Tom Tom Founders Festival is a week of music, art, and innovation held in Charlottesville each April that converges hundreds of bands, start-ups, artists, and visionaries with the purpose of celebrating creative founding. It's a real opportunity to launch ventures amidst ideas and parties in one of America’s most beautiful and historic small cities.

1. Celebrate Founding

Inspire the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs and civic leaders


2. Connect Resources

Match visionaries with the mentors and the means to create


3. Leave Legacies

Transform the City year round through public art, new businesses, and new ideas


Since 2012, over 78,000 attendees have experienced music, art, innovation, and food programming at Tom Tom.

Michael Mallory at Tom Tom

We recognize the work of local founders and engage with national creators and innovators.

Becca at workshop

We highlight the intersections of art, commerce, and civic leadership and inspire the next generation.

Nonprofit pitch, ballet

We connect resources. Over $1,200,000 of grants, awards and investment facilitated.

bus, city as canvas

We leave lasting legacies of creativity that transform public spaces through our City as Canvas project.


We are community led. Over 400 organizations and 300 volunteers make Tom Tom happen.

Pop Up Parking Spaces

We produce creative stages. Over 270 bands, 225 speakers, and dozens of artists and installations have brought the entire community together.


We help inspire an identity for the region that is creative, entrepreneurial and focused on the future.

America’s Founding City

Charlottesville’s rich history of Founding sparks the work of contemporary innovators who are shaping the future. Each April in Jefferson’s birthday week, the historic downtown becomes a creative canvas as dozens of venues model the Founding polymath’s passion for society, education, commerce, culture, food, and technology.

America's Founding City


Inspiring and empowering local creators to reimagine their City 

Branding the Commonwealth for creativity and innovation  

Drawing far-reaching attention to Charlottesville and modeling how small cities thrive

Read our story
Charlottesville America's Founding City

Founding Partners