“Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic” Puts Faces and Stories to Richmond’s HIV/AIDS Crisis

January 15, 2020

Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications

Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic Puts Faces and Stories to Richmond’s HIV/AIDS Crisis

Valentine exhibition offers a nuanced look at Richmond’s HIV/AIDS epidemic through the stories of survivors, caregivers, activists and others on the front lines.

Rodney Lofton. August 2018. Photographed by Michael Simon for the Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic project.

RICHMOND —Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic, a new exhibition opening on January 23, will feature oral histories and black-and-white photographic portraits, focusing on the personal stories of those affected by HIV/AIDS in Richmond.

Richmond’s rate of HIV infection, currently ranked 19th nationally, is exacerbated by high concentrations of poverty, lack of sex education in public schools and the continuing opioid epidemic. Despite years of medical and social progress, misconceptions about HIV/AIDS persist today.

While Americans on average have a one-in-99 chance of contracting HIV over the course of their lifetime, the odds for a gay black man are one in two. Black women have a rate of HIV infection 17.6 times that of white women. In fact, in Richmond, women make up a quarter of new HIV diagnoses.

Laura Browder and Patricia Herrera, both professors at the University of Richmond, collected 30 oral histories in an effort to put faces to these surprising statistics.

“The process has transformed our understanding not only of the epidemic, but more broadly of the way people can turn what one assumes to be a life-destroying event into an opportunity for making change,” said Herrera. “Many of the people we met lived lives charged with purpose—including, most urgently, to prevent others from becoming infected with the virus.”

“Most people outside of the public health community think that HIV is a disease that primarily affects gay, white men. We learned how far from the reality that is,” Browder continued. “The people represented in the exhibition include great-grandmothers, undocumented immigrants, college professors, church deacons and transgendered people. They include public health officials, HIV educators, medical providers, activists, and those who have lost loved ones to HIV.”

Local photographer Michael Simon produced the black-and-white portraits that communicate the trials and triumphs of each person featured in Voices.

“These stories and these portraits are important to all of us,” said Simon. “These people are members of our community. They are friends and family and we need to remember that we are all in this fight together.”

“Featuring the powerful oral histories collected by Laura and Patricia and Michael’s phenomenal photography, we hope this exhibition contributes to an important ongoing discussion about the true impact of HIV/AIDS on the Richmond community,” Valentine Director Bill Martin said.

In coordination with the exhibition opening, Nationz Foundation, a local non-profit providing education, information and programming related to HIV, will be conducting free on-site HIV testing noon to 4 p. m. on Thursday, January 23 at the Valentine.

“Nationz Foundation is excited to partner with the Valentine Museum during the Voices exhibit!” said Nationz Foundation Executive Director Zakia McKensey. “It is extremely important to get tested. Knowing your status is one sure way to prevent the spread of the infection. We will be on site providing Rapid HIV testing for free, so please stop by and get your results in 60 seconds.”

Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic will be on display through May 25, 2020.

This project is funded in part by Virginia Humanities.

Support is also provided by University of Richmond, Office of the Provost and Dean’s Office, School of Arts & Sciences and the following generous sponsors. 


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.

Explore the Past on the Pulse Brings Richmonders Closer to History

January 8, 2020

Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications

Explore the Past on the Pulse Brings Richmonders Closer to History

Pulse riders are one scan away from experiencing Richmond history thanks to a partnership between the Valentine, GRTC and VCU

RICHMOND —Pulse riders can now experience Richmond History with a simple scan of their smartphone.

Thanks to an innovative partnership between the Valentine, GRTC and Virginia Commonwealth University, riders will be able to use QR codes at each of the 14 Pulse stops across the city to access easily-digestible Richmond stories.

Each QR code links riders to a web page showcasing nearby sites of interest, upcoming events and a brief history of the area, complete with archival photos.

“We’re so happy to be working with two such distinguished Richmond institutions,” GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm said. “GRTC is dedicated to serving the community, and this is another opportunity to help Richmonders navigate their city.”

The QR codes can be found on the glass map illustrations of each Pulse platform. The Valentine provided research support for the project, developing relevant, accessible content for each stop in a way that riders can easily interact with.

Explore the Past on the Pulse is about engaging riders and providing opportunities for Richmonders to learn more about the spaces and the neighborhoods they frequent,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “This project makes Richmond history more accessible because you don’t have to go track this information down. Instead, the information comes to you, wherever you are.”

Dr. John Kneebone, VCU professor emeritus, was instrumental in developing Explore the Past on the Pulse and worked with graduate students to develop an early iteration of the project.

“This project appealed to me as a teacher because my History graduate students could apply their skills and abilities to coursework with an obvious real-world application,” Dr. Kneebone said. “I tested the project the summer before class and it was very feasible. As a class project, too, it enabled the students to both collaborate and work individually. At semester’s end, the students presented their work to the Valentine and GRTC. Today when I ride the Pulse, I find myself engaged historically with my whereabouts, and now other riders can, too.”

As part of their ongoing class project, VCU students also provided technical and content feedback on Explore the Past on the Pulse.

You too can Explore the Past on the Pulse at any of the 14 Pulse Stops across the city by using your phone to scan the QR codes available at each Pulse station or directly through the GRTC website.


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.

About the GRTC Pulse
GRTC Pulse is a modern, high quality, high capacity rapid transit system that serves a 7.6-mile route along Broad Street and Main Street, from Rocketts Landing in the City of Richmond to Willow Lawn in Henrico County. The Pulse earned a Bronze Standard BRT rating by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). GRTC Pulse is jointly sponsored by Bon Secours Richmond Health System and VCU Health System. The Pulse links to many exciting destinations, businesses, services and restaurants.

About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. 

The Valentine First Freedom Center Hosts 2nd Annual Religious Freedom Day Celebration

January 6, 2020

Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications

The Valentine First Freedom Center Hosts 2nd Annual Religious Freedom Day Celebration

Event will address rising anti-Semitism, importance of interfaith dialogue


RICHMOND — The Valentine First Freedom Center will host the 2nd Annual Religious Freedom Day Celebration on Thursday, January 16 at 9 a.m. to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Located in Shockoe Slip at the site where the statute was signed in 1786, the Valentine First Freedom Center will welcome museum guests, local religious leaders, members of the public and others for a morning of reflection and conversation about the enduring legacy of religious liberty.

Remarks will be provided by Rabbi Michael Knopf of Richmond’s Temple Beth-El. The event will also use the anniversary to address the recent rise in anti-Semitic violence and vandalism nationally, and how continued interfaith dialogue among Richmond’s faith community can help combat these threats to religious freedom.

“As we witness rising antisemitism, islamophobia and increasing religious hate crimes, it is imperative that we use the 234th anniversary to reassert the profound importance of freedom of conscience,” Valentine Director Bill Martin said. “We hope that the Valentine First Freedom Center can function as a site that not only educates about this foundational freedom, but also serves as a place where meaningful dialogue about this founding value can be realized.”

The morning will also include selected readings from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a musical performance and light refreshments. RSVP HERE.


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.

Winners Announced for Competition to Rethink Monument Avenue

November 20, 2019

Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Winners Announced for Competition to Rethink Monument Avenue

The winners of an international design competition to conceptually reimagine Monument Avenue were announced tonight at the Valentine


RICHMOND – This evening, the winners of an international design competition to conceptually reimagine Richmond’s Monument Avenue were announced during a special closing reception at the Valentine.

The competition, overseen by the Storefront for Community Design, mOb Studio and VCUarts, was launched last year and received nearly 70 design proposals from across the globe. The 20 finalists were determined by a panel of jurors and have been on display at the Valentine since February of 2019. This exhibition Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion, sparked intense debate, engagement and conversation across the Richmond community.

The jury acknowledged project strengths in several areas, and through their deliberations, chose to bestow awards in four different design areas. The winners announced tonight include:

Click for larger image

For consideration of scale:

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Memorial
Shane Neufeld and Kevin Kunstadt

Out of more than 2,000 votes cast by visitors to the Valentine’s exhibition, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Memorial was also the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

“We would like to thank the jurors and the Richmond community for holding this challenging and ambitious competition, and engaging artists, architects and designers from around the country,” Shane Neufeld, a member of the design team, said. “Our proposal attempts to redefine how we perceive history through design, and specifically, to do so in counterpoint to the means and methods employed by the existing statues on Monument Avenue. We feel fortunate to be a part of this dialogue and hope that our design provides a strategy – rather than a solution – for a continued discourse and future progress.”

For thoughtful handling of programming:

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The Richmond Engagement Corridor
Pratt Institute Group #2
Courtney Knapp, Claudia Castillo de la Cruz, Maria “Angel” Munoz Martinez, Dhanya Rajagopal, Danielle Monopoli, Jane Kandampulli, Dina Posner, Di Cui, Camille Sasena, Aishwarya Pravin Kulkarn

“Nine women, representing five countries and three master’s programs at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, developed this proposal,” said Dr. Knapp, Pratt Institute Professor whose students developed the Richmond Engagement Corridor design. “The team visited Richmond in October of 2018, and left inspired by the complex, dynamic city they had encountered. This inspiration grounded the ideas in the proposal while also expanding their understanding of anti-racism praxis and reparations.”

For response to difficult and complex context:

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Center For Productive Conversations
Archie Lee Coates IV, Jeff Franklin, Anya Shcherbakova, Phil Gibson, Dillon Kogle

“Ideas are powerful. Positivity (just like negativity) has a way of seeping into the cracks and taking hold. As a studio, we believe in a positive future for Monument Avenue: one with diverse groups of people energetically exploring new ideas in the public and productive setting of a museum,” said Archie Lee Coates IV, a member of the design team. “With the Center for Productive Conversations, we can create new perspectives that are inclusive of everyone, respectfully looking back as we boldly look forward. It will be no small task to realize these ideas, but thankfully the process has already begun with the opportunity to propose them.”

For thoughtful proposals for both temporary and permanent interventions:

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Lori Garrett, Robert Riddle, Neil Walls

“I am grateful to the sponsors of this competition and to the Valentine for this exhibit because it provides a catalyst for conversation that is critical not only for true change in our city, but for communities across the country,” said Lori Garrett, a member of the design team. “I entered because I believe we unequivocally need to provide the monuments with the historical context that enables us to understand how the heritage of some has perpetuated the physical and social bondage of others. Hopefully our design entry not only will contribute to the on-going dialog, but instigate actions that further Richmond’s journey of racial reconciliation.”

These four honorees were selected by a jury panel that included national and local practitioners and educators in the relevant fields of planning, architecture, landscape architecture, curatorship and social justice.

“We’re excited to honor these individuals and groups for their innovative and bold approach to conceptually rethinking the future of Monument Avenue,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “It has been an adventure hosting this exhibition, and I hope that the dialogue created by these proposals has helped Richmonders better understand the role of monuments in our daily lives and how we can move forward as a community.”

“Working together to oversee this competition has really been an eye-opening experience and a truly educational exercise for everyone involved,” said Camden Whitehead, Associate Professor for Interior Design at VCU and Principal, Sadler & Whitehead Architects. “Looking at the winners, all of the proposals and the public response, it’s clear that design has a central role to play in moving forward, and this competition is where that difficult work starts.”

Each winning design will receive a prize of $2,000. Visit monumentavenuegdgd.com for higher-resolution versions of the winning designs.

The winners, along with the 20 finalists and all other submissions, are on display in Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion at the Valentine through December 31, 2019.

November 7, 2019

Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing

New Exhibition Uses Social Media to Explore the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

#BallotBattle will highlight five Richmonders to tell the complex story of voting rights


Women’s Suffrage Rally at the Virginia State Capitol, 1916. The Valentine Museum Collection, X.49.37.43

RICHMOND —Opening November 21, 2019, #BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage will use modern social media platforms to examine the  suffrage debate and the intersecting issues of race, gender, power and politics as they coalesced in Virginia’s capitol city in the early 1900s.

Examining the positions, opinions and disagreements between five high-profile Richmonders between 1909 and 1920, the exhibit will imagine these tensions playing out as if historical activists had access to present-day social media.

“Representing historical perspectives in a modern format is a creative approach to our mission to engage and represent a diverse cross-section of Richmond history,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “This interpretation is a fresh look at how we reflect on historical debates. It’s relatable, but still inspires a deep look back on social progress, how we used to engage in public debate and how we discuss those same issues today.”

Virginia’s 1902 Constitution had stripped Richmond’s African American men of their voting rights, and the role of women in the home and public society was hotly contested. In the midst of this heated political and social climate, the individuals highlighted in #BallotBattle will represent a variety of positions beyond pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage, providing the visitor with a nuanced take on a vitally important era in Richmond history.

Visitors will also be encouraged to interact with the exhibition itself, using an Instagram wall and engaging with a rotating list of written prompts where they can “like”, “dislike” and comment via sticky-note emojis.

#BallotBattle closes on September 7, 2020.


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of the region through exhibitions, programs, events and more. To learn more, visit thevalentine.org

Valentine Intern Spotlight: Susan Shibut

Susan Shibut, the Valentine’s new PR & Marketing Intern, writes about her dedication to sharing Richmond’s complicated history

Hello! My name is Susan Shibut and I am excited to get started in my new position as the Public Relations and Marketing intern here at the Valentine. I’m a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University where I am studying communications with a history minor. In my time here in Richmond I have fallen in love with this city and couldn’t be happier with this opportunity to learn about it and engage with the community.

In my search for an internship the Valentine stood out as an institution with an inspiring mission. There are plenty of opportunities where I could’ve gotten people coffee and written fluffy blogs, but this would be a chance for me to be a part of challenging a narrative and making an impact. I wanted experience that would teach me something, not just look shiny on a resume.

It is so important to always explain history in an accurate and nuanced way, and that’s something Virginia and Richmond specifically have struggled with and often failed at. Virginia’s state-issued history textbook “Virginia: History, Government, Geography,” unabashedly supported the “Lost Cause” myth from 1957 until phased out in the 1970s. The textbook claimed enslaved people, sometimes referred to as “servants,” were happy, content and didn’t work hard because they didn’t fear losing their jobs. That textbook is estimated to have reached more than a million students, so it’s not surprising that the inaccuracies it perpetuated still pop up in education and public discourse today.

Poor interpretation of history has had lasting effects on Richmond, reflected in everything from the statues on Monument Avenue to the zoning of our school system. I hope that with my work at the Valentine I can help take personal and professional initiative to challenge historical failures and build a better, less editorialized interpretation that is accessible to anyone who wants to learn. As I get closer to graduating I am focused on learning how to convey accurate stories, sometimes only armed with sources that don’t necessarily stand up to appropriate standards of truth and integrity. The complicated, painful nature of Richmond’s history and the nation’s history can make this difficult and uncomfortable—and that’s a discomfort that I’ve felt personally, not just in academic or professional writing but in conversations with friends and family. The water has been seriously muddied by years of revisionism, avoidance and myth-making. I want to be a part of making something better, more truthful, and more inclusive than what we’ve seen in the past.

Our vision statement says it best—we are using the past to inform the present and shape the future. I believe that looking back will push us to look forward. I love this city, and it’s a privilege to join the Valentine in trying to make it better.

Susan is the PR & Marketing Intern at the Valentine in Richmond.

“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 6: Don’t Trust Google

Don’t trust Google.

We know what you’ve been thinking all summer:

“I really need to get down to the Valentine. There’s that ‘controversial’ Monument Avenue exhibition on display and I read that article in Style Weekly about the Cook Photograph Collection. There’s even that exhibition with the working Costume and Textiles Lab!”

But you’ve been putting it off because of the ongoing construction. Please make plans to visit and just enjoy the adventure.

But keep in mind: it’s getting a little weird. There have been alarming reports of shape-shifting buildings and disappearing streets. The old Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital disappeared one week and the new VCU Children’s Hospital started appearing the next. Remember the Virginia Treatment Center for Children? It’s gone and a new VCU Adult Outpatient building is already replacing it. And then there are the streets. Well, sometimes there are streets. Other times, just a lot of parking cones, yellow tape and dust.

But despite all these changes to the neighborhood, the one thing that we are sure of is that the Valentine and our exciting exhibitions and programs aren’t going anywhere.

So just a piece of advice: ignore Google Maps. Instead, go ahead and get lost in this great neighborhood, enjoy the evolving Court End area, take in all the VCUHealth developments and discover a new stories about our city.

In this blog series, we’ve touched on a few: the Egyptian Building, Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Richmond and more. But those stories just scratch the surface.

Eventually, you’ll find us and you’ll get a medal (and a good dose of Richmond Stories) for all your efforts. See you soon!

Our friend Beau Cribbs finally found his way to the Valentine and received his medal!

Four: A Constitution Day Reflection

Most standard biographies of Doctor James McClurg (1747-1823) begin with his accomplished medical career, friendship with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and mention his participation in the American Revolution as a physician. Some detail his attendance at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, noting that he left without signing the final document. This brief biography will start with a number: Four.

The Doctor James McClurg Bedchamber in the Wickham House at the Valentine.

That is the number of enslaved people that McClurg owned toward the end of his life. The 1820 census detailed that James McClurg held four in bondage while residing with his son-in-law and daughter, John and Elizabeth Wickham. One young man was aged between 14 and 25. The other three were women over 45 years old. Whether they worked and lived on the Wickham’s property or elsewhere is not known. They might have been hired out to other families, not benefiting from the money they made for McClurg. The young man might have been his forced to wash, dress, and feed the elderly McClurg, possibly even sleeping in his room each night (notice the pallet on the floor at the foot of the bed in the photo above).

So it is clear that James McClurg did not leave the Constitutional Convention in late July 1787 because he opposed slavery. He and the other Virginians at the summer-long meeting in Philadelphia supported preserving the domestic slave trade. Instead, they worked to ensure that an enslaved individual would count as only 3/5 of a free person in order to determine representation in Congress. So why did he leave? After months of working on the document, McClurg disagreed with the length of the President’s term (he thought it should be for life), and he believed the federal government should be able to veto state laws. He and James Madison exchanged letters about these issues. Madison sent him a copy of the Constitution in October 1787. We do not know how the four enslaved people he owned felt about any of these issues. Nor do we know how they learned of the newly-created United States of America. Their letters, stories, and opinions do not survive.

McClurg was a Federalist, meaning an advocate for a strong central government that would oversee the then-13 states. He and the other delegates created a document that provided structure and simultaneously crafted a process to amend it. After ratifying the initial Constitution in 1788, the states set about changing it immediately, adding ten amendments largely based on the proposals of Virginia’s George Mason. But the Bill of Rights (ratified on December 15, 1791), as revolutionary as it was, still did not apply to McClurg’s enslaved man and women. They could not enjoy freedom of speech or assembly. They certainly were not allowed to petition the government to redress their grievances.

V.92.52, Dr. James McClurg, Painted by Cephas Thompson, Circa 1810, The Valentine

Thirty-eight delegates* signed the final draft of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. It would be 74 years before the 13th Amendment abolished American slavery in 1865. Three years later, the 14th Amendment provided citizenship and equal protection for those persons born or naturalized in the United States. In 1870, the 15th Amendment gave the vote to men, no matter their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” If you’re counting, that’s over 83 years before one of the four enslaved members of James McClurg’s household significantly benefited from the ideals of the new nation. And the three women? Unless they were wealthy and educated, the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, did not benefit many African-American women in Richmond. They were turned away by poll taxes, vague “understanding clauses,” and other restrictive measures provided in Virginia’s 1902 Constitution. It is not until federal laws, enacted during the 1960s, along with the 1964 ratification of the 24th amendment (outlawing poll taxes) that McClurg’s four enslaved likely would have achieved full-citizenship. 177 years and 5 amendments later, “We the People” finally included African-Americans and women (as well as Native Americans and persons of color).

As we observe Constitution Day today, we can honor the living, breathing document that James McClurg and his colleagues created and expected to be altered while also acknowledging the harsh reality of James McClurg’s endorsement of and participation in the slave trade. We can celebrate the revolutionary ideas contained in the Constitution while also celebrating the descendants of the four who sought freedom and worked hard to finally put into practice the ideals enshrined in this founding document. Hopefully, today, we can seek to enjoy the “blessings of liberty” while renewing our efforts to create “a more perfect Union.”

*George Read signed for an absent John Dickinson. 39 signatures were added by 38 men. Three Virginians signed the Constitution: George Washington, John Blair, and James Madison.

“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 5: Rearing its Ugly Head

How do you really know that you’ve arrived at the Valentine? That’s easy.

As you make your way to that most beautiful block of 1100 East Clay in Richmond where the Valentine stands (and after you’ve traversed several closed sidewalks and lost your way several times), you will immediately be confronted by the ugliest building in the city. We’ve talked about cranes, closed streets, shifting sidewalks and event lost ghosts, but this edifice might be the real reason you’ve been having trouble finding us.

After all, it’s not hard to miss and it’s easy to get sidetracked. It’s the crumbling structure missing tiles and dead-ending East Clay Street. You know it as the City of Richmond’s Public Health and Safety Building.


Built in the 1960s and representing the worst of mid-century modern design, there is nothing healthy or safe about it. Not only is it an eyesore with its peeling walls and aging marble, but by plopping this building in the middle of Clay Street, it has served to isolate the Valentine and VCUHealth from the rest of downtown. Need proof? Here is a picture from the Valentine Archives of the gorgeous structure that stood on this spot before the Public Health and Safety Building went on to eventually fill the space:

FIC.033739, Purcell Hoe at NW corner of 10th and Clay Streets, Mary Wingfield Scott, The Valentine

Whatever your stance on the proposed Navy Hill redevelopment project, we can all agree that the City and the Valentine both deserve better than the existing sub-standard structure and its surrounding parking lots.

So as part of your “Where in the World is the Valentine?” adventure, walk around the Court End Neighborhood, take a look at Richmond’s ugliest building and consider the proposed plan for the area. If we are going to make informed decisions about this important and historic neighborhood, there nothing like seeing it for yourself.

And by visiting the Valentine, you have the opportunity to learn from our city’s history, explore both our successes and our failures and put those lessons to work for our shared community.

Also, you’ll get a medal. So that alone is worth the price of admission.

Richmond History Makers and Community Update Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

September 4, 2019

Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Richmond History Makers and Community Update Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

The Valentine is partnering with the Community Foundation for the 2020 program

RICHMOND –Nominations are now open for the Richmond History Makers and Community Update. Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the program recognizes individuals and organizations making substantive and lasting contributions to the Greater Richmond region.

This year, The Valentine will partner with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond to highlight the work of six honorees and provide an update on the projects and programs making a difference across the region. The six honorees will be recognized at a community celebration taking place at Virginia Union University on March 10, 2020.

“The Valentine is excited to collaborate with the Community Foundation to recognize the good work being done across the region while providing an overview of the life-changing work taking place right here in the community,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “We are looking forward to this new partnership, celebrating the event’s fifteenth anniversary, recognizing six new honorees and sharing transformational Richmond stories.”

“Partnering with the Valentine to celebrate history makers and share about successes across the region seemed like a natural fit,” said Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer with the Community Foundation. “Richmond History Makers gives us that feel good moment, year after year, to recognize many of the innovative and collaborative efforts that are moving our region forward and we are proud to join in the celebration.”

“Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) is proud to be a founding partner of the Richmond History Makers & Community Update Program,” said LMR President & CEO Myra Goodman Smith. “We are pleased to play a role in informing our region on the unique activities and projects that are making a difference and recognizing residents and organizations that are creating the impact.”

Nominations for the 2020 Richmond History Makers & Community Update are being accepted September 4 through October 25. You can learn more about the program, view past honorees and nominate your own Richmond history maker at RichmondHistoryMakers.com.


About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. Through collections, exhibitions and programs, the Valentine provides residents and tourists the opportunity to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. The Valentine offers major changing exhibitions, which focus on American urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. https://thevalentine.org/

About the Community Foundation
The Community Foundation is a leading partner and advocate for philanthropy and service in the Richmond region. Founded in 1968, the Community Foundation has built a strong legacy of helping people and institutions give back with passion and purpose. https://www.cfrichmond.org/

About Leadership Metro Richmond
Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) is the region’s community leadership development and engagement organization. Over 2,000 diverse leaders have participated in LMR’s 10-month leadership development program, Leadership Quest. LMR provides leaders with an environment for high-performing conversations, broadens their knowledge and perspectives about the region, and inspires them to serve first then lead. http://www.lmronline.org/