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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2020

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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. 

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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.

Explore the Past on the Pulse Brings Richmonders Closer to History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2020

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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.

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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 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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2020

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Communications
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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.

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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.

Winners Announced for Competition to Rethink Monument Avenue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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:

Click for larger image

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:

Click for larger image

Center For Productive Conversations
PLAYLAB, INC.
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:

Click for larger image

Bound
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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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.

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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 the region through exhibitions, programs, events and more. To learn more, visit thevalentine.org

Richmond History Makers and Community Update Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

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.

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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/

Time Travelers: Free Admission to 19 Historic Sites in the Richmond Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

Time Travelers: Free Admission to 19 Historic Sites in the Richmond Region

RICHMOND – Time Travelers is a biannual Richmond Region tradition that invites tourists and locals to discover treasures spanning 400 years of fascinating history, including historic homes, sites and other one-of-a-kind attractions. During this event, which coincides with the annual Smithsonian’s Museum Day, a wide variety of the area’s historic sites will offer visitors a “Passport” to visit each site for free, September 21-22.

Each site will offer complimentary admission to visitors who show a Time Travelers Passport, available via download from the participating locations’ websites.

Participating locations include:

Agecroft Hall & Gardens
Agecroft Hall was first built in England in the 1500s, then transported across the ocean and rebuilt in Richmond in the 1920s. Today it is a museum furnished with art and artifacts from 17th century England. Take a 30-minute guided tour with a musical theme, stroll the manicured gardens overlooking the James River, explore the Sunroom Exhibit, get hands-on in the Tudor Kitchen, and shop in the museum store. Located just west of Carytown at 4305 Sulgrave Road in Richmond, Agecroft Hall & Gardens is open Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. 12:30-5 p.m. For more information, visit www.agecrofthall.org. To reserve a specific tour time, call 804-353-4241.

The American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy
The White House of the Confederacy, which is owned and operated by the American Civil War Museum, is open daily from 9am to 5pm. The House was home to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and his family from August 1861 until the evacuation of Richmond on April 2, 1865. It served as the political and social epicenter of wartime Richmond. With the end of the war, the House was headquarters for the U.S. Army of Occupation and became the headquarters for Military District No.1 during Reconstruction. In1870, the U.S. Government gave the House back to the City of Richmond, which used the building for its Central School until 1894. The Confederate Memorial Literary Society took possession of the property and established the Confederate Museum, which opened to the public in February, 1986. In 1976, restorations began on the House which reopened to the public in 1988.

The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design (2501 Monument Avenue—enter parking lot on Robinson Street or Park Avenue). The John Kerr Branch House is a 27,000 sq. ft. Tudor Revival Style structure designed by renowned architect John Russell Pope, with construction completed in 1919. On Saturday, September 21 from 10AM-2PM, experience a Time Travelers family build day. Family members can work in teams or in competition to complete design challenges using materials like uncooked spaghetti or gumdrops. Visitors can also tour the public areas of the National Historic Landmark and complete a scavenger hunt with riddles you’ll need the whole family to solve! For questions, call 804-655-6055 or visit www.branchmuseum.org.

The Chesterfield County Museum and Historic Jail
The Chesterfield Museum is a reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1749. A special changing exhibit highlights Chesterfield during WWI. The Old Jail, built in 1892, includes a changing exhibit “Chesterfield Remembers WWI” on display. Upstairs, visitors may view cells as they were when they housed their last prisoners in 1962. Both sites will be open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call the County Museum and Historic Jail at (804) 768-7311 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

Chimborazo Medical Museum (Richmond National Battlefield Park)
Chimborazo became one of the Civil War’s largest military hospitals. Although the hospital no longer exists, a museum on the same grounds contains original medical instruments and personal artifacts. Other displays include a scale model of the hospital and a short film on medical and surgical practices and the caregivers that comforted the sick and wounded.  The site is located at 3215 East Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia and is open for free seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (804) 226-1981 or visit www.nps.gov/rich.

Clarke-Palmore House
The Clarke-Palmore House Museum is located high atop historic Marion Hill in Henrico County. The museum interprets the lives of the Palmore family who lived on this small farm in 1930. Like other families living through the Great Depression, the Palmore family struggled to make a living during tough economic times. Self-sufficiency and frugality were the norm. The museum will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 904 McCoul Street in Henrico.  For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Courtney Road Service Station
The 1920s were the boom years for the construction of gas stations in the United States due to an increase of cars, improved roads and low gas prices. Many were built in the “House with Canopy” design like the Courtney Road Service Station, a style that was a 1916 Standard Oil Company prototype. In 1938, the Barlow family owned the station. The station was operated by Mr. Millard G. Wiltshire and sold Sinclair Gasoline and Oil Products. The station is located at 3401 Mountain Road in Glen Allen and will be open Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Dabbs House Museum
The Dabbs House, built in rural eastern Henrico in 1820, gained attention as Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s field headquarters during the summer of 1862. Learn about the history of the house from its use as a residence for the Dabbs family to its tenure as Henrico’s police headquarters from 1941 to 1971 and then as a police station until 2005. Visitors can tour the 1862 field headquarters and browse the exhibit galleries. Dabbs House Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3812 Nine Mile Road in eastern Henrico. For more information call (804) 652-3406 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Deep Run Schoolhouse
This two-room schoolhouse opened in 1902. The school was in use until 1911, offering seven grades of instruction. By folding the movable center wall the space converted into one large room for weekly square dances for the community. Henrico County moved the school to its current location, 3401 Pump Road, from Three Chopt Road in 1996. The museum will be open noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  For more information, call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia has been interpreting the life and influence of Edgar Allan Poe for the education and enjoyment of a global audience since 1922. The Museum’s collection of diverse items relating to Poe’s life and writings is the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers, and literary enthusiasts every year. Visit www.poemuseum.org for more information about our exhibits and upcoming events.

Historic St. John’s Church
A year prior to drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Thomas Jefferson attended the Second Virginia Convention held inside St. John’s Church. Alongside George Washington, Richard Henry Lee and other important figures in the American Revolution, Jefferson listened as Patrick Henry gave his now-famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. This speech ignited the American Revolution, making St. John’s a must-see landmark for anyone interested in the universal struggle for human rights. Since 1938, St. John’s Church Foundation has been charged with the preservation of St. John’s Church, now a National Historic Landmark. The Church, Visitor Center and Gift Shop will be open Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The last tour of the day takes place at 3:30 p.m. To learn more, call 804-648-5015, or visitwww.historicstjohnschurch.org.

The John Marshall House
The John Marshall House, built in 1790, was the home of the “Great Chief Justice” for forty-five years. Listed on the National and Virginia Historic Registers, the John Marshall House has undergone remarkably few changes since Marshall’s lifetime. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1907.  The John Marshall House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is located at 818 East Marshall Street in Richmond.   Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy Quoits and cornhole yard games, and open house tours. This year Ardent Brewery will be on hand selling Old Molasses Ale with proceeds benefitting The Robes Project, a fundraising effort to restore and preserve the judicial robes of 4th Chief Justice, John Marshall. For more information, call (804) 648-7998 or visit www.preservationvirginia.com/marshall

Magnolia Grange
Magnolia Grange, built in 1822 and located in Chesterfield County, is a Federal-style plantation house and is noted for its distinctive architecture. Magnolia Grange will be open 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday and 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call Magnolia Grange at (804) 748-1498.

 

 

 

 

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Businesswoman. Leader. Civil rights activist. Maggie L. Walker was all of these things, and more.  A tour of her home highlights her achievements and reminds us of the obstacles she overcame to emerge as an inspirational figure in the early twentieth century.  The Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site is located at 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond, Virginia, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tours of her home available daily, and is free of charge.  Reservations are suggested for groups of six or more. For more information and for tour times, call (804) 771-2017 ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/mawa.

Maymont
Experience the upstairs, downstairs world of Downton Abbey – without leaving Richmond! Discover the fascinating story of Maymont, a restored 1893 Gilded Age mansion given to the City of Richmond by James and Sallie Dooley. Guided tours reveal the amazing furnishings in the Dooleys’ home – including Tiffany stained glass and a swan bed – while intertwining the story of their lives with that of the African American staff who worked in service at the turn-of-the-20th century. The surrounding landscape features Italian and Japanese gardens, a carriage display, Virginia wildlife exhibits, a Farm and the Nature & Visitor Center. Carriage rides, period fashions and pastimes bring the era to life. Located at 1700 Hampton Street in the heart of Richmond, Maymont Mansion will be open Sat.-Sun. 12-5 p.m. (Grounds are open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.) For more information, call 804-358-7166 ext. 310 or visit www.maymont.org. Last tour begins at 4:30. Fees for carriage rides.

Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park
Meadow Farm is an 1860 living historical farm focusing on rural Virginia life just before the upheaval of the Civil War. Interpreters provide insights into the lives of Dr. John Mosby Sheppard, his family and those who were enslaved at the farm. Meadow Farm Museum will be open 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 3400 Mountain Road. For more information call (804) 652-1455 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

Virginia Randolph House
The Virginia Randolph Museum honors Randolph’s work as a pioneer educator for 50 years, a humanitarian, and a creative leader in the field of education. The structure, built in 1937 was declared a National Historic landmark in 1976. The museum will be open Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 2200 Mountain Road, Glen Allen. For more information call (804) 652-1475 or visit www.henrico.us/rec.

The Valentine and Wickham House
The Wickham House, built in 1812, is a spectacular example of 19th-century Federal architecture. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Wickham House explores the lives of both the Wickham Family and the home’s many enslaved occupants. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine, Jr., and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. The Valentine and the 1812 Wickham House will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and is located at 1015 East Clay Street in Richmond. The Valentine’s current exhibitions, Valentine Garden, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio and the Valentine Store will be open as well. For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org.

The Valentine First Freedom Center
The Valentine First Freedom Center delves into America’s experience of religious liberty from its European antecedents through today. It is located on the site where Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted into law by the Virginia General Assembly in 1786. Outside, a 27-foot spire, a limestone wall etched with the enacting paragraph of the Statute, and a 34-foot banner of a seminal Jefferson quote imprint the importance of the “first freedom” on all who come upon that busy corner. The Valentine First Freedom Center is located on the corner of South 14th & Cary streets and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Parking is available on the street or in public pay lots.  For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.thevalentine.org/firstfreedomcenter.

Richmond Museum Launches “Where in the World is the Valentine?” Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

Richmond Museum Launches “Where in the World is the Valentine?” Series

Promotion will use ongoing construction in the Court End Neighborhood to highlight local history

RICHMOND – A new promotional series from the Valentine launches today. “Where in the World is the Valentine?” features irreverent and informative blogs written by Valentine Director Bill Martin, focused on the ongoing construction in the neighborhood and the transformation of the VCUHealth campus, featuring topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln’s lost ghost to disappearing streets. The introductory blog can be read here.

Starting next week, local writer and comedian Beau Cribbs will appear in Facebook live videos that tie into the content of the weekly series. These videos will be accessible on the Valentine’s Facebook page.

Running Tuesday, August 6 through Tuesday, September 10, the “Where in the World is the Valentine?” series will cover unique Richmond stories on several online platforms.

Martin took Greg McQuade of WTVR CBS 6 on a walk through the neighborhood amidst the construction and discussed the aim of the new series.

“As the historic Court End Neighborhood continues to undergo dramatic changes, we wanted to use the images and stories in our collection to give visitors a new way to interact with the Valentine and other nearby institutions,” Martin said. “This blog series will give Richmonders the opportunity to have fun with the ongoing construction while attempting to navigate the neighborhood, learn more about Richmond and accept the challenge of finding the Valentine.”

Over the next six weeks, the Valentine will be releasing unique, funny and educational blogs, each authored by Martin, which will focus on highlighting a local story visitors might stumble upon as a result of getting “lost” in the Court End Neighborhood.

When attendees finally arrive at the Valentine, they will be awarded medals for being courageous enough to overcome construction, road closures and other adventures in order to discover Richmond Stories.

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About the Valentine

For over a century, the Valentine has aimed to engage, educate, and challenge a diverse audience by collecting, preserving, and interpreting Richmond’s history. From exhibitions and programs to special events and  https://thevalentine.org/.

The Valentine Names General Collections Curator, Appoints New Trustees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Names General Collections Curator, Appoints New Trustees

Christina K. Vida

RICHMOND – Following an extensive national search, the Valentine has named Christina K. Vida as the new Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections. In this new role, Vida will help oversee the  preservation and interpretation of the Valentine’s general collections, 1812 Wickham House and Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio.

Vida currently serves as the Virginia History Day Coordinator at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, and has served in a variety of roles in the public history sector, including Curator of Collections & Interpretation at Windsor Historical Society and Assistant Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Meg Hughes

Additionally, Meg Hughes, who as Curator of Archives has managed the Valentine’s archival holdings since 2004, has accepted a new position as the Director of Collections/Chief Curator.

“At the core of the Valentine’s mission is our remarkable collection of over 1.6 million objects,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “These changes to our curatorial team foster innovation and  strengthen our commitment to the continued care and access of these important historic resources. We welcome Christina to the Valentine and are excited for her to bring her unique experience to Richmond’s oldest museum.”

The Valentine has also appointed a new slate of members to the Board of Trustees. These nine individuals represent a diversity of backgrounds, areas of expertise and interests that will continue to inform the museum’s community-focused work.

The full list of new board appointees can be found below:

Ed Ayers
President Emeritus, University of Richmond

 

 

 

Tracy Kemp Stallings
Adjunct faculty, VCU Department of Health Administration

 

 

 

 

Paula Pando
President, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

 

 

 

 

Leah S. Rasmussen
Mitchell Wiggins

 

 

 

 

Susan Robertson
Founder, Capital Trees

 

Charlotte McGee
Senior Vice President and Market Sales Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Wealth Management

 

 

Austin Jones
Business Development Manager, Dominion Energy

 

 

 

Saurabh Madaan
Managing Director, Investments, Markel Corporation

 

 

 

Elaine Ryan
Partner, McGuire Woods

 

 

 

“Our new additions to the Valentine’s Board of Trustees reflect our commitment to broadening the voices at the table, “ continued Martin. “It is essential that we continue to build and support the next generation of leadership to ensure our continued growth as an institution and our relevance to the Richmond community.”

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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/

The Valentine Explores Identity Through Dress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

The Valentine Explores Identity Through Dress

A new costume and textiles show presents visitors with a peek inside the collection to see who we are by what we wear

RICHMOND – Opening today, Dressing Identity is a one-of-a-kind two-part exhibition that presents a working Costume and Textiles Collections Lab alongside a gallery filled with powerful symbols of identity.

Taken together, these galleries provide a glimpse into how both the Valentine and the larger community claim, interpret and share identity through dress.

Dressing Identity: Caring for Collections features a Collections Lab on view where visitors can watch as members of the museum’s Costume and Textile team catalog, mount, photograph, label and prepare artifacts for storage in the museum’s collection. The lab will provide museum attendees with an inside-look at how the Valentine’s historic objects are protected for generations to come.

In the adjacent gallery and as a companion to Dressing Identity: Caring For Collections, Dressing Identity: Understanding Ourselves presents visible manifestations of grief, pride, honor, ambition, fear and joy. These objects from our collection speak in a broad array of symbolic languages that reflect the rich diversity of Richmond but also communicate a message that is shared by everyone.

“As visitors make their way through these two separate but unified galleries, I hope they will be touched by someone’s story and gain a better understanding of how we express who we are by what we wear,” said Kristen Stewart, the Nathalie L. Klaus Curator of Costume & Textiles. “I hope that the stories on view in both galleries inspire visitors to seek out deeper connections in their community.”

Dressing Identity will be on-view at the Valentine from May 1, 2019 to January 26, 2020 in the Nathalie L. Klaus Gallery on the Valentine’s lower level.

 

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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 Valentine Costume and Textiles Collection
The Costume and Textiles Collection at the Valentine comprises over 30,000 dress, accessory and textile objects made, sold, worn or used in Virginia from the late 18th century to the present day. The largest of its kind in the American South, this collection enjoys an international reputation among fashion and textile scholars.