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Save The Cans

We can’t break a world record without everyone stepping up to the recycling plate!  To help out we’ve partnered with the Enrichmond Foundation, Hardywood Craft Brewery, TFC Recycling, and River City Recycling.  Please save the cans you were going to just toss away and recycle them instead.  If you recycle at your house, that’s fine, just keep recycling!  Our goal is to spread the good word about the various recycling options available to us and to collect enough cans to break the Guinness Book Of World Records for the largest sculpture made entirely out of aluminum cans!  Wanna help? Here are our recycling container locations:

  • Whole Foods • 11173 W Broad Street
  • 17th Street Farmers Market • 100 N. 17th Street
  • City Hall • 900 E. Broad Street
  • The Pig and Pearl • 2053 W. Broad Street
  • Hardywood Park • 2408 Ownby Lane
  • Seven Hills School • 1311 Overbrook Road
  • Ellwood Thompson • 4 N. Thompson Street
  • The Byrd Theater • 2908 W. Cary Street
  • Black Hand Coffee • 3101 Patterson Avenue
  • Urban Farmhouse • 310 N. 33rd Street
  • The Market (Farm Fresh) • 2320 E Main Street
  • Sub Rosa • 620 N. 25th Street
  • Proper Pie Co. • 2505 E. Broad Street
  • VCU • 835 W Grace Street
  • Urban Farmhouse • 13872 Coalfield Commons Place
  • River City Recycling • 1207 School Street

For more info here’s a lovely piece by the good folks at RVA News! http://rvanews.com/news/love-sign-will-try-to-break-guinness-record-for-earth-day/110653

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Upcycled Clothes Pin Candle Holder

You got mason jars? You got clothes pins? You got a candle? Well, my friend, you got your self  an awesome new candle holder!

This is a cute and super easy project to make a candle holder out of some stuff that you may have been considering getting rid of…

Supplies needed: Mason jar lid, clothes pins, a candle, and about 5 minutes of your time.

Step 1: Take your Mason jar lid off the jar, you’ll need both parts of the lid!


Step 2: Place the lid top upside down into the ring so the shiny side is facing inward


Step 3: Place the first clothes pin


Step 4: Clasp another clothes pin next to the first one



Step 5: After you fill up the Mason jar lid you should have something like this…



Step 6: Put a candle in there and start flirting with someone!!



This is a quick project for adding a lot of character to small spaces.  The use of tea candles will prevent any threats of bigger flames and to, ya know, look cuter.

We’ll have this and a ton of other stuff on display at the Earth Day Festival in Shockoe ! Join us April 26th at the 17th Street Market Place!



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Upcycled Tic Tac Tiles

7 easy steps to making your own tic tac toe set out of used tiles!

Photos and tic tac tile set created by Bryan Ünger

Step 1:
Materials: at least 10 bathroom white tiles (5 “X” tiles, 5 “O” tiles); drop-cloth (a repurposed table cloth no longer fit for service from a local linen provider)
tic tac tiles step 1


Step 2: center the “O” stencil on top of your first tile
Materials: a circular stencil (lid from a peanut butter jar)

tic tac tiles step 2


Step 3: put on a respirator / face mask, spray an even coat of paint onto your first “O” tile, and let it dry without moving the stencil – this will ensure crisp lines rather than smearing wet paint; repeat 4 times
Materials: spray paint

tic tac tiles step 3

This is what the “O” tile should look like once the paint is dry enough to remove the stencil.

tic tac tiles step 3.5

Step 4: space out 5-6 tiles under an unused air filter so that the “X”s on the air filter are centered over each tile
Materials: air filter; tiles

tic tac tiles step 4


Step 5: Shake up that second color of spray paint, take a deep breath through your respirator, and spray an even coat of paint through the air filter and onto the tiles. Be sure to give it time to dry before peeking under the filter!
Materials: respirator; spray paint; air filter; drop-cloth; smile

tic tac tiles step 5


Step 6: The “X” tile reveal and clear coat
Once the paint is dry, spraying a clear protective finish on each tile will ensure the longevity of your game pieces.

tic tac tiles step 6


Step 7: Play!
This upcycled table (created using leftover pieces of lattice and wood from a landscaping project) makes for a perfect tic-tac-toe playing surface, but any 3X3 grid will do!

tic tac tiles step 7


Get your hands on this tile set, get more fun DIY ideas, check out more upcycled items and other Earth-friendly topics at the Earth day Festival on April 26th in Shockoe.  Earth Day Festival details! 

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Recycling Is The New Orange

Remember folks, according to science we only have one planet and destroying it slowly or quickly are both not options. Do your part and make sure you recycle when possible. If your neighborhood does not have recycling then you could contact your local district representative and start to make a difference. It’s a simple way to make a big difference, plus if you can’t do it then no one…can.

Join us for Earth Day in Shockoe on April 26, 2014.

One Can Equals 3 Hours of TV

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Put a cork in it…or put it on a cork coaster. Upcycling Project Cork Coaster

Between Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and various recent birthday parties, we here at MGR have been *cough* forced *cough* to drink a lot of wine lately, which got us thinking— what can we do with all of these corks lying around?  After tossing around a few silly ideas (ex. earplugs? booby traps?), we landed on one simple and easy idea that anyone could easily accomplish!  Ladies and Gentlemen, we offer you the Upcycled Coaster!

What you’ll need:

  • a cork
  • a serrated kitchen knife
  • super glue
  • some time

For this project we’ll be using a lovely Hardywood cork!

Hardywood Cork


Step 1: Using your serrated kitchen knife, cut the cork into 7 round pieces about 1/2 cm thick.

Cork meet Knife

Step 2: Arrange the cork rounds with one in the middle and six surrounding to make the circular shape of a coaster.

Corks cut and placed

Step 3: One by one, form the circular shape of a coaster by super gluing the cork rounds together.  (Note: You may want to do this over something disposable)

Super Glue and Cork pieces

Step 4: Allow the newly formed coaster to sit for 20 mins. (or until super glue is dry)

Corks gotta dry too, man...

Step 5: Enjoy your new coaster!

Your new coaster!

Can on cork


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Mozart Festival 2014 recap

Not too long ago a lot of people in Richmond, VA got together to celebrate the legacy of one of the greatest minds to ever live, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  For a day we had the honor of hosting Richmond’s first ever Mozart Festival with the awesome musicians and classical supporters of Classical Revolution RVA.  One of the coolest parts about this was to see an energized core of classical music supporters flood the streets of Carytown and that energy spread to everyone else rather quickly.  From the first down bow at AlterNatives the festival was off to a great start.  Mozart’s music filled the venues and sank into the ears of our amazingly supportive community.   The evening concluded with a showing of Amadeus at the Byrd theater.  There were many great people involved in allowing this festival to happen as smoothly as it did.  In addition to that there were also many people who helped document and chronicle Richmond, VA’s first ever Mozart Festival.  One of them was the ever involved and prolific cultural documentarist, Todd Raviotta.  Enjoy some of the sights and sounds from the first Mozart Festival.  Thanks for all the support, you all continue to make this place a great city to live, work, and play in.

Mozart Festival 2014 from Todd Raviotta on Vimeo.

Durch Zärtichkeit und Schmeicheln from Todd Raviotta on Vimeo.

Mozart Festival at Babes from Todd Raviotta on Vimeo.

Mozart Festival 2014

Need more? Okay, go here: https://vimeo.com/album/2712988 


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Another reason not to leave the house…CROCODILES THAT CLIMB TREES!!

Alright folks, hope you guys have a bunch of food in the pantry because leaving the house is not a good idea right now.  In a recent study zoologists have observed crocodiles that can climb trees!  These cold blooded creatures need the warmth of the sun to regulate their body temperature.  Crocodiles and some alligators in Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas have been observed perched up on tree branches in mangroves.  The happiest thought in the world would be if only the little cute crocodiles and alligators were seen climbing trees, but bad news folks, some of the larger crocodiles have been observed doing this as well.   The six foot plus Nile crocodile was observed several feet up and the record for height climbed goes to the Central African slender snouted crocs that were able to get up about 13 feet on a vertical climb before going across several more feet on a sloping branch.  To make matters worse other crocodiles have been observed using sticks as tools to lure and trap prey.  So, what’s it going to be crocodiles that climb trees out there in the real world or a Friends marathon?

mas info: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/crikey-crocodiles-can-climb-trees/

Crocodile in Tree


Croc in Tree


Croc in Tree

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Todd Raviotta & Mozart, together at last.

Todd Raviotta is a Richmond, VA documentary film maker, director, videographer, cultural historian, arts educator, and a Pollak Prize Award Winner for excellence in the arts. We’re thrilled that the VCU film guru will be saying a few words on the film before we start the movie on Sunday Jan 26, 2014 for the Mozart Festival.  In order to get truly excited about his appearance, the film, and the event we’ve asked Todd to write a few of his thoughts regarding this film. Guest blogs are always fun, but it’s a real treat to be able to share this with the world.

Todd Raviotta

When Milos Forman’s film version of Amadeus written by Peter Shaffer adapted from his play. came out I was a child and hooked on MTV rock and roll music videos. However my parents had me in supplementary music appreciation classes with an amazing woman from the neighborhood. We went through the greats of classical composers and studied Mozarts melodies first there and held him in great respect. The haunting poster with the death figure overlooking Vienna was looked up at in the cinema lobby as a movie my parents saw, Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” brought me to seeing MTV News talking about the influence of hair bands on the wigs in the film and vice versa and then the eventual Oscar adoration cemented it  in my psyche as an important film that I had not seen. When I started doing amateur basement film studies with my brother, he a classical musician and me a visual artist we both got much enjoyment from the music, but I remember thinking “is this it?” it became one of my brothers favorite films and I was underwhelmed.



Now since last watching, 15 years of formal study of movies, and toil as media artist in Richmond, I have come back to Forman’s film at 35, the age Mozart died. The film plays quite different now knowing the craft of movie production and the directors voice. Milos spoke a lot about his background, fleeing the Russian Communist, being banned in Czechoslovakia, and his parents death in Nazi concentration camps, and how these factors informed his art while he was promoting The People Vs Larry Flynt which came out my freshman year of VCU and I began studying directors paths. With that lens the subversive elements of Mozart’s art and his uncompromising genius to do his music in a manner that made it matter for all time connect Forman’s attraction to freedom of expression at all costs. The film is a requiem for the flare out of brilliant art, it’s personal costs, and the long burn pain of mediocrity.

by Todd Raviotta. Photo of Todd Raviotta by Lucy Dacus

musical track by REINHOLD

Movie Poster

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You hungry? Probably…we eat a lot. The average human eats just about 53 tons of food in a lifetime. If you want to follow that down the rabbit hole then please consider how much food has been photographed since the advent of smart mobile devices, how many tons of food would that end up being? Yikes. Big world, probably from all the eating.  The other thought would be the origin, consumption, and discarding of wastes.  Wonder where this happens the most.  Food is just really important stuff…

53 tons of food


source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/human-body-statistics/

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Just Enough Notes

Just Enough Notes

Even at three hours, Amadeus is a riveting film

Mark Mobley

By Mark Mobley (above), photo by Joe del Tufo.

Amadeus isn’t history. But it’s fiction with such a staggering amount of musical and human detail that it explains Mozart’s astounding greatness in ways even a non-musician can understand.

Milos Forman’s film version of Peter Shaffer’s play won the 1984 Oscar for best picture in one of the academy’s most serious years (the other nominees included A Passage to India and The Killing Fields). And this wasn’t a typical case of Oscar voters falling for period costumes. Amadeus is suffused with music, and not just the kind that was played and sung in Vienna during the late 18th century. Shaffer’s words, the actors’ voices, the sound effects and even the silences harmonize to produce an unforgettable portrait of two artists obsessed with God, the loftiest possibilities of man and their own legacies.

As Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — or, as his wife calls him, Wolfie — Tom Hulce is a freakish mix of Mark Hamill (freshness), Daryl Hall (hair) and Jerry Lewis (rowdiness, hyena laugh). And the true star of the film, F. Murray Abraham, is witty, intense and ultimately heartbreaking as fellow composer Antonio Salieri, who’s gotten a bum rap from history, largely from a little Pushkin play about a trumped-up rivalry that Shaffer based his own work on. The real Salieri was a gifted, successful and generous composer who taught Beethoven and Schubert, among others.

Surrounding the two leads are supporting actors and designers at the tops of their games. Simon Callow, a thinker’s candidate for coolest person alive, plays the performer and theater owner who premiered Mozart’s “Magic Flute.” Jeffrey Jones is hilariously blank as Emperor Joseph II, and the teenage Cynthia Nixon is incredibly sweet as a maid. The choreography and other stage direction in the opera scenes are by modern dance master Twyla Tharp. Theodor Pištěk’s costumes are fantastically elaborate but never needlessly busy. And Prague is gorgeous as Vienna.

But the film belongs to Forman, Shaffer and Mozart himself. If you doubt this, watch the scene just a few minutes in when Salieri describes hearing Mozart’s music for the first time. It’s not an obvious choice of piece — a slow movement from a wind serenade instead of a symphony, piano concerto or opera aria — but it’s perfect. “It seemed to me that I was hearing a voice of God.” Salieri says, and the impossible beauty of the music, the line of dialogue, the performance and the setting make you believe that he did.

Originally written for and published by MSN.


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