Besides being capital of the commonwealth and home to multiple universities, Richmond, Virginia is a mainstay of new art and current trends. Richmond is self-aware of its status as such, one consequence of which is a little something I like to call the branded city.
I first noticed RVA pasted on cars driving around Charlottesville. I didn’t begin recon work to figure out the acronym because at the time I was preoccupied with a more intriguing car sticker (a post for another day).
I like the idea of city solidarity. In the case of my own city, it helps to have a cache of easily-citable reasons why friends should come for a visit.
In spite of my passive approach to figuring out the definition of RVA*, I appreciate ambiguity from time to time. In this case, RVA is a city thing. Not everyone is supposed to get it—you have to experience it if you want to be a part of it. Like low-rider bikes or something.
*I figured I live an hour from Richmond, it probably has something to do with that. In this case, the assumption was correct.
Further reading: Sticking it to Richmond: The Origin and Future of the RVA Sticker