Luncheon Platter

RVA Creates!

Register Thursday, September 15
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Virginia Historical Society

428 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220

RVA Creates!

Join us for our September 15, 2016 Venture Forum RVA Luncheon. Richmond is a place where many go and visit specifically for its art community, and “according to gogobot, Richmond is one of the 10 Most Artistic Mid-Sized Cities in America.” We are surrounded by creativity via entrepreneurs that enhance our community through design, live and static art, and it is having a big impact on business in RVA. Come learn how artists have turned their passion into a business, and how we can cultivate and support our expressive ecosystem. 


Lisa Freiman, PhD - Director, VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
Lisa is the Director of the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). Currently under construction, the ICA will feature exhibitions, music, experimental performances, and films by nationally and internationally recognized artists. The ICA will be a non-collecting contemporary art institution designed to accommodate the increasing lack of barriers among different media and practices.

Prior to coming to Richmond, Lisa served as senior curator and chair of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) between 2002 and 2013. She is an internationally recognized curator and leader in the contemporary art field. During her 11 years at the IMA, Freiman transformed the experience of contemporary art in Indianapolis. She created a dynamic and widely renowned contemporary art program that has become an influential model for encyclopedic museums as they engage with the art of our time. Actively seeking out the works of emerging and established international artists, Freiman has provided a platform to support artists’ work through major traveling exhibitions, commissions, acquisitions, and publications. In 2011, Freiman served as commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion in the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, presenting six newly commissioned, site-responsive works by Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla, the first collaborative to be presented in the U.S. Pavilion. Prior to joining IMA, Freiman worked as assistant professor of art history, theory, and criticism at the University of Georgia, Athens and served in the curatorial department of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. 


Scott Garka, President at CultureWorks

Scott Garka is the President of CultureWorks. A nonprofit, CultureWorks exists to drive a more vibrant community by inspiring, enabling and cultivating world-class arts and culture. CultureWorks plays an impactful role engaging the community in its thriving arts and culture, providing direct support to help artists and organizations create compelling cultural experiences, and promoting collaboration among artists, arts and culture organizations, and others from around the Richmond and Tri-Cities area. New from CultureWorks  this fall is artoberVA – a month-long celebration of arts and culture across our region.

Scott has extensive leadership experience with a reputation for driving results across diverse teams through collaboration. He served as the Senior Director for Consulting Services with nonprofit VHQC  (formerly Virginia Health Quality Center) and previously spent 20 years in the private sector working at Capital One and beginning his career at a Big 6 public accounting firm. Mr. Garka holds a B.S. Degree in Commerce from the McIntire School of Commerce at University of Virginia, holds a certificate in Fundraising and Development through the University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy, and is a Certified Public Accountant in Virginia. In addition Scott is deeply involved with the region’s arts and culture community performing locally with the Chamberlayne Actors’ Theater, Henrico Theater Company, Monument City Music and previously serving as Board Member, Development Chair and Treasurer for the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. 

Kyle Lucia, Co-owner Phoenix Handcraft 
Kyle and his wife, Johannah, bring the ancient arts of blacksmithing and mosaics to a contemporary audience. They work to show the continuing relevance of handskills in the 21st century. Using handtools and early industrial equipment, they create modern designs with the timeless feel of handmade work.

They also create work that is sustainable, and use reclaimed, local, durable, and non-toxic materials. They place a strong emphasis on community outreach and collaboration, working with local artist friends and community arts groups including RVA Makers, RVA MakerFest, Art 180, and Richmond Craft Mafia. Kyle’s learned black smithing through a traditional English apprenticeship. He later earned a BFA in furniture design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Kyle and Johanna create many solo works, and their most satisfying projects are collaborations. They are raising (and homeschooling!) their two young children, one young pup, and one old cat in beautiful, historic Richmond.

Jordan Childs, Studio Owner at Eastern Land Collective and Owner, Shine Craft Vessel Co.

Jordan Childs is originally from Black Mountain, NC and moved to Richmond in 2007 to attend the VCU Brandcenter. After graduation he moved to San Francisco to work in advertising for BMW/MINI. Eventually leaving the agency to take a senior marketing position within the LEGO Group overseeing branded retail. Jordan cared for the advertising and experience of the North American LEGO Stores, Catalogs and Events. Jordan left LEGO in 2014 to move back to Richmond and start his own business.

Shine Craft Vessels was founded in early 2014 on the simple premise to make a better beer growler. Something that dramatically differentiated itself from the standard glass growlers and brought beauty to a product category that was lacking. The company made an initial batch of 100 and has now produced thousands. Each one made in small batches with an extreme scrutiny that makes each meaningful and unique. The mission of Shine is to pioneer a new category of specialty barware by bridging craft beverage with innovative product design, manufacturing and finishing techniques.

Jordan and his wife, Kim, live in Church Hill with their daughter, Ever. 

Emily Herr, Owner, HerrSuite

Emily is owner of HerrSuite (pronounced “her-suite”), a one-woman mural painting shop. She creates custom hand-painted murals on preexisting surfaces all along the east coast.

Her painting approach is informed by environmental context, existing architecture, storytelling, surprise, and playful education. Although the bulk of her work is private commissions, Emily has painted for organizations such as Welcoming Walls, RVA Street Art Festival, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Arts in the Alley, Art on Wheels, RVA MakerFest, Thomas Jefferson High School, Chesapeake Bank, and many small businesses in Richmond and beyond. Emily is also a board member for RVA Makers, and for two years has run a bi-weekly critique group for artists called Share Yo Shit.

With a formal illustration and design education from VCU’s renowned School of the Arts, as well as 8 years of mural-specific painting experience, Emily got her business license and diploma in the same month. She was born and educated in Richmond, and is sticking around because Richmond is a hotbed of creative energy and has thriving support for the arts.

A few things our Panel will be discussing:


Price before 5:00 PM Friday, September 9

Member - Early Registration: $30.00
Non Member - Early Registration: $45.00

Price after 5:00 PM Friday, September 9
Member Late - Registration: $40.00
Non Member - Late Registration: $50.00

Cancellations (Refunds Requested) A request for cancellation (and refund) will be accepted up to the deadline 72 hours in advance of the event. Any request by a registered event participant (registrant) must be received 72 hours prior to the event in writing via email to  

Presented by:

  • Vaco
  • LeClairRyan