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A New Year's Message from VPM President and CEO Jayme Swain

new year's fireworks display
You make it all possible, and for that, we are grateful.

Dear VPM Friends:

As we close 2022, on behalf of the entire VPM team, I want to thank you for your ongoing partnership and support. Because of your generous contributions, VPM has continued to connect people across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to stories that matter. During this year of incredible uncertainty, we have been able to provide even more trusted local news, produce programming across platforms about the issues facing our communities and partner with caregivers to ensure every child in our region has the best start in life.

Together we:

Launched “ VPM News Focal Point,” a weekly half-hour newsmagazine program that frames statewide issues through a lens of in-depth reporting;

Co-produced our first PBS national series, “ The Great American Recipe,” which celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food unique, and engaged our communities with related events at farmer’s markets in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Richmond;

Highlighted stories about our region’s history and culture with documentaries such as “ Raised/Razed” and digital content such as “ Hidden History with Brian Bullock”; 

Presented the RESONATE Podcast Festival at the VPM + ICA Community Media Center in Richmond, giving storytellers from across the country the opportunity to learn more about the art of podcasting; and

Created short, animated videos in English and Spanish about The Basics, which are five simple activities caregivers should do with kids at the most important time of brain development.

In recognition of our work, VPM earned its second Daytime Emmy Nomination for “ Legacy List with Matt Paxton,” two Public Media Awards for “VPM News Focal Point,” five Capital Emmy Awards, two Public Media Journalism Awards and a nomination by the 2022 Black Podcasting Awards for Best Black History Podcast for “ Seizing Freedom.” In addition, Style Weekly received 17 Virginia Press Awards, and VPM News 88.9 FM was voted Central Virginia’s Best Radio Station in Virginia Living Magazine’s "Best of Virginia 2022" issue.

Thanks to you, we have so many accomplishments to celebrate and much to look forward to in 2023. We continue to plan for a new headquarters in the Richmond region so we can better serve our mission for generations to come. This new facility will have the technology and infrastructure to tell stories of regional impact and importance, deepening our presence and connection with the communities we serve, from Richmond to Charlottesville to the Shenandoah Valley.

Each day, we are motivated to use the power of media to educate, entertain and inspire, driving toward a vision of more connected, informed and empathetic Virginians. An example of media making a difference has been the use of our 2020 documentary “ HEARD” as a training tool for the Richmond Police Department. Acting Major Rick Edwards described its impact on the officers of the First Precinct by telling us, “This film has helped members of the Richmond Police Department and softened our hearts in many important ways ... It has helped our officers see the undeniable fact of our common humanity, which, in turn, has made us better guardians of our city.”

This is the power of storytelling. You make it all possible, and for that, we are grateful.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones. Have a healthy and peaceful holiday season.