Spring is upon us – and with Spring, so comes the annual Tom Tom Founders Festival, in Charlottesville, VA, from April 9-15. Tom Tom Founders Festival is an inclusive, community-centric event that convenes business entrepreneurship with civic innovation with arts, music, culture, and food – and is the only U.S.-based festival to do so. With 20,000 attendees in 2017, Tom Tom Foundation is expecting larger audiences this year, flocking to see the headliners and participate in the group activities, non-profit nights, cheer on artists, and meander the open-air markets. Come for the party, leave inspired.

Summits: National Conversations for Small Cities

The Festival hosts two simultaneous conferences, The Founders Summit, which is oriented towards entrepreneurs, investors, and executives, and The Hometown Summit, which is aimed at government, foundations, and nonprofits. Both run from April 11-14. Some of the keynote and highlighted speakers at both Summits this year are:

Legendary Broadcaster Dan Rather; Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein; Comedy Icon John Cleese; New York Times bestseller ElisabethRosenthal; Honest Tea Cofounder Seth Goldman; Obama White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes; Political Strategist and Powerhouse Pundit Bill Kristol; Atlantic national correspondent James Fallows ; Michael B. Moore, CEO of the $75 million International African American Museum in Charleston, SC; MacArthur Genius Greg Asbed ; Aspen Institute Vice President and 8-term Congressman Mickey Edwards ; Brent Leggs , who leads the National Trust’s $25M fund to preserve black history; IDEO’s Peter Jackson ; National League of Cities’ Brooks Rainwater ; civic innovator Lennon Flowers ; Civic Nation director Jenn Brown ; 2 White House Champions of Change; Buzzfeed Senior Editor Anne Helen Peterson; Ambassador Mark Brzezinski ; and many others from MIT, Harper’s Bazaar, CityLab, Governing Magazine , NPR, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Slate, Spotify, New York Times, and more. See all speakers and sessions at https://tomtomfest.com/summits/.

City as Canvas Mural Project & Public Art Bike Ride

Artists will team up throughout the week to transform Charlottesville’s public places (and city art buses ) into community canvasses through live arts, murals , and competitions!

Massive free block parties

They’re back! One of the highlights of Tom Tom Festival are the FREE, central block parties in Charlottesville. Open to all, the weekend of April 13-15 is chock full of live music, vendors, food truck rallies, craft beer & wine gardens, and more. Concerts will be held at Emancipation Park, in participating restaurants and venues, and at Porchella – live, intimate, porch shows in the Belmont neighborhood.

Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week

Throughout the duration of Tom Tom Festival, restaurants and chefs are challenged to bring dishes to the menu that introduce and utilize fresh, locally sourced produce and products, further highlighting the beauty and taste of Charlottesville. We’ll be unveiling the Cville Signature Dis, and a version of the dish will be on the menu at every participating restaurant.

Look for participating vendors, food trucks, and restaurants – and follow Tom Tom for more updates and exclusive deals!