PRESS RELEASE: Southwest Virginia Cultural Center Announces 2020 Event & Exhibit Calendar

February 7, 2020

Contact: Jenna Wagner
PR & Marketing Director
Friends of Southwest Virginia
Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation
(276) 492-2400


ABINGDON, VA – The Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace, located in Abingdon, VA announced their 2020 event and exhibit calendar. The SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace crafts authentic Southwest Virginia event experiences through locally-sourced vendors. The architecture of the facility evokes the spirit and character of the region, featuring galleries, a cafe that serves 85% locally-sourced product, and performance and special events spaces. 

Gatherings at the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace can be as intimate or grand as your heart desires. Events held at our facility are led by a team of talented event professionals to create and craft each detailed moment. To book your event today, reach out to Leah Kidd, Sales, Events & Programming Coordinator.

Events featured at the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace range from music, arts, food, and outdoors. See below for save the dates for events to be held at the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace in 2020:

Arts & Crafts: 

  • Art Markets: Taking place at the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace, the 2020 markets are open to any member of RTM, juried or not. 
    • April 18 – Spring Wedding & Gift Expo – The spring expo will be paired with a mini wedding expo to expose artisans to the hundreds of bridal parties throughout Southwest Virginia and encourage wedding parties to incorporate handmade regional goods and gift one-of-a-kind regional creations as wedding gifts. 
    • July 25 – Summer Art Market 
    • November 28 – Holiday Market / Small Business Saturday – To be held in conjunction with American Express’s Small Business Saturday, the Holiday market will take place immediately after Black Friday on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. 
  • Jury: All members of ‘Round the Mountain are eligible to submit their work for the jury. To date, more than 300 members have successfully passed the jury process. Juried members are able to have their work for sale at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace, demonstrate at the center and regional events, participate in special shows, exhibitions, and other opportunities as they arise. `Round the Mountain serves the 19 counties and four cities of Southwest Virginia.
      • Spring
        • Dropoff at the SWVA Cultural Center – April 17 – 30
        • Artisan Notifications – May 15
      • Fall
        • Dropoff at the SWVA Cultural Center – October 16 – 31
        • Artisan Notifications – November 15
  • Exhibits: The SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace works to sell the art and craft of the region’s makers, but there’s also a myriad of art and craft throughout the regional to display for education and regional promotion. The following shows will hang in the Cultural Center in 2020: 
    • January – February 2020 – New Voices: Newly Juried Fall 2019 Artisans
    • March – April 2020 – The Hands that Sewed SWVA: Quilt Show
    • May 2020 – RTM Visions: A Children’s Art Competition 
    • June – July 2020 – New Voices: Newly Juried Spring 2020 Artisans
    • August – September 2020 – Pieces of the Past: The Farms that Shaped Us 
    • September – October 2020 – Artisan Focus: Jarata
    • November – December 2020  – A Blessed Gift: Holiday and Christmas Art of SWVA 


Culinary Events: 

  • Canning Series with Sandy Stoneman – February 22nd
  • Brunch – Offered twice a month on Sundays starting in March featuring regional chefs throughout SWVA and Friend’s own SWVA Culinary Ambassador 
  • Cooking Along the Crooked Road – Every 1st Monday from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. $35/class
    • March 2nd: Matt Shy – “Making Sauces” (making your own hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and more)
    • April 6th: Kristi Slaughter – “Delicious Gluten-Free Meal Prep” (Kristi will be showing us that gluten-free dishes can be delicious)
    • May 4th: Joel Jerkins – “Cajun Cookin’” (Chef Joel recently opened up a cajun restaurant (Cajun Persuasion) and will show us a few tips and tricks in executing real cajun flavors at home)
    • June 1st: Joe Bridges – “Introduction to Baking” (Joe the Baker will show us some of his best practices when baking sweets and breads)
    • July 6th: Matt Shy – “Summer Grillin’” (Matt is back to show us some tips when we are firing up our grills this summer)
    • August 3rd: Loren Gardner – “Charcuterie Building” (Loren Gardner will be stopping by to give pointers in building our own charcuterie boards, and how to pair wines with them – $45)
    • September 1st: Ben Phillips – “Grits, Gravy, and other Southern Breakfast Staples” (Chef Ben will be showing us how he makes his delicious grits, sausage gravy, and other breakfast foods)
    • October 5th: Charles Parker – “Homemade Soups” (Chef Charles has won many awards for his soups in the Great Annual Winter Soup Cookoff Series, and he will be demonstrating two of those winning recipes)
  • Farmer of the Month – Featuring a different SWVA farmer every month
    • Farmers Ball – August 1

Regional Partner Opportunities

The SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace is located at 1 Heartwood Circle in Abingdon, VA. just off of I-81 Exit 14. For more information, call 276-492-2400 or visit 


For more information, please contact Jenna Wagner with Friends of Southwest Virginia (276-492-2400). For more information and to stay up-to-date, subscribe to the Friends of Southwest Virginia Partner Newsletter and “Like” Friends of Southwest Virginia on Facebook.

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 the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace
  • 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

Learn More About the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and Friends of Southwest Virginia

Learn More About ‘Round the Mountain

Learn More About the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace

Follow SWVA
Facebook| Twitter| Instagram| YouTube| Snapchat: southwestva | Website

Follow ‘Round the Mountain
Facebook| Instagram | Website

Follow the SWVA Cultural Center & Marketplace
Facebook| Twitter| Instagram | Website