Lorna Lorraine Pinckney of Richmond, departed this life suddenly on Thursday, October 5, She was born on July 12, 1974 to the late Benjamin E. Stover Pinckney and Eleanor Patton Pinckney in Brooklyn, New York. She received her primary education at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights.At an early age, she was accepted into The Pratt Institute's Youth Skills program. She later attended the acclaimed LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, the "Fame" school. In 1992, she moved to Richmond where she attended Virginia Union University. She later transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design & Advertising. Lorna was one of the prominent leaders of the student union and the black newspaper on campus called "The Vine". It was at VCU that Lorna honed her skills in management as a facility manager and student leader who negotiated for student rights. Lorna accepted Christ at an early age. She was a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Christ where she participated in the After School program, the Youth Choir, the Usher Board, the Youth Advisory Board, and Teen Canteen. She obtained the highest level in scouting as a Senior Girl Scout and also received the Silver Award, which is the second highest award in scouting. Through the wider opportunities program for senior scouts, Lorna traveled to Mexico where she helped to rebuild homes after a hurricane. She was also chosen to be a model in the Greater NY Girl Scout Council's 1991 Calendar. Lorna got her first foray into graphic design, print and advertising while working for First World Stage, a pioneering publication for NY Black Theatre Companies established in the living room of Ralph & Julinda Ferguson, her adopted family downstairs in her building. The Entrepreneur… Lorna was the CEO of Upside Marketing and Consulting, LLC, her award-winning marketing company. Her designs can be found in countless small businesses, churches, and nonprofits throughout the region. She provided services for some of the following clients: Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, VDOT, National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, Adiva Naturals Hair & Skin Care, First Baptist Church of South Richmond, The Croaker Spot and Ellwood Thompson's Local Market. She has been recognized for her promotional skills in regional news publications such as The Richmond Times Dispatch and Style Weekly. Both publications praised her ability to touch a mass audience through limited marketing resources while coordinating original and cultural events. Lorna promoted for major music labels for 6 years and had experience coordinating large events such as the Chamber of Commerce "BIZ LINC" (Richmond's largest business to business tradeshow – over 2500 attendees). Past promotional accounts and products included Interscope, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, RJ Reynolds – Kool Sampling Program, Nintendo, Verizon, Malibu Rum, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Wild Turkey American Honey and Seagrams Gin. The Legacy… Through Tuesday Verses: The Open Mic Experience, Lorna created a safe place for artists to refine their craft, to grow and to heal. She curated a space for community and fellowship with intention and purpose. Poets, musicians, singers, comedians, dancers, and artists from around the country not only regularly blessed the Verses stage, but many recognize Verses as the catalyst to their careers. The amount of creativity, love and inspiration that can be found at Verses venues has been the reason for the overwhelming success of the event, and has developed into a recognized brand and expanding movement. Lorna's Legacy is one of longevity, consistency and most of all, Love. Her drive to create what many would call their weekly retreat, their respite, their church is what many will remember and hold on to. From being greeted at the door with a welcome smile and warm arms to the warmth and encouragement she provided. Verses was a first step into performing, a practice spot and proving ground for many artists. If Lorna was the embodiment of what Love looks, feels and sounds like, Verses was her temple, her safe space for those who needed to be revived, engaged and connected. Lorna's Legacy was creating a space for love and the arts to thrive and it is evident to everyone who ever attended. There is no space like it in the world. To promote Verses, Lorna would often use the tagline #WeLiveLove. We thank her for teaching us how to laugh constantly, live fearlessly, and love endlessly. "We're going on with Lorna. She's still present. She's transitioned. She's not gone." "Lorna is alive. And what she has built is alive. And it's alive in all of us. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It only changes forms." Surviving are her mother Eleanor Pinckney, half-brother Benjamin Pinckney Jr. and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, close family friends, and the tightly woven family she brought together in Richmond, VA. Remains rest at Scott's Funeral Home, 115 E. Brookland Park Blvd. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10 at St. Paul's Baptist Church, 4247 Creighton Road. Her remains will be forwarded to Miles Funeral Home, 136 Decatur Street, Brooklyn, New York 11216 for final services.
Published in "Richmond, VA" on Oct. 11, 2017.