Monday, March 05, 2012

Rediscovering Richmond - Living beyond Charles Collie Land

If you're anything like me you often find yourself living a very narrow life.  Sometimes it seems as if I don't know what's happening outside my home, my office and my facebook account.  I live in Richmond but I tend to live most of my life in Charles Collie Land.  Which is a real shame because Richmond is an amazing city and region.

I'm not going to make this post a tourism commercial but if you live here and aren't constantly exploring what the region has to offer you are missing out. Everyone talks about the history of Richmond but that history is talked about in a monochromatic way.  Richmond is not only the place where the United States was born and then divided, it is a place where creativity and innovation has blossomed time and time again (and not only at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - which is awesome).

In a recent conversation with my friends Gayle Turner and Tom Laughon at Catch Your Limit Consulting, they reminded me of the visionaries, crazies and misfits that have made our region the center of so many creative activities.  A guy named George Washington developed a unique canal system that allowed Richmond to become the center of trade in a new nation.  But at the same time Richmond had also become the theatrical center of our new nation - and may still be if not for harsh fire regulations that allowed the backwater town of New York to draw the theater away.  Also, Richmond claims the writer of a uniquely dark style of poetry named Edgar Allen Poe, remember him.  Speaking of innovations, Richmond was home to the first electric trolley system in the U.S.

Well, fast forward to today and theater, art, and creative activities abound. From huge music festivals to 10ks and open innovation centers for Fortune 500 companies to Innovation Centers at major universities and hundreds of little companies doing mind blowingly amazing things.  Just go to Google, pick an industry, a category or a crazy thought and then type Richmond, Virginia or just RVA after it and prepare to be wowed.  Don't live the narrow life.  Enjoy and be a part of the creativity that is Richmond!

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