planning
    • Hometowns program
    • Master planning and strategic development facilitation
    • Regional grant development, administration, implementation, and assistance
    • Assistance in planning and activating community assets
  • Asset-based Planning Services
    • Product planning
    • Activation strategies
    • One-on-one capacity building meetings
Friends of Southwest Virginia is following recommendations from the Commonwealth and the World Health Organization to practice social distancing. All public meetings will be postponed until further notice.Access Regional Resources Here »