This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.

The Seventh Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival is a week-long celebration of innovators, visionaries, and artists who are shaping small cities. The Festival occurs at dozens of venues throughout downtown Charlottesville. 

Log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Government & Society [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 10


Partner Event: Messy Democracy: From Founding Our Nation to Finding Our Way
Limited Capacity filling up
You need this ticket from Eventbrite to sign up: Festival Pass - Free.
5-6pm Reception & Networking Hour
6-7pm Panel Discussion

The core ideas and principles of the American experiment have shaped not only our nation, but also the world more broadly. It is an ongoing experiment rather than a finished product, and at times we struggle to live up to the vision of the Founding Fathers as we navigate our imperfect democracy. This facilitated discussion will draw on the expertise and perspectives of three visionary women who are leading the charge to examine and share the lessons and legacies of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison.

avatar for Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Executive Producer of With Good Reason, Virginia Humanities
Sarah is executive producer and host of the weekly public radio show and podcast With Good Reason. With Good Reason, a production of Virginia Humanities, features lively conversations with the best minds at Virginia's public colleges and universities. The program is heard on 98 public... Read More →

avatar for Sara Bon-Harper

Sara Bon-Harper

Executive Director, James Monroe's Highland
Sara Bon-Harper is Executive Director of James Monroe's Highland. Research she directs there has recently discovered a lost presidential home and transformed the understanding of that property. Highland’s work offers an opportunity to re-examine Monroe and his time and place, building... Read More →
avatar for Leslie Greene Bowman

Leslie Greene Bowman

President, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Leslie Greene Bowman is President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates the UNESCO World Heritage site, Monticello -- the home of Thomas Jefferson. She has spearheaded the Foundation’s vision to bring history forward into national and global dialogue, propelling... Read More →
avatar for Kat Imhoff

Kat Imhoff

President and CEO, Montpelier Foundation
Under the leadership of President and CEO Kat Imhoff, Montpelier has become a leader in the research of slavery in the Early Republic, and garnered the attention of patriotic philanthropist, David M. Rubenstein, whose $10 million gift in 2014 jumpstarted efforts to reconstruct the... Read More →

avatar for Presidential Precinct

Presidential Precinct

The Presidential Precinct is a Physical and Virtual destination for young leaders to learn how others have built successful civil institutions, to debate the issues surrounding successful nation building, and to collaborate with others facing similar challenges. By partnering... Read More →

  • Festival (FREE), Included in Summit Badge, or Individually Ticketed Festival (FREE)
Friday, April 13


Community Luncheon: Honoring Black America in the Public Realm
Limited Capacity seats available

This panel offers inspiration and reflection on what a more just story about race in our public places, including parks, museums, and the built environment, can look like. Lunch included for Summit badgeholders.

avatar for Gayle Jessup White

Gayle Jessup White

Community Engagement Officer, Monticello
Gayle Jessup White became Monticello’s first community engagement officer in 2016. She is not only a direct Jefferson descendant, but is related to two well-documented families enslaved at Monticello - the Hemingses and the Hubbards.A former award- winning TV reporter, Jessup White... Read More →

avatar for Brent Leggs

Brent Leggs

Director, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund; Assistant Clinical Professor, Graduate Preservation Program, National Trust for Historic Preservation and University of Maryland
Brent Leggs is the Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund – a $25,000,000 fundraising and preservation campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A Harvard Loeb Fellow, he co-authored "Preserving African American Historic Places," which is... Read More →
avatar for Eto Otitigbe

Eto Otitigbe

Eto Otitigbe recently joined the team led by Howeler and Yoon Architecture to design the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at University of Virginia.  The memorial will be a reflective gathering space that includes symbols of libation and liberation.  Otitigbe's role on the design team... Read More →
avatar for Levar Stoney

Levar Stoney

Mayor, City of Richmond
Levar M. Stoney was sworn in as Richmond's 80th Mayor on Dec. 31, 2016. He is the youngest mayor ever elected to serve the city. Mayor Stoney was raised in Virginia by his grandmother and his father, a janitor. A product of Virginia public schools, he grew up on free and reduced... Read More →

avatar for Office for Diversity and Equity

Office for Diversity and Equity

The Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity assists and monitors all units of the University in their efforts to recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from historically underrepresented groups and to provide affirmative and supportive environments... Read More →


Partner Event: “How to Fix American Democracy: Part I"
Presented with UVA Student Council, this series of rotating 30-minutes discussions on fifteen topics adapted from Richard Just’s article “How to Fix American Democracy – 38 Ideas for Repairing our Badly Broken Civic Life.” UVA faculty will engage participants in key issues such as Civil Rights Education, Reinvigorating Local Leadership, and Redefining Patriotism.

Discussion Leaders include University of Virginia Professors such as Carah Ong Whaley, Andrew Kropko, and Bruce Williams, Emily Morrison, Rosanna Bencoach, and other Charlottesville Community Leaders, and Scholars at the Miller Center of Public Affairs.

avatar for Miller Center at UVA

Miller Center at UVA

The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history and strives to apply the lessons of history and civil discourse to the nation's most pressing contemporary governance chal... Read More →
avatar for University of Virginia

University of Virginia

In 1819 Thomas Jefferson fulfilled his lifelong ambition to create a better institution of higher learning, one that would prepare America's citizens to lead and govern the new nation. His University would be the first to engineer cross-disciplinary exchange between the sciences and... Read More →

Friday April 13, 2018 12:00pm - 4:00pm
The Lawn at the University of Virginia (12-2 pm)
Saturday, April 14


Partner Event: We Are Here Diversity Festival
Limited Capacity seats available
You need this ticket from Eventbrite to sign up: Festival Pass - Free.
A show of community solidarity and a celebration of local diversity through art, activism and engagement: come see live dancing from a variety of cultures, hear poetry performed in many languages, donate to local non-profits, experience Google Earth Virtual Reality, contribute to a community mural designed by local high school students, and listen to Khizr Khan and Susan Bro deliver keynote speeches on diversity in Charlottesville.

10:00-10:05 am – Introductory remarks (Vanessa Braganza, We Are Here)
10:05-10:50 am – Zumba Baileton (with Dr. Max Luna and the Latino Health Initiative)
11:00-11:05 am – FLASH TALK: The Women’s Initiative
11:10-11:15 am – UVA Students’ Multilingual Poetry Reading (Part 1, with Prof. Esther
11:20 – 11:25 am – FLASH TALK: The International Rescue Committee
11:30-11:45 am – UVA Students’ Multilingual Poetry Reading (Part 2, with Prof. Esther
11:50-11:55 am – FLASH TALK: Sin Barreras (Without Barriers)
12:00-12:15 pm – UVA Students’ Multilingual Poetry Reading (Part 3, with Prof. Esther
12:20-12:25 pm – FLASH TALK: The Adult Learning Center
12:30-12:35 pm – FLASH TALK: UVA Women in Math and Science
12:40-12:45 pm – FLASH TALK: NAACP
12:05-1:05 pm – UVA Taekwondo Club demo performance
1:15-1:20 pm – FLASH TALK: UVA Side By Side Peer Support Group
1:25-1:45 pm – We the People music video screening and discussion (Stephan Said and
Charlottesville High School students)
1:50-1:55 pm – FLASH TALK: UVA Muslim Students Association
2:00-2:05 pm – FLASH TALK: UVA Queer Student Union
2:15-2:35 pm – Keynote address: Susan Bro
2:40-3:00 pm – Keynote address: Khizr Khan

Featured Activities (10 am – 3 pm)

 Contribute to a community mural: Planned and designed by Charlottesville High School
art students, in collaboration with muralist Chicho Lorenzo

 Google Earth Virtual Reality: Sign up for the ultimate virtual reality experience and
travel anywhere in the world; provided by Jeff Dobrow and Flowlab.

avatar for Vanessa Braganza

Vanessa Braganza

Founder, We Are Here
avatar for Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan

Khzir Khan was born in 1950, the eldest of ten children, in rural Pakistan. He moved to the United States with his wife Ghazala, in 1980. The couple became American citizens and raised their three sons in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their middle son, U.S. army captain Humayun Khan, a... Read More →

avatar for Office for Diversity and Equity

Office for Diversity and Equity

The Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity assists and monitors all units of the University in their efforts to recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from historically underrepresented groups and to provide affirmative and supportive environments... Read More →

Saturday April 14, 2018 10:00am - 3:00pm
IX Art Park 521 2nd St SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Festival (FREE), Included in Summit Badge, or Individually Ticketed Festival (FREE)

Twitter Feed