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 creative economy movement is defined by innovative business development techniques. From the arts and music of the region to cultural goods and services capitalized through tourism to research and development, the joint work of the Foundation and the Friends is revolutionizing the rural economic development system of Southwest Virginia and providing new jobs for the region.
Ellen Reynolds – Beagle Ridge Herb Farm
“As a Lavender farm / trail site we have welcomed visitors from all over the world and our affiliation with ‘Round the Mountain has been tantamount in making this happen. Our bath and body line has been shipped all over the country as a result of purchases made at the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace which was then reordered directly from us. Folks have then made their way out to our farm when they have returned to Southwest Va. Thank you for being the conduit to a perfect circle which benefits all of us.
Dylan Locke – Floyd Country Store
“Through the Floyd Country Store, County Sales and the Handmade Music School, I have had the great opportunity to get to know and work with the team at Friends of Southwest Virginia. The whole team seems to be eager to work with and for the communities they serve. They really get to know the constituents of each community and take their work very seriously. I can’t say enough about their efforts and their commitment, which was fully displayed recently during a collaboration with The Floyd Country Store to bring important Southwest Virginia musicians to the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival to ensure a higher visibility for them. There are also several initiatives and collaborations that are being pursued which demonstrate their interest in my community and the cultural, recreational and social vitality that is so important.”