Hollywood Cemetery is owned and operated by Hollywood Cemetery Company, Inc. Several years ago, Hollywood’s Board of Directors approved the formation of Friends of Hollywood Cemetery, a separate 501(c)3 organization. The mission of the Friends of Hollywood Cemetery is to keep Hollywood Cemetery a relevant and vital part of the Richmond community through conservation, preservation and education. Friends was established in 2007 and took a year to organize and become operational. In 2008, Friends became “active”, focusing on raising funds from Hollywood’s lot owners and working to expand its donor base of individuals, foundations, and corporations.
The primary goal of the Friends of Hollywood Cemetery is to ensure that we preserve one of Richmond's most distinctive treasures by raising funds, interest and the profile of Hollywood Cemetery. Our top accomplishments include: 1) complete the most comprehensive assessment ever of the Cemetery's capital needs and developed a plan to address those needs in a responsible, phased-in manner; 2) complete Phase I (Presidents Circle, the most visited site in the Cemetery, and surrounding areas). It was during this process that we established a thriving internship program with VCU graduate students that have increased the speed at which projects are completed and lowered significantly the final costs; 3) Complete Phase II in 2015 which include the oldest and most damaged areas of the Cemetery, including the Harvie Family gravesites. It is from the Harvies that the land for the Cemetery was purchased. 4) FHC has raised more than $1 million from local foundations, corporations and individuals in the past five years. 5) For 2015, FHC is focused on continuing to expand the base of financial support for the Cemetery and continue the excellent restoration work now taking place on the grounds of Hollywood. We are also focused on a digitization project of all the Cemetery records for genealogical and related research purposes. In 2015, we will also revise our master plan for the space.
Since Friends of Hollywood Cemetery was created in 2007 (and made official by the IRS in 2008), it has been my honor and privilege to serve as its first Board Chair. Our charge was to raise the profile of this national treasure not only in Richmond but throughout the Commonwealth and for any visitor who was considering a visit to the historic places here, and also to raise the funds to repair and restore the damage created after a series of storms in the early 2000s. Time has taken its toll on many of the historic monuments, memorials and decorative ironwork as well as the natural landscape throughout Hollywood. Current income and endowment do not cover the care and conservation of all that needs attention. Indeed, descendants of many of the original families who developed and are buried in Hollywood no longer exist to care for their own family monuments, not even those considered of great historical significance. Friends of Hollywood Cemetery was created to address this need. In so doing, we remind the Richmond community of this remarkable and distinctive asset in our midst. Our challenge is to attract funding for this restoration project and we have successfully attained grant funding and increased the level of funding from individuals over the past several years. Come and see Hollywood -- it's an amazing treasure right here in our backyard!
Hollywood Cemetery has been one of Richmond’s crown jewels since 1849. Much more than just a cemetery, Hollywood is a gracious and bucolic setting in the midst of a bustling urban locale. With stunning views, Hollywood overlooks the James River near the site where Captain Christopher Newport planted a wooden cross a few weeks after the founding of Jamestown. It recalls Virginians of bygone years whose lives shaped and influenced our own. Hollywood serves as the final resting place of two American presidents, six Virginia governors, two US Supreme Court justices, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, 22 Confederate generals, and 18,000 Confederate soldiers.
Hollywood is open to the public 365 days a year, annually attracting more than 100,000 visitors. The readers of Richmond Magazine repeatedly vote Hollywood the “Best Historic Site” in the City and place it second for “Best Scenic View”, solidifying its legacy as one of Richmond’s crown jewels. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing its importance as one of the nation’s most historic cemeteries and highlighting its “rural” style which has always set it apart. In addition to those attending funerals, Hollywood attracts national and international tourists, students of history and landscape design, trolley, bus and school tours, Segway of Richmond and Valentine History Center tours, VCU students and local residents, dog walkers, artists and many others. Hollywood is supported by a number of church groups, garden clubs, fraternities and sororities and other volunteer groups to clean up and beautify the space. Though Hollywood has been integral to the fabric of Richmond’s rich history for more than 165 years, it is still an active cemetery and will be burying for at least 100 more years, meaning that families and friends will continue to visit for many more generations.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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