Destination Unveils Mural, Digital Passport for Visitors, Bringing Tourism to Black-Owned Businesses
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) unveiled a new mural at x art park to commemorate the national launch of Discover Black City, a community initiative that helps tell modern, historically accurate and inclusive Black stories in Charlotteville and Albemarle County, Virginia, while promoting black-owned businesses and attractions. The destination has also launched a new digital passport to bring travelers to local black-owned businesses. With a clear goal of highlighting black stories told by black people, rather than about black people, visitors and locals can now learn, explore and connect online at the Discover the Black Cville website.
“As an organization, we have recognized the need for more open dialogue and have made great strides in listening to and collaborating with our black residents,” said Courtney Cacatien, CEO of the CACVB. “The tragic events that took place in August 2017 sparked needed dialogues about systemic racism and pushed our community to take action to support all residents and visitors. The CACVB works towards more equitable representation in the tourism economy by bringing underrepresented voices and businesses to the fore in the narrative. We hope this work will help visitors from all walks of life feel more welcome in Charlotteville and Albemarle County. We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish in such a short time while acknowledging that there is certainly still work to be done.”
The idea for Discover Black Cville was born in 2020 and started with a series of collaborative listening sessions in the community. The grassroots effort was met with great enthusiasm, and dozens of community members took part in the initial conversations. The CACVB worked with local black residents throughout the process to ensure broad acceptance and input from the community. Ongoing efforts are guided and informed by a Steering Committee, made up of members representing different sectors of the local tourism economy.
The CACVB hosted a soft launch of Discover Black Cville in the spring of 2021, which was met with resounding positivity. Since then, the impact of Discover Black Cville has been significant among all members of the community.
“Discovering Black City highlights a Charlotteville which is often overlooked. Charlotteville is more than a college town. It’s filled with amazing people doing amazing things. Discover Black Cville showcases our culture, brings the community together and ultimately creates real connections,” said Matt Harmonlocal winemaker and founder of Wine Harmony. “This initiative changes the narrative that is associated with Charlotteville. I hope he continues to build bridges within the community and beyond our city.”
The new mural was created by James Johnson and Laura Lee, the same local artists who created the official Discover Black City logo. This public art exhibition is located in Ix Art Park, which is in the heart of the city and in an area that has undergone considerable transformation. Representing hope for the future, the mural recalls the transformative power of inclusive dialogue.
“Charlotteville is moving towards a more hopeful, inclusive and welcoming place and community. We will continue to have community conversations, which will inform the ongoing development of Discover Black Cville,” added Ccatian.
To celebrate and highlight the dozens of black-owned businesses and tourist attractions in the area, the new Discover the Black Cville digital passport encourages visitors and locals to discover and visit local businesses in Charlotteville and Albemarle County. Visitors using the passport can check in at businesses and attractions using a QR code. After five registrations, passport participants can go to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center where they can claim their prize, an official Discover Black Cville hat.
For more information on Discover Black City, visit Discover the official website of Black Cville and follow the official Discover Black Cville Facebook and instagram @blackcville accounts.
About the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau
the Charlotteville Albemarle Tourist and Convention Bureau (CACVB) welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world to the region each year who seek a variety of unique experiences in history, food, wine, spirits and adventure. the CACVB serves as a global resource for marketing the tourism assets of the City of Charlottesville and county of Albemarle, and assists tour operators, meeting planners and other groups in planning destination visits. the The CACVB The mission is to enhance the economic prosperity of the people of the city and county by promoting, selling and marketing the area as a destination, in pursuit of meeting and tourism markets.
Marketing & Public Relations Director
SOURCE Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau (CACVB)