TTFF takes place on Founders weekend (April 9-13) with back-to-back talks, workshops, panels, installations, concerts and block parties. The converging disciplines of music, art, design, business, science and technology connect people and new ideas to the future.

Founders Day is a Charlottesville tradition to celebrate Jefferson’s birthday. Like the founding polymath, Tom Tom explores the field to fork movement, craft beer & local wine, new discoveries, technology, public art, architecture, beautiful landscapes, and creative expositions.

There’s also eclectic music, buzz bands, electronic dance music and block parties on Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall. We think Jefferson would approve.

See Past Events:
2012 Website / 2013 Tomtoberfest Website / 2013 Website



"Tom Tom" is a tip of the hat to Thomas Jefferson. Best remembered as the author of The Declaration of Independence, founder of the University of Virginia, architect of Monticello, and Third President of the United States, Jefferson was also a visionary farmer, wine maker, art patron, educator, and inventor. Tom Tom connects Jefferson’s revolutionary legacy with the difficult and visionary work of founders today.


The buffalo is a symbol of the frontier. Lewis and Clark returned from their exploration of the American West with a buffalo hide displaying Native American painting and cartography. Thomas Jefferson sponsored their historic journey, and that hyde now hangs in the foyer of Monticello, his home, as a reminder of the value of adventurous research into American futures.


TTFF began in 2012 as a month-long event. It featured over 25 free events in April and May, and ended in a weekend of music that brought artists such as The Walkmen, Josh Ritter, and Mimosa to Charlottesville. Six months later, in the fall of 2012, Tom Tom introduced Tomtoberfest, an on-campus counterpart to the spring’s festivities. In the following year, 2013, Tom Tom filed for 501(c)3 status, entered in a presenting partnership with the University of Virginia, and condensed its programming from a month to four days. The Festival’s attendance doubled at both the spring and fall events.


Tom Tom is a nonprofit and 90% of its events are free. Tom Tom’s strength is in bringing together diverse perspectives and passions. We want everyone to feel welcome to participate and have fun.


The Festival was founded in 2011 by Paul Beyer, now its director. Tom Tom’s staff includes marketing, production, and programming coordinators, and nearly one hundred volunteers. In 2013, Tom Tom also developed a nonprofit board and an advisory board. Finally, its programming – the Festival’s talks, events, and performances – is all "crowd-sourced," meaning that Tom Tom welcomes public input in its programming decisions. Currently, eight programming committees consisting of over 100 individuals shape Tom Tom’s lineup.

Advisory Board

Brevy CannonGeneral Assignment Writer at the University of Virginia
Pete CaramanisFounder of Royer, Caramanis, & McDonough, Attorneys.
Tobias DengelCEO of WIllowTree Apps, founded in 2011 and twice an Inc.500 company, formerly Vice President of AOL
Kirby FarrellTelecommunications entrepreneur and CEO of Broad Axe Care Coordination
Greg GrahamArt Patron and Proprietor of Edgehill Farm.
Rick HamiltonCloud Evangelist and Master Inventor, IBM. 47th most prolific inventor in the world.
Sharon KrugerStrategic Partnership Director at U.Va. Innovation
Phillippe SommerDirector of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business.
Emma TerryVice Provost of the Arts Office at the University of Virginia
David TouveDirector of the Galant Center for Entreprenuership at the University of Virginia formerly Founder of STRTG
Travis WilburnFounder of Stay Charlottesville and the Old Metropolitan Hall

Programming Committees

Alan Webb HackCville Ventures
Amber Karnes HackCville
Uzair Minhas Entrepreneurship Group
Nicholas Pandolfo Entrepreneurship Group
MJ Toms Batten Institute, Darden
Joyce Smaragdis Batten Institute, Darden
David Touve Galant Center for Entrepreneurship
Spencer Ingram HackCville Ventures
Tracey Danner CBIC
Brendan Richardson PsiKick
Kyle Bye Entrepreneurship Group
Phillippe Sommer Batten Institute, Darden
Kathy Carr Batten Institute, Darden
Veronica McMillion Batten Institute, Darden
Kyle Redinger VividCortex
Baron Schwartz VividCortex
Michael Pritchard WillowTree Apps
Christy Phillips WillowTree Apps
Adam Healey Borrowed & Blue
Dalton Dorne RKG
Andrew Montalenti Parsely
Todd Wickersty Storyware
Vanessa Hurst Code Montage
Christine Mahoney Batten School of Public Policy
Minahil Amin Batten School of Public Policy
April Ristau Community Investment Collaborative
Toan Nguyen CIC / Cville Central / Coffee
Stephen Davis Community Investment Collaborative
Wendy Brown Community Investment Collaborative
Julie Carruccio University of Virginia
Kyle Bye Entrepreneurship Group
Paula Pagonakis Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Assoc
Eric Schmitz UVA Health
Lea Becker UVA Health
Leticia Murray UVA Health
Joel Selzer Archemedx
Martin Chapman Indoor Biotechnologies
Kirby Farrel BroadAxe Care Coordination
Chiara Canzi UVA Innovation
Sharon Krueger UVA Innovation
Heather Huff Simonin Focused Ultrasound Foundation
Kathy Carr Tall Oaks Capital, Darden i.Lab
Justin Thomsphon Curry School
Chad Ratliff Albemarle County School System
Nicole Storm Albemarle County School System
Ira Socol Albemarle County School System
Paula Pagonakis Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Assoc
Brian Wheeler Charlottesville Tomorrow
Dan Hennicke Charlottesville Tomorrow
Aaron Eichorst Charlottesville City Schools
Toan Nguyen CIC / Cville Central / Cville Coffee
Julie Caruccio Office of the Dean of Students
Minahil Amin Batten School of Public Policy
Erika Herz Better World Betty / Darden
Sandy Reisky Apex Clean Energy
Jason Halbert Oak Hill Fund
Oliver Kuttner Edison2
David Brown Charlottesville
Sharon Krueger UVA Innovation
Minal Mistry GreenBlue
Teri Kent Better World Betty
Tom Schuler Solidia
Lee Caitlin Albemarle County Economic Dev
Susan Stimart Albemarle County Economic Dev
Frank Squillace Chamber of Commerce
Chiara Canzi Market Central
Sarah Shields Commons
Andrea Hubbell Commons
Madeleine Hawks City of Charlottesville
Tracey Love

Brandon Garrett UVA Law
Chip Harding Albemarle County Sheriff
Emma Terry Vice Provost of the Arts Office
Sarah Lawson Piedmont Council for the Arts
Matthew Slaats The Bridge PAI
Maggie Guggenheimer Arts Consultant
Steph Katsias TTFF
Bernard Hankins Freelance
Daniel Garner Photographer
Mai-Vi Nguyen Futures in Fashion Association
Alissa Reeves Pearl Boutiques
Ashley Florence Photographer


  • Paul Beyer -- Director

Paul Beyer was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA. After studying history and screenwriting at NYU’s Gallatin School, Beyer returned to Charlottesville to work with his family’s business, R. L. Beyer Custom Homes, as Vice President of Development.

“The beauty of a small city, especially your hometown, is recognizing how many opportunities there are to make real impacts,” says Beyer. “That idea of empowerment is a major theme of Tom Tom. Everyone can see their city as a canvas on which to create.”