Last week, I invited my friends to attend the 1st Annual Cheats Movement Epic Group Photo–an opportunity to bring together talented and positive people making this city a better place.
It maybe cliché, but I believe that most, if not all, positive change starts with good people coming together. Bringing people together has been one of my life missions. There is something special about diverse people coming together in a group setting to learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company and talent. When I started the Cheats Movement Blog in January of 2011, I didn’t have a specific goal or plan for what I wanted the blog to ultimately become. Over time, what started as a photography blog morphed into a community, music, and entertainment blog that highlights some of the most talented people and positive events in Richmond.
I’m very proud of that, but more importantly, I’m proud of the friends that I have made and the positive influence that they have had on the city. Through the Cheats Movement, and with the help of good folks like RVANews, I have met, profiled, and highlighted some of the area’s most important young change agents. They are musicians, artists, writers, photographers, comedians, models, business owners, advocates, teachers, parents, you name it–they really represent the amazing diversity of the city. They’re all leaders, and they’re all doing amazing work to make Richmond such a great place to work, play, and live.
Last week, I invited my friends to attend the 1st Annual Cheats Movement Epic Group Photo. Together, with the help of the awesome photographer Marc Schmidt, we pulled off the first ever Cheats Movement “family” photo. And though the weather caused some major heartburn, I will always remember that day as the beginning of what the real goal of the Cheats Movement Blog has always about: to bring together the most talented and positive people in the city and change our community for the better.
The best compliment that I can give to everyone in this photo is that they all do such great things because they love what they do. There are no hidden agendas or misleading motives, and most of them don’t get paid–well or at all–for the amount of work they put into their craft. That’s why I believe that the people in these photos (and the people that couldn’t make it!) will ultimately be the people that plot the future of this city.
I often use the tag line, “WE SEE IT.” It means that we see the city differently. We see our communities differently. We can see the best that Richmond has to offer and we strive to get or city and our communities to that level.
And we are just getting started. I hope you will join us for next year’s family photo.
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First Row (Left to Right): Brian Lopez – Founder/CEO Glide Skateboards, Sheb DJ-Skywalker Woods – Nint3ndo/Electronica Weekly, Distant Dee – Hip Hop artist Onassis Music Group, Brian McDaniel – Dirty Richmond, JuJu Debtera – Capoeira Angola Liberation Movement, Marc Cheatham – The Cheat Movement, Shannon Cleary – WRIR Commonwealth of Notions, James Dangle – Just Plain Sounds, Samantha “Sunny Harmonic” Reed – Photosynthesizers, Josh “Official Freeze” Reed – Hip Hop artist, Shannon Santiago – Shannon Santiago Photography.
Second Row : Melody Joy Short – Founder – Artisan Café, Jonathan Zur – Executive Director – Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, Ian Redwood – Natural Talent Clothing, Zae Kinchen – Natural Talent Clothing, Manny Evans – Natural Talent Clothing, Merc Coleman – Mercizdope Tumblr, Summer McCarley – Mint Collective – Richmond Comedy Coalition, Katie Holcomb – Richmond Comedy Coalition, Josh “Blu” Blubaugh – Richmond Comedy Coalition, Steve Howze – Richmond Comedy Coalition, Hamilton Glass – WHO’S HAM?, Veronica “Nyce” Llano – Just Plain Sounds, Becca Johnson – RVAudio.
Third Row: Nick Mastro – MastroTime, Justin “Eli Cash” Malleney – Electronica Weekly, Rob “BC Music 1st – Hip Hop artist New Juice Crew/OMG, Robert Sobecke – Richmond Comedy Coalition, Anthony “Just Plain Ant” Gillison – Just Plain Sounds, Andrew Cothern – RVA Playlist, Matt Newman – Richmond Comedy Coalition, PJ Sykes – PJ Sykes Photography.
Group Photo by Marc Schmidt – additional by Marc Schmidt and Nick Mastro
Present but somehow not in this photo: Jennifer Britt, Kate Andrews, and Mike Kemetic.
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Manny Evans – Natural Talent Clothing, Zae Kinchen – Natural Talent Clothing Distant Dee – Hip Hop artist Onassis Music Group Rob “BC Music 1st – Hip Hop artist New Juice Crew/OMG, Josh “Official Freeze” Reed – Hip Hop artist, James Dangle – Just Plain Sounds
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Melody Joy Short – Founder – Artisan Café, Samantha “Sunny Harmonic” Reed, Veronica “Nyce” Llano – Just Plain Sounds
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Mike Kemetic – Audio Mass Transit – Photosynthesizers, Cheats, PJ Sykes