Altria provides $200,000 grant for Richmond arts district

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Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. is giving Richmond a $200,000 grant to be used in sprucing up the city’s Arts and Cultural District.

The grant will support, façade improvements, marketing and the creation of murals in the district, which was established in 2011.

The city plans to distribute $100,000 of the $200,000 grant for façade improvements, with $50,000 each being designated for marketing and murals.

The arts district extends along Broad Street from Belvidere east past Capitol Square to 13th Street, with northern and southern boundaries generally along Leigh and Franklin streets, respectively.

In accepting the grant, Mayor Dwight C. Jones called Broad Street an important gateway to the city, noting changes that have taken place in recent years with the emergence of galleries and other art-related businesses along the street.

The arts district includes entertainment venues such as Richmond CenterStage, the National Theater, the Virginia Repertory Theater and the Hippodrome.

Jennifer Hunter, senior vice president, corporate affairs for Altria Client Services, said the grant is “the right thing for Altria and the right thing for the city.” Altria’s Center for Research and Technology on Jackson Street borders the arts district.

Jones also noted that the company gave $10 million toward the $50 million renovation of the 86-year-old Landmark Theater, originally known as The Mosque.  The building was officially renamed the Altria Theater in February.

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