Tom Tom Summit and Festival

20 Things That Might Make This Cville's Best Week Ever

Happy post-retrograde-Tom-Tom-Festival-kick-off-NCAA-Championship-Gameday, folks. As much as I’ve been looking forward to this week, any good festival has one big problem. You just can’t be in two places at once.

By this metric, 2019’s Tom Tom Festival line-up is in league with the greats, boasting an on-going, overlapping rotation of more than 250 events and over 350 speakers in the span of one week.

As a first-time ticket holder and compulsive planner, I spent the weekend scouring the program to come up with my bucket list of can’t-miss-it’s. The beauty and pain of that selection process is being an ENFJ fueled by Woo and Input, crippled by FOMO, and lacking a Time-Turner. If you followed that sentence, we should be friends, and you should meet me at Tom Tom.



7:30 PM  |  Old Metropolitan Hall

Bartenders Ball

I thought I couldn’t be more excited for a kick-off celebration involving artisanal cocktails, but then Kyle Guy happened to me. Talk about a pre-grame, amiright?


8:30 PM  |  The Paramount Theater

NCAA Championship Screening

One last-minute, much-appreciated addition to the Tom Tom schedule, festival coordinators teamed up with The Paramount Theater to bring the people what they want. Registration is open until noon, today!




11:00 AM  |  Community Investment Collaborative

Creating Users Not Addicts: Social Media

I’m lucky to have caught a previous talk on digital design by Journey Group’s uber-talented Jeremy Cherry a few years back at Charlottesville’s edUi conference. Looking forward to his thoughts on a topic I can just maybe relate to.


12:00 PM  |  The Paramount Theater

Keynote Talk: Parkland Student and March For Our Lives Cofounder Jaclyn Corin

According to the event description, March For Our Lives is the largest American youth-led movement in Jaclyn’s lifetime. Once that sinks in, RSVP to this sure-to-be-stellar headliner.


3:00 PM  |  Community Investment Collaborative

New Way of Networking

A trio of local lady bosses leading a discussion on networking, community, and collaboration. There are just so many words I like in that sentence!


6:00 PM  |  Vinegar Hill Theater

Untold Stories in Charlottesville: A Screening & Conversation with Local Filmmakers

The only thing more riveting than history is local history. Particularly locally produced local history featuring local voices.




2:45 PM  |  Violet Crown: Theater 2

Small City, Global Reach: Welcoming Refugee Populations into Your Community

Since HONY’s Brandon Stanton published his Refugee Stories series a few years back, I’ve wanted to get a more in-depth understanding of the refugee placement process. I can’t imagine a better place to start than at a panel discussion with five national changemakers.


3:45 PM  |  Common House

How Do Small Cities Attract & Retain Talent?

As a rural resident with big city aspirations, here’s another panel conversation that has my interest piqued.


6:00 PM  |  Common House

A Sense of Place: How Preservation Creates the Future

OMYES. Preservation is the intersection of so many things that I love: architecture, design, history, clapboard…


8:00 PM  |  The Paramount Theater

The Future of Cannabis: A Headlining Conversation about Legalization

The irony here is I’m feeling more peer pressure to attend this event than I ever did to smoke weed. It’s what all the cool kids are doing.




9:00 AM  |  Vinegar Hill Theater

Art, Appalachia and the Opioid Crisis

If the title doesn’t intrigue, the speaker’s resumé might. Among author, producer, and director, Robert Gipe also advises on the It’s Good 2 Be Young in the Mountains youth-driven, Kentucky-based conference that sounds like the neatest thing I’ve heard all day.


12:30 PM  |  The Jefferson Theater

Love, Community, and Fine Art: A Keynote Talk by Visual and Performing Artist Vanessa German

Anyone whose Tedx Talk amass thousands of views is a someone I’m looking forward to hearing from live.


3:20 PM  |  Violet Crown: Theater 5

Get Your Results Seen & Understood More Quickly with Visual Metaphors

This is why I became a designer, the right brain feeding the left brain feeding the right brain. Can’t wait to see what Ali Torban, female (!) Data Visualization Designer (!) has to share.


5:15 PM  |  Vault Virginia

Immersion/Inversion: A Rivanna River Sensory Encounter

“Experience an immersive underwater world” via footage and soundscapes from the Rivanna River. That sounds like a King’s Dominion ride, and I’m definitely here for it.


9:00 PM  |  The Paramount Theater

The Tom Tom Bash

Live music, finger foods, and a speakeasy? Say no more.




10:00 AM  |  Violet Crown: Theater 5

Let’s Talk About Amazon HQ2: How We Got Here + How the Rest of Virginia’s Cities Benefit

Yes, let’s! Curious about the hub bub.


11:00 AM  |  Violet Crown: Theater 3

Rural Rise Spotlight: Emerging Opportunities in Rural Communities

There are two of these Rural Rise Spotlight events, and I. can’t. wait. This topic hits particularly close to home (literally).


12:45 PM  |  The Jefferson Theater

The Beloved Organization and the Future of Work

I’ve heard so much buzz around this event, featuring speakers from The Love & Magic Company, who “build purposeful, agile, and conscious organizations in service of human growth.” Peak anticipation.


3:30 PM  |  Violet Crown: Theater 5

Building Virginia’s Tech-Talent Pipeline

With so much talk of HQ2 and UVA’s planned School of Data Science, I’m very excited to hear what this panel has to share with our community.


5:00 PM  |  Market Street Park

Block Party and Startup and Innovation Fair

As a Storyware employee, this might be the pinnacle of my Tom Tom experience. Not only will our whole team be representing at the Innovation Fair, but we’ll be debuting a new brand with free merch and be rubbing elbows with a whole lotta like-minded movers and shakers. And with a Friday-after-five atmosphere of live music, craft beer, and food trucks, what’s not to love?




Hit us up if you plan to attend any of these events, and be sure to catch us on Friday for some free goodies. Thanks for reading! You can follow Storyware on Facebook, Instagram, or check out our blog for more community content.