Southwest Virginia has a rich heritage of skilled craftsmanship, artistry, good home-cooking, and the natural beauty of our landscape. As Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network, 'Round the Mountain promotes and supports economic development in a beautiful region by helping community artisans, farmers, and craft venues preserve heritage and traditions through marketing, education and entrepreneurship opportunities. Through joint efforts with sponsors, RtM has developed and maintains a craft registry that includes artisans specializing in varied mediums such as metal, woodwork, fiber, clay, glass, literature and stringed instruments. The group has also helped develop 15 regional Artisan Trails, and started Heartwood, the artisan gateway center to Southwest Virginia located in Abingdon. RtM has embarked on a large-scale educational program to let everyone know how valuable regional farmers and artisans are to both heritage and the economy.  

Type of Organization Non-profit
Primary Contact

Diana Blackburn, Executive Director

[email protected]

(276) 492-2410

Social Media

  Facebook, Twitter

History of Organization: "Round the Mountain" got its start in 2004 thanks to Virginia Works Initiative funding through the efforts of former Governor Mark Warner. The Virginia Works Initiative supported the development of the region as a cultural tourism destination and helped establish an organization to advocate for the development and sustainability of economically viable craft network in the region. 'Round the Mountain officially became a non-profit organization in 2006 and has developed a strong and diverse network of partnerships through round tables, workshops, and face-to-face interactions. 

Programs and Projects: Developing markets for local craft work, tourism, as well as communication and informational services for RtM members to promote economic growth are aspects of our entrepreneurial initiatives. As part of the regional artisan trails network, we link our communities with visitors and neighbors by helping localities develop tourism brochures and advertise events on the RtM and partner websites, expand partners' reach to regional markets, and serve as a voice, brand and network for RtM members. Farms and agritourism organizations as well as craft venues can apply for trail membership to increase the visibility and viability of their business. 

Partners and Frequent Collaborators

Future Developments for This Wiki

  • Specifics of education campaign
  • Farms and agritourism details