PRESS RELEASE: Friends of Southwest Virginia to Host 2nd Annual Spring Break Blitz, Hold 21 Public Orientations

February 25, 2019

Contact: Jenna Wagner
PR & Marketing Director
Friends of Southwest Virginia
Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development
(276) 492-2400 ext. 2422


ABINGDON, VA – Friends of Southwest Virginia and ‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network announced today their 2nd Annual “Spring Break Blitz” to be held during the first two weeks in March. 21 public meetings throughout Southwest Virginia will take place March 1st – March 13th to orient communities to the services and programs of the organization.

Friends of Southwest Virginia represents 19 counties, four cities, and 54 towns in Southwest Virginia and works to develop the creative economy and market the region to the world. Since the inaugural Spring Break Blitz in 2018, Friends of Southwest Virginia has transitioned significantly including merging organizational administration with ‘Round the Mountain to streamline resources and services and temporarily closing Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon for an improved experience and a new, consolidated brand. Team members will be hitting the road to engage with variety of partners to discuss the changes in anticipation of the grand reopening of Heartwood on March 15th at 11:00 AM.

Attendees can expect to hear important regional and organizational updates, meet the Friends and RTM team, and provide feedback on how Friends of Southwest Virginia can better serve them and their communities. Partners will also receive the 2018 Service Delivery Report, a summary of all projects and community outreach completed in 2018.

“From the changes underway at Heartwood to new websites marketing SWVA to dozens of construction projects breaking ground, our organization is making a major impact across all 19 counties and four cities,” said Chris Cannon, Executive Director for the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation, Friends of Southwest Virginia, and ‘Round the Mountain. “For those not currently engaged with us, this is an opportunity to get an orientation and learn how to work with Friends across our dozen programs.”

“The blitz is a great way to engage with partners and lay the groundwork for the coming year. We’ve been working on several projects over the past year throughout the region and we’re excited to see what the future holds” said Jenna Wagner, PR & Marketing Director for the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Friends of Southwest Virginia. “Check out your community’s stop on the blitz and come for a gathering of Friends!”

Friends of Southwest Virginia will be in each community on the following dates:

  • March 1
    • Washington County {McGlothlin Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre – 1:00 – 3:00 PM}
  • March 4
    • Grayson County {Historic 1908 Courthouse – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM}
    • City of Galax {Chestnut Creek School for the Arts – 2:00 – 4:00 PM}
    • City of Norton / Wise County {The Inn at Wise – 5:30 – 7:30 PM}
  • March 5
    • Lee County {Pennington Gap Community Center – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM}
    • Smyth County {The Henderson – 12:00 – 2:00 PM}
    • Scott County {Board of Supervisors Meeting Room – 5:30 – 7:30 PM}
  • March 6
    • Russell County {Russell County Government Center – 1:30 – 3:30 PM}
    • Carroll County {Carroll County Government Center – 2:00 – 4:00 PM}
  • March 7
    • Dickenson County {Clintwood Community Center – 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM}
    • Wythe County / Bland County {Heritage Preservation Center – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM}
  • March 8
    • Franklin County {Franklin Center – 9:00 – 11:00 AM}
  • March 11
    • Tazewell County {Tazewell Chamber of Commerce Hall – 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM}
    • City of Radford / Pulaski County {Train Depot Pulaski – 12:00 – 2:00 PM}
    • Floyd County {Floyd Center for the Arts – 5:30 – 7:30 PM}
  • March 12
    • Giles County {The 19th Hole, Pembroke – 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM}
    • Montgomery County {Great Road on Main – 3:00 – 5:00 PM}
    • Buchanan County {Buchanan County Chamber of Commerce – 3:30 – 5:30 PM}
  • March 13
    • City of Bristol {Birthplace of Country Music Museum – 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM}
    • Patrick County {Stuart Rotary Club Conference Room – 2:00 – 4:00 PM}
    • Bland {Wolf Creek Indian Village – 5:00 – 6:30 PM}


For more information and to RSVP for each event, check out the Friends of Southwest Virginia’s Facebook page.


For more information, please contact Jenna Wagner with Friends of Southwest Virginia (276-492-2400 ext. 2422).

About Southwest Virginia:
Tucked in the mountains of Southwest Virginia is a vibrant culture of music, craft and stunning natural beauty. It’s a region of spectacular views and rich natural resources. Time spent in the region adds up to something much more than a simple getaway. A different side of Virginia. And a great place to visit for a week’s vacation – or to make a home for a lifetime. Authentic. Distinctive. Alive.

About the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and Friends of Southwest Virginia:
The Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation is the coordinating body for cultural heritage tourism and economic development efforts fostering Southwest Virginia’s creative economy. Through a supporting non-profit, the Friends of Southwest Virginia, the combined entities help localities, businesses, individuals, artists, nonprofits and entrepreneurs mobilize and succeed.

A multifaceted plan identifies the cultural and natural assets of the region; coordinates initiatives, organizations and venues engaged in cultural and natural heritage toward more efficient operations for all partner organizations; and develops a comprehensive strategy and capital improvements plan to maximize the impact of state investments in this significant restructuring effort.

Key initiatives include:

  • Branding and marketing Southwest Virginia to the world as a distinct culture and destination
  • Developing and sustaining Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
  • Expanding outdoor recreation development initiatives and marketing throughout the region
  • Planning and implementation of downtown revitalization throughout the region to instill a high quality of life within our communities and promote them to the world for a broad spectrum of economic development opportunities

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