Lexington & the Rockbridge Area Tourism receives Virginia Tourism Grant for marketing local studio tour
A grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program has been given to the Lexington & the Rockbridge Area Tourism. A $8,250 grant will support outreach and marketing for the second annual Lexington Rockbridge Studio Tour in April 2013.
Here is the press release from The Historic Rockbridge Area.
Lexington, Va. (December 11, 2012) – Lexington & the Rockbridge Area Tourism has secured $8,250 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program to support outreach efforts for the second annual Lexington Rockbridge Studio Tour to be held April 20-21, 2013. Governor Bob McDonnell announced the recipients of the grant in a news release on Nov. 26, 2012. Abigail Inn Bed & Breakfast, the third partner on the grant application, has also contributed funds and will host an evening reception for studio tour visitors.
The first Lexington Rockbridge Studio Tour, held in April 2012, offered an intimate, behind-the-scenes view at how art is created, with artists giving on-going demonstrations during the two-day weekend event. A self-guided 20-mile loop took visitors from the heart of Lexington down scenic country roads to the creative studios of painters and potters, photographers, metal sculptors, and mixed media and assemblage artists. Eleven local studios hosted visiting artists, expanding the tour to nearly 30 participating artists.
“Our studio tour started in 2012 on a shoestring budget and the great asset of a group of 11 enthusiastic host artists,” said Susan Harb, a participating artist in the 2012 studio tour. “This generous grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program enables us to reach more people in 2013, inviting them to enjoy our studios and to spend time exploring the shops, restaurants, scenic beauty, and educational and historical offerings of Lexington and Rockbridge County where we make our art.”
“The inaugural Lexington Rockbridge Studio Tour achieved outstanding success and local support in 2012 through the participating artists’ great ideas, stylish execution, and effective publicity,” said Beth Homicz, Director of Marketing for Lexington & the Rockbridge Area Tourism. “That success earned the tour this grant to spread the word even wider about their second annual studio tour. We’re excited to be assisting these talented, lively artists in generating more buzz, more business, and more people enjoying all that our beautiful, historic part of Virginia offers visitors.”
In total, VTC awarded more than $543,000 for 37 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism. The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships by leveraging limited marketing dollars, resulting in increased visitor spending. A minimum of three entities must partner financially to apply and may consist of Virginia towns, cities, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other not-for-profit entities.
“Grants such as these enable our localities to more effectively market themselves to potential visitors,” said Governor McDonnell. “When more visitors come to Virginia the Commonwealth and the localities realize increased tax revenue, businesses prosper and new jobs are created.”
“These grants help enable local tourism partners undertake projects that might otherwise be beyond their fiscal reach, “said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “I see our Marketing Leverage Grants program as something that creates opportunity and breeds the kind of success that can only be achieved by people working together.”
In 2011 tourism generated $20.4 billion in revenue, supported 207,000 jobs and provided $1.32 billion in state and local taxes. Dollars invested in tourism are proven to provide a 5:1 return in tax revenue for Virginia, and the grant awards and matching funds provide a stimulus to localities seeking to increase tourism visitation and revenue.
Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Visit www.Virginia.org to learn more about vacation destinations in Virginia or call 1-800-VISITVA to receive a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.
For more information on the studio tour, visit www.lexingtonrockbridgestudiotour.com.
About Lexington, Va.
Well-known for its charming downtown, and as the home of Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, Lexington remains a historic jewel in the Shenandoah Valley. Just a few miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway and easily accessed by Interstates I-81 and I-64, day trippers and weekend visitors to Lexington and Rockbridge County enjoy a wide range of area activities — from biking and kayaking to strolling the streets in search of art and collectibles. It’s the kind of place where you can park your car and wander about downtown feeling like you’ve stepped peacefully back in time. For more information on local attractions and events visit www.lexingtonvirginia.com