The Portsmouth Partnership has been recognized as the  2015 Alli Awards Arts Partner by the Cultural Alliance of Hampton Roads for three of its affiliates’ work in support of tourism, the arts, leadership, and education in the city of Portsmouth. “The Partnership’s impact is felt far beyond Olde Towne’s boundaries as the Partnership supports areas that touch the lives of all residents – education, the public schools, and the Portsmouth Schools Foundation.  Economic growth and the development of future leaders are the hallmark of the Portsmouth Partnership,” the Cultural Alliance noted in making its presentation.

The Partnership’s PortsEvents affiliate, created in 2008 when the city eliminated its Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, has worked to put “feet on the street” in Olde Towne with Restaurant Weeks, Pub Crawls, Schooner Days weekends and OpSail2012Virginia. Currently, Partnership volunteers book musical talent and raise sponsorship funding to produce monthly “Concerts in the Courtyard,” held at the Portsmouth Art and Cultural Center, and also produce a weekly Farmers’ Market adjacent to PACC. The local favorite, period actor “Col. Crawford,” hosts both events with energy and humor. Portsmouth Museums’ Foundation’s volunteers oversee beverage donations at First Friday events, with proceeds benefitting the Portsmouth Museums Foundation. From 2011 through 2014, beverage contributions totaled approximately $15,800, and were matched by the Business Consortium for Arts Support, while attendance topped 11,700 in the same period.

The Vann H. Lefcoe Leadership Development Fund, created in 1997, seeks to identify, educate and encourage future leaders within the city of Portsmouth. the value of positive relationships is emphasized as each year’s class of approximately 30 participants, meeting weekly from January through March, learns how the development, education, non-profit, and government communities operate. Additionally, each year’s class tackles a “hands-on” project of its own choosing within the community. recent projects have benefitted the Tidewater Youth Services Foundation, the Ida Barbour early Learning Center, the Charles Peete Little League, Safety Town, and the Portsmouth Community Colored Library Museum. As of March, 2015, the 449 Lefcoe alum who have completed the program have gone on to volunteer their formidable energies and talents for the benefit of dozens of boards, commissions and organizations in the city.

The Portsmouth Partnership Foundation, created in 2003 with a $100,000 grant from the Portsmouth Partnership, works to support efforts that promote education and special projects within the city. Its advisory board, comprised of Lefcoe alumni, has made grants totaling nearly $100,000 to organizations including the Portsmouth Museums Foundation, Friends of the Portsmouth Public Library, the Urban Arts Center, Starbase Victory, Pokey Smokey II, and others. Prior to the creation of the PPF as its formal grants arm, the Partnership itself awarded over $180,000 in similar grants within the city.

The Partnership’s board is grateful to have been recognized by the Cultural Alliance of Hampton Roads for its efforts, and proud to be counted among our region’s individuals and organizations whose volunteer spirit springs from a true love of community. Thank you!