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Creating Common Wealth Returns with Episode 2 on Economic Development

A teacher instructs her cooking class.

How do cities solve food deserts in low-income neighborhoods? How can rural communities diversify their economies? How can green energy spark economic growth in an old coal town? Solutions to these issues come from innovative ideas and collaboration. Learn what these communities did when residents came together to find an answer.

Everyday citizens are making a big difference in their hometowns through entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative problem-solving. VPM’s new series from Silverthorn Films, “Creating Common Wealth,” follows the extraordinary stories of these change-makers as they revitalize their communities and draw out the blueprint for a prosperous and unified future of all of their neighbors.

Watch the episode now:

Richmond Market @ 25th Street, Nelson County Agritourism & Wise County Solar Energy | Creating Common Wealth from VPM on PBS.org.

In episode two, “Economic Development,” we meet the makers behind The Market @ 25th Street. Since 2002, the residents of Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood have been living in a food desert. The newly opened Market @ 25th Street not only provides groceries but also job opportunities, workforce training, nutritional counseling, community services, and parent resources. This “one-stop-shop” is changing the way the community thinks about food and health.

As The Market @ 25th Street meets the needs of its community, Nelson County grapples with creating jobs and economic opportunities, all while maintaining the agrarian way of life that is key to the region’s identity. The agritourism industry transforms the picturesque county and brings record prosperity while preserving its traditional character and natural beauty.

We also visit Southwest Virginia, which is developing creative ways to respond to the numerous challenges residents face in the wake of the declining coal industry, which was once the economic engine of Wise County. With the installation of solar projects on abandoned mine lands, the community is demonstrating the region can still be a major producer of energy while luring new technology and business to Southwest Virginia.

The second episode of Creating Common Wealth, “Economic Development,” airs September 17th at 8:30 p.m. on VPM PBS. Did you miss the 1st episode? Learn more about it here or watch both episodes on PBS.org/videos