Made in Church Hill Exhibition to Open at the Valentine

The Valentine, in conjunction with the University of Richmond (UR), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) and its Academy, is excited to present the exhibition Made in Church Hill, which opens on January 22, 2015 at the Valentine. The exhibition will be on display through June 28, 2015. A free community opening is planned for Thursday, January 22, 6-8 p.m. at the Valentine. Made in Church Hill was generously supported by the Robins Foundation, and, in part, by a grant from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Council for Community Engagement.

“Bringing the Richmond community inside the museum is at the heart of what the Valentine does. Our Stettinius Community Galleries are intended to be a place where residents and visitors alike can experience and discuss a wide variety of topics that affect the city. We are thrilled that Made in Church Hill is the inaugural exhibition for the Community Galleries, as this project is truly collaborative and community-generated,” said Meg Hughes, Curator of Archives at the Valentine.

The ever-evolving identity and personality of our neighborhoods is a topic that everyone can relate to, as we all live somewhere. Hearing differing perspectives about Church Hill’s past, present and hopes for the future show just how varied a place it is and what many meanings it holds for its residents.

Although hailed as Richmond’s latest hip neighborhood, Church Hill was founded centuries ago – and includes the vantage point for which the city of Richmond was named. It is a neighborhood whose ethnic and racial composition has shifted dramatically over the last century.

Made in Church Hill, spearheaded by UR’s Laura Browder and Patricia Herrera and VCU’s Michael Lease and Traci Garland, pairs oral-history panels, sound recordings, and photographic portraits of residents and church members, many of whom live in North Church Hill, as well as others who are involved in the larger Church Hill community. The exhibition includes a multi-channel sound piece by artist Vaughn W. Garland with portions of interviews conducted by UR students; sound poems written and performed by CHAT students; and audio clips from field recordings taken in Church Hill.

Additional events are planned around the exhibition that include a Community Conversation on Church Hill on Tuesday, February 3, 6-8 p.m. and an accompanying bus tour of the neighborhood on Saturday, February 7, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The Community Conversation is free and open to the public however the tour is $25 for the general public and $20 for Valentine Members and children under the age of 12. Reservations are required for the tour since space is limited.

On Saturday, April 18, 3-5 p.m., the Valentine will host Church Hill Speaks, during which CHAT students will give spoken word performances. The event is free and open to the public.


About the Valentine
The Valentine preserves, conserves and interprets Richmond,Virginia history and diverse community issues by focusing on urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. It is the only institution in the country committed solely to this mission and it is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It houses a 40,000-piece collection of textiles and costumes, one of the largest Western collections of its kind. The Valentine maintains more than one million photographic images of the city, and 25,000 decorative arts pieces, including portraits, furniture and domestic items. Its research library provides primary source material for national and international scholars. The Valentine-owned 1812 John Wickham House is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

About the University of Richmond
University of Richmond blends the intimacy of a small college with exceptional academic, research and cultural facilities and opportunities usually found only at large institutions. It offers a unique combination of undergraduate and graduate programs through its schools of arts and sciences, business, leadership studies, law and continuing studies.Richmond is recognized by virtually every college guide as one of America’s best private, liberal arts universities. University of Richmond is one of just a few colleges in the nation to be both need-blind in making admission decisions for domestic undergraduate students and committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need for all accepted students. Honored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with the community engagement classification, the University has long been an active participant in the Richmond city and region and is committed to preparing students to be active citizens in a complex world. The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement leads this effort with a focus on collaborative and sustained partnerships and educationally-grounded community engagement. Through courses, research projects, volunteerism, fellowships, discussion series, and reflection, the CCE transforms student learning, deepens faculty engagement, and partners with community organizations for social change.

About Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU 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 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities. With a distinguished faculty of professional artists and 16 departments, including Craft/Material Studies, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Dance and Choreography, Graphic Design, Music, Painting and Printmaking, Photography and Film, Sculpture + Extended Media, and Theatre, the VCU School of the Arts has been the top-ranked public university visual arts and design graduate program in the country for 12 years, according to U.S. News & World Report. Its campus in Qatar provides students and faculty with a direct tie to the Middle East, a region of increasing significance in the contemporary art world.

About Church Hill Activities & Tutoring
Church Hill Activities & Tutoring (CHAT) is an intentional, faith-based community of neighbors and friends in the neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond, Virginia. By establishing strong connections through one-on-one tutoring, mentorship, enrichment activities and immersion in a supportive and nurturing community, they seek to teach skills and values that will empower the youth of their neighborhood. Their core purpose is to equip and serve the youth of Church Hill to make transformative decisions.

About Church Hill Academy
Church Hill Academy (CHA) is a faith-based, independent coed high school and part of the nonprofit organization Church Hill Activities & Tutoring (CHAT). It is the only independent high school in the neighborhood. The Academy’s top priority is meeting the academic needs of youth from the East End of Richmond, VA. It provides individualized and holistic education, a safe and engaging environment for learning, and all the courses Virginia requires to complete the 9-12th grade. While scripture, prayer, and weekly chapel are a part of the school schedule, students are not required to be or become Christians. The Academy is a member of the StreetSchool Network™, a national group of private schools working to meet the needs of youth and reduce the national high school dropout rate. Member schools educate the “whole student” through programs encompassing academic rigor, career preparation, life-skills building, economic literacy and spiritual development.