The Valentine First Freedom Center, Monticello Celebrate Religious Freedom Day

December 8, 2018

Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing

The Valentine First Freedom Center, Monticello Celebrate Religious Freedom Day

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and First Lady Pamela Northam to Deliver Remarks

RICHMOND — The Valentine First Freedom Center and Monticello are partnering to sponsor an open press Religious Freedom Day Celebration on Wednesday, January 16, the anniversary of the signing of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

The Valentine First Freedom Center, located in Shockoe Slip at the site of the original General Assembly Building where the statute was signed in 1786, will welcome museum guests, local religious leaders and legislators beginning at 9 a.m. to experience the exhibition space.

At 10 a.m., Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam will deliver remarks. Bill Barker, as Thomas Jefferson, will also be on hand to read excerpts from the historic Statute.

“The Valentine First Freedom Center is dedicated to commemorating and educating about freedom of conscience as proclaimed in Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom,” Valentine Director Bill Martin said. “We are excited to take that commemoration to new heights with this celebration, and we’re looking forward to working alongside Monticello to honor the ideals codified in the Statute and the worldwide impact of those words some 232 years later.”

“We are delighted to co-host this event with The Valentine First Freedom Center,” said Monticello Vice President of Visitor Programs, Gary Sandling. “Thomas Jefferson believed that freedom of conscience was essential to the success of a self-governing people, and no more so than in matters of faith. For Jefferson, this statute established the principle that no citizen should be denied participation in public life on the basis of their religious belief nor suffer persecution from their fellow citizens.”


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, Through exhibitions, programs, events and more, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. To learn more, visit

About The Thomas Jefferson Foundation
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to bring history forward into national and global dialogues by engaging audiences with Jefferson’s world and ideas and inviting them to experience the power of place at Monticello. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark, a United Nations World Heritage Site and a Site of Conscience. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation’s regular operating budget does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. For information, visit