BD Creative Images' primary goal is to collect and preserve cherished memories. The photographer, Brant Squirrel, captures those memories in stylistic images that employ unique angles and postproduction editing to create one-of-a-kind pictures. He works closely with families, kids, couples, and moms-to-be during shoots to ensure he adds the exact right polish to each image. Family pets can even get in on the action with pet portraiture. His skills can also be applied to special events such as birthdays and wedding receptions. Those celebrations can be enlivened with by including one of the company's photo booths, replete with a photographer, assistant, and studio lighting.
Josh knew the first treasure hunt he set up was a success when he saw the happy look in his three younger brothers' eyes as they uncovered the final treasure chest. Based on Josh's clues, the younger Schwabs had just gleefully trekked across Warrenton, Virginia, and into the Shenandoah Mountains in search of their goal. But the event was more than just a fun way to spend the day: it also gave them inspiration at a time when the future felt grim, as their mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Although that has since become a fond memory of a good day, it's also warmly remembered by the family as the catalyst that led Josh to establish Ravenchase Adventures, where he now sets up just such engaging hunts for the public.
Now Ravenchase is an event company that offers pre-set and custom treasure hunts and adventure races. As the company has grown, Josh's team has even set up events for a variety of well-known clients, from DreamWorks Studios to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But regardless of who participates, he and his dedicated staff ensure each two- to three-hour adventure is filled with brainteasers, mysterious clues, and baffling ciphers. Each solved clue leads the groups across town with treasure maps. Fun prizes await at their final destination. In an effort to give back to the community, the company also set up the nonprofit Ravenchase Foundation, which supports organizations that inspire and teach tolerance for history, logic, and the arts.
At Mise En Place, a staff of culinary artists and sommeliers teach visitors how to navigate the kitchen during an array of cooking classes. Aspiring foodsmiths follow their instructor’s lead as they get their hands messy slicing, dicing, and mixing fresh ingredients to build tasty meals in a variety of disciplines. The culinary wizards demonstrate easy, straight-forward approaches to fixing dishes and robust sauces, teaching students that knives are best used for chopping, instead of throwing at people strapped to spinning wheels. The crew also hosts parties for both adults and kids, during which participants craft meals to share in the school's bright, airy studio, or at an off-site location, such as the celebrant’s home.
Richmond Fencing Club has molded budding fencers since JFK was president and humankind had just turned its eyes to the moon. Today, three instructors—each with their own titles from the Virginia Division Championships—helm the educational efforts, overseeing a program that educates students as young as 6 in the foot- and bladework required to wield a fencing foil competitively.
They teach in a no-nonsense facility, its cinderblock walls decorated only with pegs to hang fencing equipment, its smooth hardwood floors interrupted only by well-worn fencing lanes. The fencing-dedicated space keeps elaborately uniformed students cool with central air conditioning instead of replacing helmets with ice buckets like lesser establishments.
In 2011, the VCU Rams athletics program emerged under the national spotlight's brightest bulbs when the men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Final Four as an 11-seed. But while their Cinderella story may have made VCU a household name and bedtime story for sports-loving children, it is hardly the only instance of Rams' athletic success. A perennial powerhouse on the tennis court, the men's program has raked in 16 conference championships and eight All-America selections while spending 17 straight years in the ITA top-25. Members of the Atlantic 10 Conference since 2012, the Rams don their black-and-gold uniforms to proudly represent their university at a number of fan-friendly facilities.
VCU Dance presents VCU Dance Now, a performance by VCU dance majors known for their dynamic, expressive, and fearless performances. Audience eyeballs will enjoy a reconstruction of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter, a six-woman performance that compassionately yet angrily explores homelessness and ecological disaster. This two-hour performance will also feature choreography by Paris-based Stefanie Batten Bland, new works by VCU faculty members, and a leg-stretching intermission. VCU Dance is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance and has garnered a great deal of national recognition since its bachelor of fine arts program began in 1981. Use today's deal to soak up a night of dance-filled entertainment, which presents a welcome change of pace from the usual evening ritual of being serenaded by nieces and nephews doing the rodent-bones lawn-fire dance.