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City of Richmond, Performing Statistics unveil Freedom Constellations, public art project celebrating and supporting youth voice

The City of Richmond and cultural organizing nonprofit Performing Statistics have teamed up to give Richmond’s youth a space of reverence and reflection on the sides of Richmond's City Hall.

Freedom Constellations, a multimedia public art project led by artist Mark Strandquist featuring two large banners flanking the Marshall Street and 9th Street sides of City Hall, will include two Richmond Public Schools students involved with RISE for Youth (Ta’Dreama McBride and Clyde Walker) voicing a group of local youth’s vision for a future where all youth are free.

When the exhibit is installed, 160 foot tall portraits will flank City Hall. As visitors hold smartphones up to the portraits, augmented reality animation and audio will display the young leaders’ dreams for the future as they articulate the investments they say will keep the community safe, healthy, and free. They will hear the words and voices of young people in the form of a co-written poem: “In a world without youth prisons. I walk down the streets and… I hear happiness in the community, and I feel safe…”

The experience will ask visitors to imagine a world where every young person feels empowered, free, heard and hopeful, growing up surrounded by the support and love they need to thrive.

Exhibit installation will begin at the end of June. Visitors will be able to experience Freedom Constellations starting in July, with the augmented reality experience located on the corner of 9th Street and Marshall Street.

Quotes from Project Partners:

“We must build a future where every young person feels unlimited in potential and unimpeded by the burdens of systemic racism and poverty,” said Mayor Stoney. “Freedom Constellations will be a beacon shining brightly from City Hall in support of that vision.”

“Covering the sides of city hall with interactive portraits of youth fighting to make Richmond a better place is exactly the kind of monumental public art that Richmond needs in this moment,” says Mark Strandquist, lead artist for the project and creative director at Performing Statistics. “Through photography and augmented reality, Freedom Constellations elevates not singular historic voices, but a multitude of powerful and visionary youth in the city. It is deeply important that the city provide platforms for all youth to speak about their experiences, showcase their leadership, and share their dreams for a more just, whole, and free Richmond with all of us. We can never build that future if we can’t imagine it, illustrate it, design it, and youth need to be part of that process. These young leaders have given us all a huge gift; they’ve shared a beautiful blueprint for a Richmond where all youth have the support we all deserve. I hope we all use this as an opportunity to listen, learn, and find more ways to involve youth in all of our efforts to make the world and future a better place.”

“The Human Services portfolio in the City of Richmond is dedicated to facilitating the hopes and dreams that Freedom Constellations embodies,” said Reggie Gordon, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services. “Richmond’s youth provide a key voice in our conversation on building a more compassionate city, and I greatly look forward to the other conversations this monumental public art installation will inspire.”

“Being a part of something that’s bigger than myself is just extraordinary,” said Ta’Dreama McBride, a youth activist and subject of the public art installation. “I hope when you see this you’re inspired to make a change in your community – not just that, but a change in the world.”

This project was made possible by support from the City of Richmond Departments of Human Services, Social Services, Justice Services, Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities, the Richmond Police Department, Richmond Region Tourism and Venture Richmond.

To learn more about Performing Statistics, please visit

For a live stream of the event, visit the city’s Facebook page here. Please contact Sam Schwartzkopf of the Office of Public Information and Engagement at with questions about the exhibit.


City Council Approves Resort Casino Operator

Resolution advances the resort casino toward referendum


Richmond, VA — Richmond City Council this evening approved the resolution introduced by Mayor Stoney to name ONE Casino + Resort (RVA Entertainment Holdings, LLC) as the city’s preferred casino gaming operator for a proposed resort casino project in South Richmond at the former Philip Morris Operations Center. 


Passage of the resolution also includes City Council’s support of the business terms in the Host Community Agreement Term Sheet between the city and resort casino operator and authorizes the preparation and negotiation of the full Host Community Agreement, which will be voted on by Council later this summer.


The city will now submit the preferred operator/site to the Virginia Lottery Board for pre-certification. Upon successful pre-certification, and approval by City Council of the full Host Community Agreement, the city will petition the Circuit Court to hold the November 2nd voter referendum on the negotiated project.


“ONE Casino + Resort is a $562.5 million project that will create 1,300 well-paying jobs with benefits in South Richmond, and every Richmond resident will benefit from the new revenue created by the project,” said Mayor Stoney.  “City Council’s vote tonight paves the way for every voting Richmond resident to have their voice heard on this important project.”


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More information on the city’s resort casino process can be found at


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Governor Northam Announces CarLotz to Expand in Richmond, Creating 192 New Jobs

~ Company will relocate corporate headquarters to larger facility in Scott’s Addition neighborhood ~

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CarLotz (NASDAQ: LOTZ), the nation’s largest consignment-to-retail used vehicle marketplace, will retain and expand its headquarters in the City of Richmond, creating 192 new jobs. The company will relocate operations from its location in the Manchester neighborhood of Richmond to the Handcraft Building in Scott’s Addition to accommodate recent growth. Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee, Texas, and Washington for the project. Governor Northam joined company leaders and local officials at the new facility this morning to make the announcement.

“CarLotz has experienced tremendous success since its founding in Richmond a decade ago, and we are excited to see this homegrown company deepen its roots in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “With a fourth Virginia location opening in late June, CarLotz continues to expand its network of hubs in the Mid-Atlantic and nationwide. Central Virginia has a deep bench of skilled workers and a strong commitment to developing a robust talent pipeline, making the region an ideal location for fast-growing businesses like CarLotz.”

CarLotz was founded 10 years ago in Richmond, Virginia as a peer-to-peer car consignment marketplace designed to put the value back into the hands of people. Today, it has grown to be the nation’s largest consignment-to-retail used vehicle marketplace with hubs across the country. CarLotz’s omnichannel approach offers guests exceptional experiences whether online or in-hub. 

“Richmond has proven to be a great home for CarLotz, offering a wonderful community and a talented workforce to support its growth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We thank the company for creating nearly 200 high-quality jobs and look forward to many more years of partnership with CarLotz.”

“CarLotz was born in Virginia, and we couldn’t be more excited to build this next chapter of the company right here in our home state and in the city we love,” said Michael Bor, Co-Founder and CEO of CarLotz. “We are confident in the workforce and the access to markets that further investing in Virginia will provide for CarLotz, our team members, and our guests.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Richmond to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Richmond with the project. CarLotz is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Support for the company’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam Administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“Richmond is both thankful and excited to have a publicly traded company like CarLotz make the strategic decision to expand in the city,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “The 192 new jobs create opportunities for our citizens to work for a growing and thriving company that has created an innovative way for buying and selling cars. Scott’s Addition has gained a new neighbor that will add to the area’s vibrancy. This is a great project for Richmond, and we look forward to helping CarLotz grow even more in the city.”

“CarLotz’s choice to expand in the Commonwealth’s capital is welcome news and will have important impacts for the City of Richmond,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Not only will the expansion create nearly 200 new jobs, it will help further stimulate our economy through innovation and competition and will create important opportunities for our residents. I commend all of the local, state, and federal leaders and coalitions who played a part in securing this project for Virginia.”

“Virginia certainly welcomes the decision by CarLotz to expand its headquarters in Richmond and thus bring more jobs to the city,” said Senator Ghazala F. Hashmi. “I am especially delighted by the company’s partnership with VEDP and Virginia’s Community College System through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program in its recruitment and training of new hires. The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program has proven to be a critical initiative that assists business and industry partners identify and develop local talent for their innovation and growth efforts.”

“We are overjoyed that CarLotz not only chose to stay in our City of Richmond, but also to expand its operations further,” said Delegate Jeff Bourne. “That they chose us over several cities demonstrates how powerful a hub for business and investments Richmond has become. The creation of new jobs and the company’s ability to provide consignment vehicles at comparable or below dealership prices is vital to an economy that is beginning to turn around.”


Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth deemed top comprehensive plan in the Nation

Richmond, VA The recently adopted citywide Master Plan, Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth, has been awarded the 2021 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan from the American Planning Association (APA). This award recognizes an innovative plan that helps create a more prosperous and equitable community for current and future residents and raises awareness of the importance of planning.

“Richmond is a prime example of how planning can help a community begin to overcome past wrongs like redlining and practices that unfairly excluded specific populations from access to opportunity,” said Kristen Asp, AICP, 2021 APA awards jury chair. “This plan, combined with their laser focus on implementation, is an example for other communities around the country on how planning can and should address systemic racism.”

Years of work by City staff, as well as thousands of residents, business owners, and other community members, resulted in the adoption of Richmond 300 in December 2020. The Department of Planning and Development Review (PDR), and specifically the Office of Equitable Development, are now working to implement the recommendations of the plan, which seek to achieve the outlined vision over the next 20 years.

“This recognition of Richmond 300 by the American Planning Association is a testament to all the hard work over many hours by the thousands of community members that participated in this planning process,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Overcoming years of divestment, specifically in our Black and Brown communities, is an immense task, and Richmond 300 steps away from the status quo and provides bold yet sound approaches to combatting inequities by adopting to our changing environment, addressing affordable housing needs, and fostering economic inclusion.”

The Plan sets the overall vision for the future of the city and provides high-level recommendations to create a more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful Richmond for its 300th birthday in 2037. The Plan outlines specific recommendations across five topics: high-quality places, equitable transportation, diverse economy, inclusive housing, and thriving environment.

“We’re grateful and humbled to serve as trusted advisors to the city for Richmond 300 and are thrilled the plan is receiving this honor from APA,” said Mike McIntyre, program director with AECOM, lead consultant firm for Richmond 300. “From the start, our goal was to break the mold and build this plan with maximum transparency and community input. This award belongs to every person who got involved, lent their voice, and helped shape Richmond 300 into something we can all be proud of. We’re excited for our city’s next chapter!”

The sheer breadth and length of any comprehensive plan can make it difficult to execute; therefore, Richmond 300, outlines 6 Big Moves to deliberately advance over the next 5 years:

  • Re-write the Zoning Ordinance
  • Re-Imagining Priority Growth Nodes
  • Expand Housing Opportunities
  • Provide Greenways and Parks for All
  • Reconnect the City
  • Realign City Facilities

“Creating Richmond 300 is the first step in envisioning a more equitable Richmond,” said Maritza Mercado Pechin, AICP, PDR Deputy Director and Manager of the Office of Equitable Development. “I am looking forward to continuing to engage the Richmonders as we collectively implement the recommendations in the plan.”

The Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth can be found on the City’s website at:

More information on the 2021 APA Award recipients can be found at:


The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The more than 40,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA is based in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at


Roberta Rewers, APA Communications Manager, 312-786-6395;


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