Hear Together

Hear Together: Circles Ashland

Circles Ashland nurtures reciprocal relationships that transform communities. Their model is to lift people out of poverty and help in any way they can. Circles Ashland refers to their program participants as leaders: those who want to make a change in their lives, whether that means getting a college degree, GED, or a better job.

The program is set up so that a leader goes on their journey with two allies walking with them through the process over an 18 month to 2 year period. They welcome families to join each journey as well, taking them in and providing resources like weekly community meals and children’s programs. Circles Ashland’s program symbolizes to the community that learning is a never ending cycle.

We spoke with Peyton McCoy, Executive Director of Circles Ashland, for this Hear Together profile. You can listen to the audio link below. More information can be found at circlesashland.org.

2023-09-18T15:12:05-04:00September 13th, 2023|

Hear Together: The Innocence Project at UVA Law

A team of three lawyers and dedicated law students form The Innocence Project at the University of Virginia’s School of Law. They work on legislative reform and represent wrongfully convicted Virginians, with clients who have served over two decades in prison for crimes they did not commit.

There are numerous substantive and procedural hurdles to being exonerated in Virginia; if successful, people come out of incarceration with little to no remaining family, high rates of PTSD, and are forced to restart their lives from scratch. The Project has been around for over a decade and to this day has released 15 clients from prison, but the need remains ongoing. The Innocence Project is always seeking community partners who can provide mental health, financial, economic and social resources for their clients who are reintegrating into society.

We spoke with Director Jenny Givens and Associate Director Juliet Hatchett for this Hear Together profile. You can listen to the audio below and find more information at innocenceprojectuva.org.

2023-08-28T14:30:31-04:00August 28th, 2023|

Hear Together: Innisfree Village

Innisfree Village is home to vegetable gardens, farmhouses dating back to 1971, and vast expanses of land that allows for adults with developmental disabilities to find long-term housing in a safe community. Residents live in a home setting alongside volunteer caregivers and choose from a variety of therapeutic workstations to participate in throughout the day. From agriculture to art, woodworking, and baking, there is something for everyone.

The Village sells their granola, eggs, and produce at local farmers markets and their pottery and woodworking projects can be found at local craft events and stores in the area.

We spoke with Farm Workstation Head Tim Wool and took a tour of the property at Innisfree Village in Whitehall, located west of Charlottesville. You can listen to the audio link below and find more information on Innisfree’s website.

2023-08-28T13:17:40-04:00August 28th, 2023|

Hear Together: Public Housing Association of Residents

People often have a negative image of public housing, but Joy Johnson, chair of the board at PHAR, wants the greater community to get to know the intelligent and hardworking people who work in public housing and reverse the stigma. PHAR stands for Public Housing Association of Residents, a community organization that is made up of and supports residents in Charlottesville.

PHAR’s mission is to educate and empower low-income residents to protect and improve their communities through collective action. Their organization is working towards the redevelopment of public housing, a positive environment for its residents and a vibrant, resident focused future. By attending conferences and spreading the word, Johnson learned how to transition PHAR from a social club to a city-wide nonprofit organization in 1998. PHAR currently represents 376 households and you can become a member immediately when you sign a housing lease – the organization would be happy to represent you.

More information can be found on PHAR’s website.

2023-06-12T13:23:56-04:00June 12th, 2023|

Hear Together: Light House Studio

For more than 20 years, Light House Studio has been equipping students with the skills and confidence to tell their stories and build community through collaborative filmmaking. Small groups of students work together to learn all aspects of film production, including writing stories, translating them into screenplay format, filming, producing and directing, acting, and editing. We spoke with Program Director Rachel Lane about what the organization has to offer.

Light House Studio hosts an annual film academy in the summer, a youth film festival in the fall, and their students’ films have garnered attention at other film festivals across the country. Last year, Light House taught 82 workshops to 837 students, resulting in 285 completed films, and provided more than 60% of students with scholarships. Not only do students get to strengthen their skills and grow their portfolio with Light House, but they make lasting friendships and professional connections along the way.

You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about Light House Studio on their website.

Additional support for WNRN’s coverage of Light House Studio comes from Ting Gigabit fiber internet.

2023-06-12T11:11:28-04:00June 9th, 2023|

Hear Together: The Bridge PAI – The Underground

The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative has been a touchstone of the Charlottesville arts community for nearly 18 years. Now with a new location on the downtown mall, the nonprofit has recently reopened with an expanded vision as The Underground: A Center for Creative Collaboration.

Results from a community-wide survey indicated that the local arts community sought access to affordable space, equipment and supplies, and a more interconnected arts community. To meet those needs, The Bridge came up with the idea of The Underground, a membership-based studio system with co-working space, 6 semi-private studios, 2 private studios, and tools ranging from drum kits and computer software to paint and drills.

We spoke with Jay Simple, Executive Director of the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, to discuss the nonprofit’s efforts to foster an all-inclusive openness to what art can be and who can participate in creativity. You can listen at the audio link below and learn how to become a member or support The Bridge here.

2023-06-08T15:15:23-04:00June 7th, 2023|

Hear Together: The Read Center

Most of the time, when people hear about services for literacy they assume they are only for children. However, The Read Center serves individuals ages eighteen and older who have low-level reading skills but want to make a difference in their lives and their family’s lives. We spoke with Nausha Brown Chavez, Advocacy Specialist for The Read Center in Richmond, for this Hear Together profile.

Having the courage to call is an inspiration. Needing the service and wanting to improve, wanting to fight against the odds, does not mean people should be ashamed. To change the mindsets of people who want to achieve their goals for themselves or for their families, you can make the call to utilize The Read Center’s services or volunteer to help better the lives of others. You can listen to the full segment at the audio link below and learn more on The Read Center’s website.

2023-03-15T15:05:28-04:00March 15th, 2023|

Hear Together: Foxfield Races

The Foxfield Races have been an integral part of Albemarle County since 1978. Mrs. Tejeda, the property’s original owner, wanted to ensure that the space served as a vehicle for community support. She founded the races to share the land with others in the region and encourage community members to give back to local philanthropic, charitable partners.

In 2020, Foxfield went a step further to become a registered nonprofit itself, while working with Albemarle County to solidify the conservation and preservation of the 178.65 acres under conservation easement. Not only does Foxfield continue the tradition of the two annual iconic steeplechase races, but it also hosts other events like 4Ks to support medical facilities.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Foxfield Racing’s Executive Director, Kelsey Cox. You can listen to the full segment at the audio link below and learn more on Foxfield’s website.

2023-03-22T14:43:00-04:00February 27th, 2023|

Hear Together: Clever Communities In Action

Clever Communities in Action focuses on the promotion and placement of culturally affirming literature in Title 1 schools in Hampton Roads in order to improve literacy rates, build community, and heal traumas inflicted by systemic racism within the African-American community.

Providing youth with stories and characters that represent their own lived experience not only leads to an increased interest in reading, but to better outcomes in learning overall.

Clever Communities in Action’s programming has expanded to include a L.A.A.W Scholars program, a visiting author series connecting students to African American authors, and more.

We spoke with Founder and Executive Director, Starr Armstrong, for this Hear Together profile. Listen at the audio link below.

2023-03-29T09:53:16-04:00January 17th, 2023|

Hear Together: American Climate Partners

American Climate Partners is a nonprofit that builds and implements natural solutions to heal our climate by managing land and water in new ways that restore these cycles to the way they were before the Industrial Revolution.

Working primarily in the rural and suburban areas of Virginia, one of American Climate Partners’ current initiatives is the Rapidan Fish Passage Project. This long-term project to partially remove the Rapidan dam just north of Charlottesville would not only reconnect 500 miles of habitat for fish species, but would also positively impact our climate by removing carbon from the atmosphere.

We spoke with ACP’s Executive Director, Mike Collins, for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below.

2023-01-10T15:22:55-05:00January 10th, 2023|