RVA Hot Sauce returns this weekend

It’s not just an event with music, comedy, and overall RVA positivity…it’s a city-wide family gathering!

The creators of 2011’s RVA Hot Sauce didn’t know how the event would turn out. It turned into “Richmond’s version of David Letterman on steroids,” said Marc Cheatham, creator of The Cheats Movement and co-founder of the event. RVA Hot Sauce turned into a mammoth seven-hour showcase of music, entertainment, and interviews with Richmond stalwarts. “RVA Hot Sauce is really just a live event that brings together a lot of diversity, positivity, and culture,” Cheatham said. “It really is a community event.”

RVA Hot Sauce returns this Sunday at Gallery5 with performances by Photosynthesizers, Radio B, Noah-O, and others. The Richmond Comedy Coalition will also perform, and there will be commentary from representatives of local organizations like Bill Conference , United RVA, Feast RVA , and TEDxRVA.

While it may be one night only, RVA Hot Sauce represents the best of Richmond that Cheatham showcases year-round on The Cheats Movement.1 “It really started as a reflection of the Richmond I saw with my friends…and a lot of the positive things I was seeing that I felt weren’t getting a fair shake,” Cheatham said about his website, launched in 2011. “I kind of started to see and started to feel this kind of negative portrayal of Richmond and the Greater Richmond area in media,” he said. “The narrative of Richmond didn’t match the Richmond I was seeing.”

Some of what Cheatham saw that media outlets didn’t was Richmond’s positive hip-hop scene along with local murals, which he featured on his website before events like the G40 Summit and RVA Street Art Festival. Although RVA-centric, The Cheats Movement has also interviewed national personalities, like Ice-T and Bobbito Garcia. “Basically, anywhere where there is an intersection of arts, culture, and community is where we’re going to live,” Cheatham said. Even though he operates The Cheats Movement on his own, Cheatham still refers to his efforts as we, underscoring his commitment to representing a collective RVA.

In 2011, he co-organized RVA Hot Sauce eight months after launching The Cheats Movement to showcase the intersection of arts, culture, and community in Richmond. Featuring musical performances and interviews with key Richmond figures that spiraled out of their time allotment due to crowd interest, the event turned into a massive party lasting from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

This year’s RVA Hot Sauce will be a more concentrated celebration of music, comedy, speeches, and open mic freestyle cyphers2 that runs from 6:30 to 11:00 PM at Gallery5. Patience Salgado, creator of The Light of Human Kindness, will also be present and will discuss a new Kindness Project.

“People enjoyed RVA Hot Sauce in 2011 when no one really knew what the site was,” Cheatham said. Two years later and an RVA community behind it, Cheatham said RVA Hot Sauce seems more like a family gathering than an event.

The Return of RVA Hot Sauce is Sunday, December 8th from 6:30 – 11:00 PM at Gallery5. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

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  1. “Cheats” was Cheatham’s nickname in school. 
  2. Freestyle rapping done within a group. 
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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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