This month we are spotlighting VisArts volunteer Olivia Jones, who heads up our First Friday Samplers. We are grateful that Olivia connected with us through HandsOn Greater Richmond. She has been valuable in the success of our First Friday workshops. Thank you, Olivia, for being a wonderful new addition to our VisArts volunteer community. We appreciate your hard work!
Where are you from originally? If you’re not a local, what brought you to Richmond?
I’m truly a Southern gal. I grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, spent some time in Columbia, South Carolina, going to school at USC (go Gamecocks!), and moved up to Richmond more than two years ago for graduate school at VCU’s School of Social Work.
Volunteering is very important to me. When I lived in Columbia, I volunteered all the time. However, when I first moved to Richmond, I exclusively focused on school and my internship. Once I started my career, I realized how much I missed volunteer work and was eager to start giving back to my community. After some research, I connected with HandsOn Greater Richmond and became a volunteer leader at the Visual Arts Center. I love the Visual Arts Center’s mission to engage community members in the creative process. Everyone is creative; it’s just a matter of finding the best way to express yourself! I really appreciate that.
What’s your favorite local haunt?
I love VMFA! The atmosphere is so relaxing, modern, and the grounds are beautiful. I often find myself wandering around Carytown, from shopping at Indigo Avenue to grabbing drinks at New York Deli or picking up a doughnut at Dixie Donuts. Other than that, since I’m still fairly new to the area, I enjoy exploring the city’s unique neighborhoods and trying new restaurants.
Tell us a little about yourself! (Where do you work? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Where are we likely to find you on a Friday night?)
I work downtown at the General Assembly Building as a Legislative Aide for Betsy B. Carr, who serves the 69th district (part of the City of Richmond and wee bit of North Chesterfield) in the House of Delegates. When I’m not working, I can be found at my apartment hanging out with my 20-plus pound Maine Coon-mix cat named Yoda. I’m part of an active book club of young feminists; we all come from different backgrounds and professions, so we’re always doing something fun! Recently, I became co-chair of the community engagement committee for the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls’ Young Professional Board. On a Friday night, if there’s not a get-together at a friend’s house, then I can usually be found at Amuse’s happy hour or at New York Deli.
Who do you admire most?