Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic
Despite years of medical and social progress, misconceptions about HIV/AIDS persist today. The disease is viewed by many as a scourge of the past that is now easily treatable and primarily impacting gay white men. However, the numbers reveal a more complicated story—one in which gay African-American men have a 1 in 2 chance of acquiring HIV/AIDS.
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. Featuring oral histories collected by Laura Browder and Patricia Herrera with accompanying photographic portraits by Michael Simon, Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic offers a nuanced look at the HIV/AIDS crisis through the stories of survivors, caregivers, activists and health care workers on the front lines.
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.
Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Roaring Twenties, the Valentine presents Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond, an exhibition of costume, textiles, art and artifacts in the Nathalie L. Klaus and Reynolds Family Galleries. The 1920s are remembered in America as a decade that “roared” with change, including urban expansion, equal suffrage, social integration, jazz music, fast dancing and short hemlines. In Richmond, the decade’s seismic social shifts unfolded against a backdrop of conservative values. Like the popular 1929 tune of the same name, Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond presents a playful commentary on Richmond’s mixed reaction to the Roaring Twenties amid a sparkling display of some of the 1920s fashions worn in the city.
DONT TOUCH MY HAIR rva
Based on footage collected during a Richmond-based documentary directed by Dr. Chaz Antoine Barracks, PhD, DONT TOUCH MY HAIR rva explores diverse African American identity through stories of Black hair experiences. Featuring images by DeAudrea ‘Sha’ Rich and Nicholas Taylor, this media-arts project looks at Black identity by both centering and creating spaces that embody Black cultural production—and understanding everyday Black life as fine art. Beauty salons and other Black-owned locations are included as spaces of community and uninhibited joy. Look through the camera lens to explore nuanced and imaginative concepts of Black homes, which provide space to exist freely and authentically. Originally planned for a gallery space, the project paused as the creators considered how to present an art exhibition in the pandemic era. Now, experience DTMHrva at the Valentine as an exterior installation and through new film presented at the Afrikana Independent Film Festival.
Artists work featured in this current exhibition project are: DeAudrea ‘Sha’ Rich, Nicholas Taylor, NontsiKelelo Mutiti, Wes Taylor, Dr. Pamela Lawton, Tawnya “Dr. T” Pettiford-Wates, Nicholas Vega, Sasha Williams, Johannes Barfield, Christine Wyatt, Christina Nicole Miles, and many more from the Richmond Black arts community.
#BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage
To highlight the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, #BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage uses modern social media platforms to profile five Richmond viewpoints and the racial and generational tensions that each exposed. Between 1909 and 1920, both pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage advocates battled tenaciously, using all the platforms available to persuade both the legislature and the general public. While they could not use Twitter or Facebook, they did rely on newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, postcards, banners, and personal accessories to proclaim their viewpoints. Just like our complicated social media battles today, the final political and legal outcome was never a foregone conclusion.
Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion
Following Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607-2018), the Valentine is hosting Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion. The Storefront for Community Design and the mObstudiO at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts invited teams of planners, architects, designers, artists and individuals to participate in a national design competition to conceptually re-imagine Monument Avenue and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about race, memory, the urban landscape and public art. The finalists are featured in this one-of-a-kind exhibition at the Valentine.
Visit www.monumentavenuegdgd.com for details.