The Valentine Releases Valentine’s Meat Juice Bloody Mary Mix

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Releases Valentine’s Meat Juice Bloody Mary Mix

RICHMOND – The Valentine is releasing a spicy cocktail mixer adapted from the original Valentine’s Meat-Juice, invented by the museum’s founder Mann S. Valentine II in 1870. Valentine’s Meat Juice Bloody Mary Mix will be available for purchase at a launch party on November 17 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and will continue to be available in the museum gift shop until all bottles are sold. The launch party will include free tastings of the Bloody Mary Mix.

In 1870, Mann Valentine’s wife Ann fell ill, and her doctors were unable to find a cure. Mann Valentine toiled for weeks until he created a medicinal meat extract, made of slowly cooked beef, which he then pressed into a juice and mixed with egg whites. Ann recovered, and Mann Valentine patented the recipe.

Valentine’s Meat-Juice was an instant hit as both a dietary supplement and as a flavoring. In 1878, Mann Valentine took his Meat-Juice to the Paris Exposition. A few years later, it gained more popularity after President James A. Garfield took two teaspoons a day after he was shot in an 1881 assassination attempt. By the mid-20th century, grocery stores marketed it as a flavoring additive rather than a health tonic. The profits from the Meat-Juice business helped fund the museum, and the company remained in the Valentine family until it closed in 1986.

“If it weren’t for the popularity of Valentine’s Meat-Juice, the museum may not have had the start-up funds it needed,” said Director Bill Martin. “With our new Bloody Mary Mix, we’re continuing to tell this uniquely Richmond story by using all local vendors to create a new product by and for Richmonders. This idea has been in the works for many years, and we’re excited to finally be able to share it with our community.”

Each bottle of Valentine’s Meat Juice Bloody Mary Mix contains four servings and costs $6.50.

More information about Valentine’s Meat-Juice can be found here: https://thevalentine.org/meat-juice-shake-well-before-use/

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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.

The Valentine Begins 10th Year of Community Conversations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Begins 10th Year of Community Conversations

RICHMOND – The Valentine is launching its 10th year of community conversations known as “Controversy/History.” In the 2022-2023 series, the Valentine will revisit the most controversial, heavy-hitting topics that are still relevant today, including health, transportation, housing, education and public spaces.

“Richmond keeps growing and evolving, but many of the core problems facing our community persist throughout our history,” Director Bill Martin said. “We’re excited to bring people together again to talk through some of these issues and how we can improve life in Richmond.”

Martin will co-host the series with Richmond entrepreneur and consultant Kelli Lemon. Controversy/History will run on the first Tuesday of the month from October-February, with each event featuring a panel of experts, advocates and government representatives. Many popular speakers from past Controversy/History events will return to give updates.

The first Controversy/History on “Disease and Disparity” will take place Tuesday, October 4 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Valentine. Speakers for the kickoff event are:

  • Margo Webb, Director of Community Programs, Richmond City and Henrico County Health Districts
  • Gonzalo Bearman, Chair, VCU Division of Infectious Diseases
  • Karen Legato, Executive Director, Health Brigade

The full 2022-2023 schedule is below. As the Valentine will be under construction starting in mid-October, all other Controversy/History events will be held throughout the Richmond region. Locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

Disease & Disparity
Tuesday, October 4, 2022 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Valentine

Where Are We Going? Changes in Transportation
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location TBD

The Crisis at our Doorstep: Housing in RVA
Tuesday, December 6, 2022 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Coming Up Short: Richmond Needs Schooling
Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Public Spaces: Environmental Reckoning in Richmond
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Controversy/History is sponsored by Wells Fargo. More information and online registration for the kickoff event is available at thevalentine.org/event/controversy-history-disease-disparity. General information about the series is available at thevalentine.org/controversyhistory.

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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.

The Valentine Extends Thursday Hours with New Special Events & Tours

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Extends Thursday Hours with New Special Events & Tours

RICHMOND – Beginning September 8, the Valentine will stay open late every Thursday until 7:00 p.m. for “Extra Thursdays.” After 5:00 p.m. each Thursday, admission to the museum will be free, and each week will feature a new special event or tour.

“Everybody needs a little ‘extra,’ and we wanted to add a time each week where we can bring some extra joy to Richmonders,” said Director Bill Martin. “During Extra Thursdays, we’re going to dance in the street, open up our student field trip programs to grown-ups, and give people an extra dose of history while we’re at it. We hope Extra Thursdays will give everyone the chance to visit and have fun with us.”

In addition to free admission, all special programs during Extra Thursdays will be free to give all Richmonders the opportunity to participate. Upcoming events include:

  • Hard Hat Happy Hours – every second Thursday of the month at 5:00 p.m.
  • Silent Dance Party – September 15 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Grown-Up Field Trip – October 20 at 5:00 p.m.

The Valentine is also offering new 30-minute tours every Thursday evening. At 5:30 p.m., a staff member will lead Richmond Short Stories: a personalized deep dive into several of their favorite objects in the main gallery, “This Is Richmond, Virginia.” Tours of the 1812 Wickham House will begin at 6:00 p.m.

More information and online registration for special events are available at thevalentine.org/events.

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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.

Jefferson Davis Statue: Building a Better Understanding of Richmond’s History

This op-ed originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

By: Bill Martin, Director of the Valentine

The Valentine needs your help this summer. The Jefferson Davis statue from Monument Avenue is temporarily on display within our core exhibit, “This Is Richmond, Virginia,” while on loan from the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA).

The Valentine is committed to telling a complete story of our city, beyond just its well-known role in the Civil War. The Jefferson Davis statue — shown as it was when we last saw it in 2020 — is unique in its ability to explore so many aspects of Richmond history.

There are many voices around the events of 2020, and we need to hear them. Our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret Richmond stories, and that includes your opinions and ideas.

Like the graffiti left on the Berlin Wall after it was pulled down in 1989, this object showcases a crucial Richmond story at multiple points in time. It was erected as a pristine monument in 1907 and came down splattered in pink paint in 2020. Many different groups contributed in different ways to create the statue as it exists now, and the Valentine is committed to bringing together many different perspectives to build a future we all can be proud of.

This is not just about what happens to the statue. It is about how we can use this object and this moment to inform our future. Your responses to this exhibition will be provided to the city of Richmond as it moves forward with its planning for Monument Avenue, and to the BHMVA to inform the future of all Confederate monuments now in its care.

This significant work by Edward Valentine, the museum’s first president, will be shown in its unrestored form for the next six months. The reality is Confederate monuments have been removed, and there are a wide range of opinions about the events of 2020 that we hope to capture. We must use this moment to build a better understanding of history and figure out the best way forward — together.

There are a lot of difficult conversations ahead of us. So why would the Valentine exhibit this work? Wouldn’t it be easier to just leave the statue in storage?

The short answer is: Yes, it would. But we have a responsibility to focus on this particular object because of the Valentine’s own history and our commitment to telling the complete history of our region. As difficult as this is, we must.

The sculpture studio where Edward Valentine created the statue is located in the garden of the Valentine. Jefferson Davis came to this building in 1873 to have his face measured for a bust. Edward Valentine used those measurements three decades later, after Davis’ death, to create the statue for his monument.

Valentine used his clout and artistic skills to promote the Lost Cause — an effort after the Civil War that denied slavery’s central role in the conflict and glorified Confederates like Davis as heroes facing long odds. His legacy is part of our institution, and we must confront it with clear eyes.

Inside the Valentine, we’ve been talking about the prospect of bringing this statue back for a long time. In 2015, following the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., we committed to a series of exhibitions, programs and challenging conversations in our community.

We also committed to moving the Davis statue to the Valentine, should we get the chance. The Monument Avenue Commission even suggested this move.

Since then, we’ve gathered feedback on how to do this right through surveys, focus groups, events and more. One of those surveys showed us that 80% of you would prefer to see the Confederate statues in museums with appropriate context, rather than displayed in public spaces or destroyed. Now that the Davis statue is in our gallery, we need your input as we continue to move forward.

Your response to Valentine’s statue will provide important documentation of this important moment in Richmond history, begin to move these conversations forward and inform the reinstallation of the Edward Valentine Sculpture Studio, and other future programs and exhibitions.

We hope your summer plans will include a visit to the Valentine. The Valentine is committed to your story and the story of Richmond.

To make sure that everyone has an opportunity to weigh in, we now offer free admission every Wednesday for as long as Jefferson Davis is on display. We also are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you are not able to visit, please fill out this survey and send it along to friends. We look forward to the many important conversations to come.

The Valentine Unveils Temporary Exhibit of Jefferson Davis Statue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Unveils Temporary Exhibit of Jefferson Davis Statue

RICHMOND – The Valentine invites the public to view its newest display, the statue of Jefferson Davis, and give input on an upcoming exhibit, beginning June 22.

The Davis statue was erected in 1907 on Monument Avenue and pulled down by protesters on June 10, 2020. It is now on display within the Valentine’s core exhibit, “This Is Richmond, Virginia,” for at least six months while on loan from the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA). Visitor feedback will inform the Valentine’s interpretation of the Edward Valentine Sculpture Studio, where the Davis statue was created by the museum’s first president.

“This is a critical time to have a conversation about our shared history and light the path forward,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “We want to create a safe space for people to learn, be challenged and confront their assumptions and biases about Richmond’s troubling past. The Edward Valentine Sculpture Studio is an important piece of Richmond history, so it’s crucial for us to hear from the community on how to present complex topics like the Lost Cause and Jim Crow-era racism.”

A survey of community members conducted by the Valentine showed that 80% of respondents want to see Confederate monuments in museums with appropriate context, rather than displayed in public spaces or destroyed. Most of Richmond’s Confederate monuments were recently gifted by the City of Richmond to the BHMVA, which then temporarily loaned the Davis statue to the Valentine.

“This is an important opportunity for Richmonders to process both our recent and past history, and continue the dialogue about how we move from a Confederate past and the Lost Cause, to a righteous cause that realizes an inclusive and equitable future,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Conversations that happen around the toppled statue during this exhibit will help inform decisions about the future of public monuments and how we choose to commemorate and express our values as a community.”

To give all Richmonders an opportunity to participate in this conversation, the Valentine now offers free admission every Wednesday as long as the statue is on display.

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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.

The Valentine Receives NEH Grant for Storage Upgrades

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Receives NEH Grant for Storage Upgrades

RICHMOND – On April 13, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced a grant awarding $408,761 to The Valentine for new collection storage materials. The grant will go toward the Valentine Moment Campaign, a yearslong effort to modernize the museum’s storage facilities and strengthen the presentation of Richmond history by analyzing all 1.6 million objects in its collection.

The Valentine received the full amount requested with a 3:1 matching requirement after demonstrating its commitment to preserving local history, addressing complex social issues and engaging diverse audiences. The grant will support a $1.6 million project to purchase and install compact storage cabinetry and fixtures in the main museum building, under the umbrella of the larger $16 million Valentine Moment Campaign.

“The Valentine Moment Campaign will fortify our museum to serve Richmonders for generations to come. The NEH’s generous grant is a crucial part of our efforts,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “This infrastructure upgrade allows us to safely store important historical objects, and our goal is to use these objects to engage, challenge and inspire our community.”

The Valentine was awarded the largest grant of any other humanities project in Virginia and is in the top 8% of the 245 grant recipients across the country.

More information about the NEH grants is available here: https://www.neh.gov/news/neh-announces-3317-million-245-humanities-projects-nationwide

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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 NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

The Valentine Launches Walking Tours Throughout Richmond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Launches Walking Tours Throughout Richmond

RICHMOND – This weekend, The Valentine will begin its 2022 walking tour season, which explores neighborhoods and historic sites across Richmond. Each tour reveals little-known stories throughout history that shaped Richmond today. In addition to offering popular traditional tours and the groundbreaking augmented reality tour of Monument Avenue which first launched last summer, The Valentine will debut several new experiences.

The inaugural tour will begin at The Valentine on Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 a.m., with a complimentary breakfast served at 9:00 a.m. The tour will explore the museum’s own historic Court End neighborhood. One of the oldest Richmond neighborhoods, Court End is full of diverse stories of early Richmonders and surviving architectural gems nestled among the ever-evolving city center.

Tours are scheduled for Saturdays, Sundays and Thursdays between April 16 and October 29. The walking tours offered this year include:

  • Origin Stories: Court End
  • Murals of Jackson Ward
  • Highlights of Hollywood Cemetery
  • History of Church Hill
  • Figures of Freedom (Shockoe Bottom & Downtown)
  • Monument Avenue: Origins and Reverberations Augmented Reality
  • Ballot Battle: Richmond Suffrage (Downtown)
  • Barton Heights: Northside
  • Shockoe Hill Cemetery

Valentine Members also receive access to Director’s Tours of Church Hill, Shockoe Hill Cemetery and Northside led by Director Bill Martin.

“We’re telling some fascinating and meaningful stories that most Richmonders haven’t heard before,” said Martin. “It’s important to us to tell these stories in the places they happened. This year, we expanded our tours to include Barton Heights and Shockoe Hill Cemetery – two historically significant sites that have not seen the love and recognition they deserve.”

The full tour schedule can be found at https://thevalentine.org/events/. Tours are $20 for adults, $10 for Valentine Members and free for children under 18. Private groups and self-guided tours are also available through The Valentine’s website.

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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.

2022 Richmond History Makers Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

2022 Richmond History Makers Announced

Today, The Valentine and the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond announced the 2022 Richmond History Makers honorees. This year marks the 17th annual Richmond History Makers & Community Update, where trailblazers from the Richmond community are recognized in six different categories.

The public is invited to watch the livestream of the Richmond History Makers celebration, sponsored by Dominion Energy, on Tuesday, March 8 from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Registration is required.

“Each year, we’re proud to celebrate Richmonders who give so much to our community, but this year is exceptional, as all our honorees made significant contributions during a difficult time,” said Bill Martin, director of The Valentine. “The pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice have exposed critical issues in the Richmond area, and this resolute group of people decided to help their neighbors rather than be crushed by the challenges facing our society. They are worth celebrating for improving people’s lives and creating a stronger Richmond for generations to come.”

The 2022 honorees are:

Advancing Our Quality of Life (two honorees):
JXN Project
Francis Thompson – Art Program Manager, JLL and Community Volunteer

Championing Social Justice:
Sheba Williams – Founder and Executive Director, Nolef Turns and Community Volunteer

Creating Quality Educational Opportunities:
Jocelyn Marencik – Founder and Project Manager, Got Tec Richmond

Demonstrating Innovative Economic Solutions:
Innovate Fulton, Inc.

Improving Regional Transportation:
Senior Connections

Promoting Community Health:
Rudene Haynes – Co-Founder, “Facts and Faith Fridays”

More information on Richmond History Makers is available here: RichmondHistoryMakers.com

Past Richmond History Makers honorees are available here: https://thevalentine.org/richmond-history-makers-2/richmond-history-makers-honorees/

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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. https://thevalentine.org

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The Valentine Begins Renovations, Will Remain Open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2022

Contact:
Meredith Mason, APR
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
mmason@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Begins Renovations, Will Remain Open

RICHMOND – This month, the Valentine will begin to pack and move most of its archives and objects not on display to allow for construction to start later this year on new collection storage, staff workrooms and access spaces within the museum. Throughout the renovation process, the Valentine will remain open, including tours, exhibitions, gift shop, facility rentals and ongoing events and programs.

The move is part of the Valentine Moment Campaign, a multi-year effort to strengthen the museum’s understanding and presentation of Richmond’s significant history through renewed investment in the care of the museum’s significant assets. The project will impact researcher access to the Valentine’s collection.

The Valentine Moment Campaign is a strategic plan to review the more than one million objects acquired over the museum’s 123-year history and to remove those materials unrelated to the Valentine’s mission. The remaining objects will be housed in updated storage within the museum building, with improved staff work spaces and reading room for public research. The goal of this $16-million campaign is to ensure that every Richmonder can find themselves in the Valentine’s collection, exhibitions and programs. With dramatically refined holdings, the Valentine will be able to actively fill collecting gaps and tell a more inclusive narrative about our community.

“No other city is better equipped than Richmond to explore the complex stories of marginalized communities that are too often ignored or misrepresented,” said Bill Martin, director of the Valentine. “We hope this ambitious campaign will be a model for other institutions and better serve our beloved Richmond by being honest about our complicated racial history. Our team is committed to a bold, innovative approach to our work that reflects the diversity of the community.”

Collections access by museum staff on behalf of researchers will be significantly limited beginning February 28. Researchers should expect periods of time when only existing digital copies of materials or limited parts of the museum’s stored archival collection will be accessible. The museum’s stored objects will be completely inaccessible for the duration of the multi-year renovation. To ensure comprehensive access to the collection, research requests should be submitted before February 28 to archives@thevalentine.org. In-person, onsite research appointments will continue to be suspended until after the renovation is complete.

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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.

The Valentine Museum and Reclaiming the Monument Receive Historic Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2021

CONTACT:
Bill Martin
Director of the Valentine
bmartin@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Museum and Reclaiming the Monument Receive Historic Grant

RICHMOND – The Valentine Museum and Reclaiming the Monument are the recipients of a $670,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Monuments Project. The Monuments Project is an unprecedented $250 million commitment by the Mellon Foundation to transform the nation’s commemorative landscape by supporting public projects that more completely and accurately represent the multiplicity and complexity of American stories.

The Valentine has collaborated with Reclaiming the Monument founders and artists Dustin Klein (Technical Director) and Alex Criqui (Creative Director) to support the “Recontextualizing Richmond” public art project. This project, which will take place in 2022, will focus on the creation of a series of temporary light-based artworks addressing issues of historical, racial, and social justice in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding capital region.

“The Richmond story is America’s story. This project will bring new stories to light and encourage us to take a fresh look at our City’s history,” said Bill Martin, Director of the Valentine Museum. “We are excited to support the work of Reclaiming the Monument over the coming year. Richmond’s history has national significance and this grant from the Mellon Foundation recognizes the important opportunity we have to elevate it.”

Both organizations look forward to bringing visuals, conversations, and dialogue to the Richmond community, using primary source materials from the Valentine’s collection and other historical resources. For the Valentine, this is a unique opportunity to gather community feedback and support future projects at the museum.

The light installations, are intended to raise awareness about the neglected histories in our community as it continues to grapple with the complicated legacies of our past and how its telling has been used to shape and influence our present and future.

The collaborative nature of the project will create greater dialogue between grassroots organizations, artists, historical institutions, and the general public that will lay a foundation for how public art involving historical memory can be created in a way which is inclusive and community driven.

“It is our hope that by providing an opportunity for our community to engage with a more complete telling of our history through the power of public art that we will be able to help our city heal and move towards a future rooted in peace, justice, and equality,” said Alex Criqui, Creative Director for Reclaiming the Monument.

Recontextualizing Richmond will also produce educational resources that will be accessible to educators and students.

Additional information and details related to Reclaiming the Monument installations will be made available in early 2022. The Valentine and Reclaiming the Monument are committed to ensuring a safe and engaging event series for the Richmond community.

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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. https://thevalentine.org

Reclaiming the Monument is a Richmond, Virginia based grassroots public art project founded by artists Dustin Klein and Alex Criqui. Their work arose out of the city of Richmond’s racial justice movement in the summer of 2020 by taking a key role in community efforts to recontextualize and address the city’s long standing Confederate monuments through works of light based collaborative protest art. Reclaiming the Monument’s work has been widely featured in media and publications around the globe, notably appearing on the cover of National Geographic’s first ever “Year in Pictures” issue, and being called one of the “Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II” by the New York Times. https://www.reclaimingthemonument.com

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. https://mellon.org