CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- For the eighth year, the Tom Tom Summit and Festival is holding events all over Charlottesville to encourage communication between civic leaders, entrepreneurs, citizens and innovators.
This year's theme is "Building Better Hometowns," and it explores what makes small cities thrive in the 21st century.
Along with a variety of conferences, panels and talks, there are chances to explore the community through music, art, food, workshops and competitions.
On Thursday, the highlighted events include the Crowdfunded Pitch Night at the Jefferson Theater, the Tom Tom Bash at the Paramount Theater, Impact Entrepreneurs 2.0 at the Jefferson Theater, and History of Vinegar Hill: Race and Inequality in Charlottesville at the Vinegar Hill Theater.
Two are also taking place all day: the Creative Ecosystems Conference that focuses on the arts community and the Applied Machine Learning Conference that looks at data infrastructure.
There is also a hands-on art workshop on kite making on Thursday afternoon.
Then on Friday, a big event being featured is the Slate Political Gabfest with John Dickerson of CBS This Morning, Emily Bazelon of the New York Times Magazine, and David Plotz of Atlas Obscura.
There is also the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Conference at the Violet Crown Theater and the American Evolution Innovators Cup.
Then get ready for some music and dance with the first day of the Block Party at Market Street Park and the Silent Disco at the Jefferson Theater.
For a full schedule of events and locations, click on the link in the Related Links box.