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ABOUT US

Vision:

Our vision is to see the Greater Williamsburg community as a creative, vibrant community rooted in history and blossoming with culture.

 

Mission: 

Our mission is to promote and enhance the cultural energy and vitality of our community by creating experiences and educational opportunities that encourage visitation and enrich the lives of those who live here.

 

Goals:

  • To produce unique arts and cultural events for the greater Williamsburg area;

  • To support and collaborate with local artists, organizations, and businesses that are mission-aligned and foster mutually beneficial relationships;

  • To work towards an art-inspired communal space and an enhanced arts infrastructure;

  • To capture arts and culture grant money that is designated for livability and creative placemaking

Creative Placemaking:

An evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community's interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place. 

 

Meet our Directors:

Steve Rose, Founder & President

Steve Rose is a local businessman, non-profit founder, and community activist.  He was born in England but followed his Grandmother's roots and came to the United States over 25 years ago. Steve started Williamsburg Event Rentals in 1996 and to this day is the pre-eminent rental company in Williamsburg.  He founded a non-profit organization named Inclusion, and over a 10-year period gave back over $80,000 to the community through grants to young people from diverse backgrounds. He worked diligently to generate those funds by providing an annual 10-week-long summer concert series and an annual Chocolate Affair, among other unique events.  In 2011, he founded the non-profit, Eco Discovery Park. In 2015, Steve co-produced the 4-day Winter Blues Jazz Fest, which was held over Martin Luther King Weekend.  In its first year, the event sold over 1,200 tickets bringing together both locals and tourists in a fun, music-filled environment to help boost the local economy in the very slow winter months.  All of his endeavors rely on local volunteer support, something he has been very successful with based on his proven commitment to the community and hard-working leadership.  He has been awarded many prestigious honors such as the Small Business Person Award and The Corporate Citizen Award presented by the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, and Community Service Award from the College of William & Mary.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance.  

Jennifer Raines, Co-Founder

Jennifer Raines is a small business and arts advocate.  She is a native Virginian who has owned five retail stores, opening her first at age 19. She has operated her current business, Quirks of Art, which sells American-made handcrafted goods, since 2005.  She has a Master’s Degree in Management, Leadership, and Organizational Effectiveness.    Jennifer has won numerous honors including:  “Top 40 Under 40” Honoree, Niche Magazine’s “Top Retailer”, Retail Alliance “Top Retailer”, and a "Women in Business Achievement Award" from Inside Business magazine.  She currently writes for “Smart Retailer” and "Handmade Business" magazines.  She has served on the Board of the Downtown Hampton Development Partnership, on the national steering committee for American Craft Week, and on the regional steering committee for the LOVEVA shop local initiative.

Odessa Allen Dowdy, Director at Large

Odessa Allen Dowdy was born in Guyana, South America and traveled the world with Missionary parents.  After moving to the United States in 1991, her family settled in Richmond, Virginia where she graduated from Varina High School in 1998.  Odessa went on to attend Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied Fashion Design+ Merchandising. She worked in the retail industry for many years as a Manager and Trainer. In 2012 she launched her small business, AMORE by Odessa; a custom handmade jewelry company using the finest semi-precious stones, vintage findings with pieces collected from countries such as, Italy, France, Nepal and Spain. Odessa and her family moved to Williamsburg in 2014. She serves on the James City County Planning Commission ...and she also serves on the board of CultureFix as Director at Large. Odessa and her husband, Aaron, have been married since 2002 and have four beautiful daughters, McKinley, Olivia, Riley and Josie.    

Shirley Vermillion, Director at Large

A familiar face to many, Shirley Vermillion is a Northern Neck, Virginia Native. She is often sighted supporting live music, art, and culinary events around the area.  Shirley graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1990. She is a Dental Hygienist at Norge Dental Center; 2nd Sundays Williamsburg's Art & Music Festival Director; Music Director at Cogan's Deli; and Co-Producer at Historic Music Productions.    She has lived in Williamsburg with her husband, Pete and four boys since 2001.

Todd Cooke, Director at Large & Treasurer

Todd Cooke is a Richmond native, but has called Williamsburg home since 1999.  He graduated in 1998 from the Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. in History.  He is the Production Manager of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic Kimball Theatre.  Todd lives in Williamsburg with his wife, Sallie, and two daughters.

Wendy Miller, Director at Large

Wendy is a native of Richmond.  She is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where she met her husband, David.  Wendy and David have been married for almost 36 years and they have two grown children and one grandchild.  Wendy has lived in Williamsburg for nearly 30 years.  She retired in 2017 from WJCC Schools, where she taught elementary school for 21 years.  Since teaching, Wendy has been busy volunteering for FISH, Meals on Wheels, and The ARC.  Photography began as a hobby for Wendy and she turned this passion into a second career.  Her love of music has taken her to many festivals and venues around Virginia and beyond.  She appreciates the arts and enjoys capturing people doing what they love.  Since becoming involved with CultureFix, Wendy has enjoyed photographing many of the local and visiting artists to Williamsburg.

David Miller, Director at Large

David is a recently retired nuclear professional with a strong passion for live music (especially Grateful Dead, Bluegrass, and Americana genres), community outreach, and all things related to sports.  A native of Warrenton, Virginia, David graduated from Virginia Tech in 1980 with a BS Degree in Biology/Nuclear Physics.  He is an avid member of “HokieNation”, where he met his wife of 36 years, Wendy Cohn Miller.  They have two grown children and one grandson.  The first 9 years of David’s career included consulting jobs in Maryland (twice), Pennsylvania (twice), Massachusetts, California (twice), Iowa, New York, and North Carolina.  In 1989 David decided to take a job with Dominion Energy (Surry) and relocated the family to Williamsburg, where they have lived and worked for almost 30 years.  David immediately immersed himself in our community through regular volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and Youth Sports Leagues.  However, his real compassion for helping others has been displayed during his 27 years of volunteering with our local chapters of Special Olympics and ARC as a coach, friend, chaperone, and fund-raiser.  His commitment to ensuring all humans are treated with equality, dignity and respect is unwavering.  So naturally David was drawn to CultureFix’s mission to advocate for music, culture, art, inclusion, and community and he is very proud to serve on its board.

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