Richmond and Redlining












Students will explore the Valentine’s This is Richmond, VA exhibition along with materials from the museum’s archives to examine the similarities between real life in Richmond and the national narrative discussed in the Lorraine Hansbury play, Raisin in the Sun. Using Valentine exhibitions, primary sources and archival materials, students will think critically about local examples of themes from the play, redlining and housing segregation, and their impact on Richmond historically through present day.

Program Objectives: Students will analyze archival materials and compare and contrast to the historical narrative presented in the Lorraine Hansbury play Raisin in the Sun to understand how how issues surrounding redlining and housing segregation played out in Virginia’s capitol city.

Program can be augmented for groups who have not yet read Raisin in the Sun.



What Makes a Neighborhood?












This multi-session, project-based outreach program brings a museum educator and materials to the classroom, engaging students in the process of creating a history tour about their school or neighborhood. During this 8 session program, students develop mapping, research, speaking and leadership skills and increase their understanding of the role Richmond played in state and national history.

Limited availability, inquire for more information. Program length and format can be customized for class subject and schedule. 

Program Objectives: Students will learn about the history and the space surrounding their school, will work with primary and secondary sources to develop mapping and research skills, will compare past and present events, will develop a historical narrative and will develop presentation skills.


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Controversy/History Series

In 2037, how would you like Richmond to look, work and feel?

This year, the Valentine’s Controversy/History series will partner with Richmond 300, the city’s master planning process, to explore big questions about the kind of city we hope to become. By comparing the debates of the past with contemporary data and modern issues, we’ll explore how Richmond’s complicated history can help us shape our shared future.

Each event is co-hosted by Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon, with expert speakers and a moderated, in-depth conversation among attendees.

The full schedule of 2019-2020 dates and topics can be found below. Controversy/ History is free and open to the public!

October 1, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
This Land is Whose Land?
Access & Equity in Land Use

November 5, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
Are We There Yet?
Transportation & Parking in Richmond

December 3, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
Is the Grass Greener?
Access to the City’s Green Spaces

January 7, 2020, 6-8 p.m.
Can We Get Down to (Black) Business?
Black-Owned Businesses in Richmond

February 4, 2020, 6-8 p.m.
Who’s Putting Our House in Order?
The City’s Eviction & Housing Challenge


33rd Annual Court End Christmas


The 33rd Court End Christmas will take place Sunday, December 8, from 12 to 4 p.m. Free admission and shuttle transportation will be provided to the following historic sites:

The Valentine, the Valentine First Freedom Center, The Executive MansionHistoric St. John’s ChurchVirginia State CapitolThe John Marshall HouseMonumental Church, American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy and Masons’ Hall

This fun community tradition includes children’s activities, performances, refreshments, gift shops, music, tours and much much more.

We’re excited to welcome The Urban Hang Suite, who will be on-site selling hot beverages and Ardent, who will be pouring their Valentine-inspired Winter Warmer beer. Attendees can also enjoy pizza from the Zorch Pizza food truck and music from 103.7 PLAY.

A full list of performances and activities at the Valentine (SHUTTLE STOP A/H):

You can enjoy even more activities at the other eight historic sites:

The John Marshall House (SHUTTLE STOP B): Preservation Virginia‘s John Marshall House is a short walk from the Valentine and the second stop on our bus route. They will be offering mini tours of the Chief Justice’s historic home every 15 minutes. Additionally, Silhouettes by Blane will be cutting silhouette portraits on a first come, first served basis.


The Virginia State Capitol (SHUTTLE STOP C): Designed by Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia State Capitol is one of nine sites taking part on Sunday, December 8. The capitol will offer Court End Christmas attendees hourly guided tours, and you’re invited to discover the history of this National Historic Landmark throughout the day.


The Executive Mansion (SHUTTLE STOP C): The Executive Mansion, home of Virginia Governors since 1813, is back for Court End Christmas 2019. The Mansion will be offering walk-through tours with guides on hand to provide information and answer questions. Cookies will also be available on a first come, first served basis.


The Valentine First Freedom Center (SHUTTLE STOP D): At the First Freedom Center, visitors will be able to enjoy gallery talks about the history of religious freedom. Visitors will be able to explore the space and see the First Freedom Monument where the General Assembly met during the American Revolution.


Masons’ Hall (SHUTTLE STOP E): National Historic Landmark Masons’ Hall will be holding an open house for Court End Christmas visitors. They will be offering tours for attendees to discover the history behind the oldest continuously operating Masonic Lodge in North America.


Historic St. John’s Church (SHUTTLE STOP F)St. John’s Church will be open for Court End Christmas from 1:00-5:00 offering tours and photos with Colonial Santa. This historic location will also have colonial crafts and refreshments available in the Visitor Center.


Monumental Church (SHUTTLE STOP G): Main Street A Capella will be performing for Court End Christmas audiences at Historic Richmond’s Monumental Church from 2:00-2:30 and again at 3:00-3:30. Monumental Church will also be offering tours throughout the day.


The American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy (SHUTTLE STOP A/H): The White House of the Confederacy will be offering Court End Christmas visitors stationed tours from noon to 4 p.m. They will also be providing light refreshments and children’s crafts.


Below, you can see the map for each bus stop. You can also access it HERE:



Richmond and the Civil War Bus Tour












On this guided bus tour with stops at Capitol Square, historic Tredegar, and the Museum of the Confederacy or the Virginia Historical Society, students examine Richmond’s role in the Civil War and the major events that took place here.


Richmond’s African American Heritage Bus Tour












On this guided bus tour, with a stop at the Maggie Walker Historic Site (exterior) or the Black History Museum and Capitol Square, students explore the important role that African Americans Richmonders played in our city and state’s history.

Customize your tour and let us know if you’d like to include an interior visit of the Capitol or the Maggie Walker Historic Site.


Curation and Creation: Wallpaper Designs












Tour the 1812 Wickham House and discover how a piece of wallpaper found during a renovation solved a mystery about Wickham family style and décor. This program was designed in collaboration with local printmaking studio, Studio Two Three, and includes a hands-on art making activity.

Program Objectives: Students will learn about daily life in the Wickham House, compare and contrast historical perspectives and apply evidence from primary source material to historical thinking.


Revolution and Rebellion Walking Tour












Walk through Richmond’s historic Church Hill neighborhood and learn about the City’s role during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Tour stops include the site of Elizabeth Van Lew’s mansion, St. John’s Church (exterior)* and Libby Hill.

* An interior visit to St. John’s church can be arranged at an additional cost of $5 per student and $6 per adult.


Hollywood Cemetery Walking Tour












Stroll through Hollywood Cemetery and explore the history and landscape that comprises this public space. This walking tour focuses on the cemetery’s unique history, its landscape design, architecture, symbols and noted residents including two U.S. Presidents and writer Ellen Glasgow.



Capitol Square Walking Tour












This guided walking tour explores Capitol Square’s rich history, architecture and monuments. When scheduling your program, let us know if you’d like to arrange an interior Capitol tour at no additional cost.