Thursday, November 15, 2012

City of Richmond Welcomes RVA ON ICE For Another Season

The City of Richmond is proud to announce that RVA On Ice will be returning to Downtown Richmond this winter season. Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance announces their sponsorship of Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA On Ice for the 2012-2013 season. Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA On Ice is scheduled to open Friday, November 23, 2012 and run through Thursday, January 31, 2013. This is the third season of the downtown ice rink, which was a vision of Mayor Dwight C. Jones to have in downtown Richmond.

The 8,400 square foot ice skating rink is adjacent to Richmond CenterStage at  6th Street on the Broad Street side. Skaters can enjoy hot chocolate, S'mores, classic holiday music and movies, a fire pit and Snack Shack. Free arts and crafts sessions will be offered by the City of Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Office of Cultural Arts Programs on Saturdays and other special events and appearance will occur throughout the season.

Hours of Operation

Wednesday - Friday    4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturday                        10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday                          10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mondays and Tuesdays are reserved for private rink rental such as groups, corporate events, and private skating lessons.

Special Holiday Hours

December 24     Noon to 8 p.m.
December 25    4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
December 31    Noon to 10 p.m.
January 1           Noon to 10 p.m.
January 21        Noon to 8 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change based on weather and special activities.

Admission & Skate Rentals

Season Pass - $20.00
General Admission - $5.00 
Senior Admission (60 & up with ID) - $4.00 
Military Admission (with ID) - $4.00 
Children 10 and under FREE (must be accompanied by paid guardian) 
Skate Rental (Age 11 and over) - $5.00 
Skate Rental (Children 10 and under) - $3.00 

Please visit for  more information about programs, events and to book an event. Tickets for Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA On Ice are available at Richmond CenterStage Box Office. Please call (804) 592-5330 for more information.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mayor Jones Announces City of Richmond Earns IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge Grant

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced that IBM has selected the city of Richmond to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant The Mayor will receive the grant during a special recognition dinner this evening in Palisades, NY, following a day long summit of leaders from cities involved in the Smarter Cities Challenge program.

The grant provides the City with access in 2013 to some of IBM's top experts to analyze and recommend ways Richmond can become an even better place in which to live and work. Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, $50 million competitive grant program.

“It is an honor to receive the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant as this resource of human capital will prove invaluable in moving Richmond forward as we continue our work of enhancing our economic and workforce development efforts,” said Mayor Jones. “Richmond is a city of great opportunity as we have a wealth of amenities that are not easily found in other cities. It is my hope that the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant will help us create an economic development tool that will improve the health of our city through the strengthening of our neighborhoods; an instrument that focuses on the community level to support the attraction and retention of neighborhood businesses.”

The program, which is IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative, assigns a team of six top IBM experts to each winning city to study a key issue identified by the city's leadership. Well before the team arrives for its three-week pro bono consulting engagement valued at $400,000, the IBMers are already hard at work studying the city's issue. After they arrive, the team works with city officials to analyze data, and solicit the input of dozens of local agencies and advocacy groups. IBM then provides detailed recommendations for how the city might efficiently and effectively address the issue.

For year-three of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, cities around the world once again competed vigorously to benefit from IBM's talent. The winning cities proposed innovative projects and areas of focus for IBM experts. These included strategies that address: 

·         Economic and Workforce Development -- reducing local dependence on a single industry
·         Social Services - creating an ecosystem that supports independent living for a growing senior citizen community
·         Sustainability - setting policies around billing rates, electric vehicle use, and solar power generation on an upgraded power grid
·         Capital Budget Planning - enabling citizens to request expenditures, while analyzing their potential impact
·         Urban Planning - taking a more systematic, data-driven approach to housing policy, downtown revitalization, zoning, and permits

"Congratulations to Richmond, Virginia for earning an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2013. Richmond distinguished itself among its peers by convincingly demonstrating its preparation and willingness to make the kind of improvements that will improve its residents' quality of life and become a smarter city," said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM's Foundation. "We consider it a privilege to share with the city of Richmond the talent and expertise of our most gifted employees, who are the envy of the industry. They have premier skills in a range of disciplines -- all useful for helping to build smarter cities and a smarter planet."

In 2012, IBM provided expert counsel to 33 cities worldwide who had earned IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants. These included engagements in:

·         Cheongju, Korea, where IBM recommended smarter transportation strategies 
·         Dortmund, Germany, and Malaga Spain, where IBM formulated plans for economic, workforce, skills development 
·         Jacksonville, USA, where IBM outlined steps for downtown revitalization 
·         Louisville, USA, where IBM showed how the city could use data to identify, predict and mitigate conditions that trigger asthma 
·         Nairobi, Kenya, where IBM created a plan for traffic management  
·         Geraldton, Australia, where IBM suggested ways for the city to become a leader in smart grid technology adoption and digital services 
·         Curitaba, Brazil, where IBM suggested approaches to sustainability and citizen engagement

In year-one and two of the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM completed work in 64 cities globally, deploying nearly 400 of its most talented experts who delivered concrete and measurable results to winning cities. 

Smarter Cities Challenge is a variant of IBM's Corporate Service Corps, a pro bono consulting program that assists government with projects that intersect business, technology, and society.  Since its launch in 2008, Corporate Service Corps has sent more than 2,000 of IBM's top talent based in 50 countries on more than 200 team assignments in 30 countries.  While Corporate Service Corps focuses on the developing world, IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge addresses urban concerns in both industrialized and developing countries.  

The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for more than 100 years.  

To learn more about IBM's corporate citizenship initiatives, visit: To find out more about IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge at