Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: “Beautiful: the Carol King Musical” at Altria Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 1:20 PM

Julia Knitel as Carole King during a big payoff moment at Carnegie Hall in "Beautiful."
  • Julia Knitel as Carole King during a big payoff moment at Carnegie Hall in "Beautiful."

Jukebox musicals rely on crowd-pleasing songs and “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical” has plenty of genuinely great ones.

It tells the story of two legendary songwriting couples -- King and husband Gerry Goffin and friends Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil -- who formed a healthy competition while cranking out pop hits in the 1960s and 1970s. Warm blasts of nostalgia are always right around the corner whether its "Will You Still Love Tomorrow" or "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." None of their duds or misfires are included, mind you, only the classics.

The question is whether the story of King’s relationship struggles with Goffin and her budding confidence as a solo artist is enough to keep audiences hooked between the hits? The answer is yes, thanks to snappy writing and humorous performances from the main cast, particularly Mann and Weil (James Michael Lambert and Erika Olson), who seem as if they deserve their own musical comedy, or at least a run-of-the-mill Woody Allen movie.

Sure, you’re watching a condensed version of a rise-to-fame story with clichéd secondary characters, not to mention major social upheaval reduced to the passing acknowledgment that “change is happening.” But you won’t mind, thanks in large part to Julia Knitel’s central performance as King, a winning mix of gawky smarts, sheer talent and humbleness. A groundbreaking musical force, at heart she's a traditional Jewish mother who wants to raise a family in the suburbs, yet her talent keeps calling.

From the beginning, you’ll be rooting for her thanks to her resiliency and good nature. It’s almost as if the musical echoes the “I’m OK, you’re OK” pop culture ethos of the early 1970s. The bad relationship fights are tame and quickly resolved, even when Goffin ends up hospitalized from a nervous breakdown. Yet the mechanics of this touring production keep finely humming, making it one of the more enjoyable jukebox musicals I’ve seen.

The staging and rotating sets are solid, providing the right mix of brisk, big dance numbers by groups who covered King’s songs, as well as poignant solo piano moments that drive home the personal meanings behind the lyrics. Nothing seems to drag on too long and there’s always a little comedic relief when things threaten to get serious. It’s clear the original makers of “Beautiful” were working on perfecting a formula found in other musicals such as “Jersey Boys” and “Dreamgirls.”

After a catalog of challenges for King, you’re just waiting for her "Tapestry" breakthrough to redeem the hopes and dreams of a true-believer obsessed with music from the age of 16. And to watch the audience leave on a high note.

You know what’s coming, yet it’s still an enjoyable ride.

Broadway in Richmond presents “Beautiful — the Carol King Musical” from April 25-30 at the Altria Theatre, with matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets from $43. altriatheater.com.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Richmond’s Studio

A photographer finds diversity at the Richmond Public Library.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Photographer Kim Frost is conducting an interactive art project out of the main branch of the Richmond Public Library at 101 E. Franklin St. - JACKIE KRUSZEWSKI
  • Jackie Kruszewski
  • Photographer Kim Frost is conducting an interactive art project out of the main branch of the Richmond Public Library at 101 E. Franklin St.

While City Council debates the libraries’ shrinking budget, one local photographer has made the Main Library the setting for an art project about Richmond.

If you’ve walked up to the second floor landing of the downtown branch this month, you’ve walked through Kim Frost’s studio and gallery.

“The library is the grand equalizer,” Frost says. “It attracts so many different types of people from all walks of life. Everyone can pick up a book and travel somewhere else. Everybody can come here and get your GED. There are tons of people willing to help.”

It’s that variety she wants to capture.

Large black and white photographs -- the faces of library patrons and some employees -- cover the walls of the landing space. Subjects will take their prints home after the exhibit closes but Frost will put the images into a book called “A Portrait of Richmond.” The book celebrating the diversity of the city will stay in the library’s permanent collection.

“Bring your feet together,” Frost tells James Davis. “One more big laugh.”

Several clicks and flashes later, Davis is immortalized. Davis was at the library helping a young friend fill out job applications, but he was happily waylaid by Frost for a picture. “I think it's a great thing she's doing -- it's interesting,” he says. “And everybody likes to have their picture taken -- like, oh it's about me now.”

Kim Frost takes James Davis' photograph. - JACKIE KRUSZEWSKI
  • Jackie Kruszewski
  • Kim Frost takes James Davis' photograph.

Frost says she’s surprised by how easy it’s been to get people to in front of the camera. “We live in this selfie mindset,” she says. “But there are people who just don't have an opportunity to be photographed in a way where someone actually took the time to care about the light and pose them and make sure their hair wasn't in their eyes. I wanted to create that, facilitate that.”

She wanted the space to evoke the traditional portrait studios that families used to go to. But she doesn’t need people in their Sunday best, she says. She likes the range of looks she’s getting.

“I'm trying to get people to understand that it can be a little bit more conceptual, a little bit more artful,” Frost says.

And she’s pushing people a little bit outside their comfort zones. “It's not really a traditional art show. It’s kind of more like interactive performance art.”

Add that to the list of public library services.

Frost will be photographing at Main Library for two more sessions: April 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The photographs will show through Tuesday, May 2.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview: Numero Group Founder Ken Shipley

Chicago archival label stopping at Strange Matter today for pop-up sale.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:15 AM

The cover of "Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music" from Numero Group, one of the nation's most revered archival labels.
  • The cover of "Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music" from Numero Group, one of the nation's most revered archival labels.

Annual Record Store Day was just held on Saturday, historically a boon for sales at most of Richmond's vinyl outlets.

If you have any money left, music fans can keep scratching that itch today when esteemed Chicago archival label, the Numero Group, stops at Strange Matter (from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) on it's national pop-up store tour, offering deals aplenty on their fine releases.

The traveling record roadshow consists of "two guys, a box truck, and seven pallets teeming with Numero LPs, CDs, 45s, t-shirts, books and other additional miscellany your local record store isn't carrying," according to a release.

We caught up with Ken Shipley, founder of Numero, via e-mail, to learn a little more about the unusual tour.

Style: What inspired you to do this?

Shipley: As the record economy evolves from physical to streaming, there's a small but vocal consumer that still very much wants a tactile experience. We've been doing pop up stores for years in Chicago and New York, but the market for Numero can be nearly as strong in a place like Richmond based on the fact that there's no way any store can carry all of our 300+ titles.

How is it working out financially for the label, how much of a boost is it?

The numbers are certainly a factor here, as the Factory Outlet is a great short term fundraiser. But the real boost we get is to the overall brand. Thousands of people will show up over the course of this tour, all of them connecting to Numero in their own small way. People rarely buy one Numero album and then stop. These stores are a gateway.

What are they learning about their audience through touring?

Our fans are being wildly underserved at retail. We get it, stores can only afford to carry so much of one label. But by not carrying a healthy amount of our catalog, this is the only way to give them a retail experience.

And what are the future plans (expand, continue touring) where does it go from here, basically?

We'd love to say we're going to do this every year, but with the shift to streaming we can imagine a time in the new future where we carry a very small amount of physical stock. If you don't have 300 unique records, there's not going to be very much for people to buy. AS long as we have a lot of stock, we'll continue.

Anything else you could tell me about what titles they'll be carrying?

Blow-out priced LPs, CDs, and 45s, exclusive mix tapes, a few of those Detroit-only Third Man 45s we pressed up, copies of Record Store Day releases, and a couple new titles that aren't even out yet.

The Numero Factory Outlet is held today at Strange Matter from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Couple Planning Kids Store on Broad

Holding dance party and fundraiser at Blue Bones Vintage this Sunday.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Devan Bryant, 4, models one of the shirts from her parents' clothing line, Little Nomad.
  • Devan Bryant, 4, models one of the shirts from her parents' clothing line, Little Nomad.

Anthony Bryant has been wanting for years to start his own retail shop and he believes he’s finally come up with a winner.

Bryant and his wife Nora are holding a kids dance party this Sunday at Blue Bones vintage. The occasion is to help their Indiegogo campaign raise money to open a Broad Street store, Little Nomad, which will cater to kids and modern parents.

“It’s kind of like [Carytown’s] Mongrel but in a kid/family version,” Bryant says.

The store plans to offer a little bit of everything from clothing and books to toys and little gifts as well as featuring local vendors. Their online campaign already has raised $3,348 (ten days in) and is hoping to reach $17,000. They’ve signed a letter of intent for the space at 104 W. Broad St.

Bryant has a retail background. He worked at Urban Outfitters for nine years and still works mornings at Ledbury as well as at the non-profit Robinson Theater in North Church Hill. He and his wife have a four-year-old, Devan, and a two-year-old, Myka.

“After having kids and trying to shop for kids in the city, I realized there was a void for this area,” he says. “We want this to be a place where all feel comfortable. I know we’ve had some in the past that didn’t feel accessible to everyone.”

Bryant started Little Nomad two years ago as a family travels blog, then it morphed into t-shirt making with a hip-hop feel.

“The overall vibe of Little Nomad is ‘Hey young world, the world is yours,’” he says, noting that the original idea behind the t-shirts was to generate money to start for the brick and mortar shop. You can check out their shirts online here.

Nora Bryant, an early childhood special educator, says she’s watched her husband take all the traditional routes to raise money without much success.

“While crowd funding feels a little uncomfortable for us, we decided to swallow our pride and reach out to our community, family and friends,” she says via e-mail.

Bryant, who is also a deejay, is trying to focus on the modern parent. He says the shop will have a clean, strong aesthetic that he’s learned from his years of retail.

At this weekend’s party, they’ll be having give-a-ways from local merchants. Bryant also is a mentor to an Art180 student and would love to offer training programs in the future for retail, or offer their space for community workshops.

“We’re really focused on having a relationship with our community as well as seeing Broad Street come back as far as retail is concerned,” he adds. “I’ve talked to plenty of people who still want to touch and feel. I don’t think brick and mortar on a local level is dead at all.”

The Kids Dance party goes down on Sunday, April 23 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Steady Sounds and Blue Bones Vintage space at 322 W. Broad St.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Richmond Ballet More Than Half Way Down "Road to the Future"

State ballet announces $10 million fundraising drive at Dominion.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Founding Artistic Director Stoner Winslett speaks at a press conference at Dominion Resources on Wednesday.
  • Founding Artistic Director Stoner Winslett speaks at a press conference at Dominion Resources on Wednesday.

The Richmond Ballet, who only two years ago toured four cities in China, has announced a new $10 million dollar fundraising campaign.

Best part? $6.35 million has already been raised by the ballet's generous donors.

Founding Artistic Director Stoner Winslett spoke at an evening press conference on Wednesday at Dominion Resources and noted that the purpose of the "Road to the Future" campaign was to support core needs.

The breakdown of the money is as follows: $1 million for education; $1.3 million for national and international touring; $2.275 million for building enhancements; $1.925 million for creative capital, and $3.5 million for endowment.

Campaign Chairs David R. Beran, Thomas F. Farrell II, and John A. Luke Jr. explained that given how far the Ballet has come since 1957, “the time is now to take Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, to the next level of support,” according to a press release.

Campaign director William Hancock tells Style that the ballet hopes to start renovations this summer and that anyone interested in donating can contact him at 344-0906 ext. 270.

Up next for the ballet will be a New York tour, May 9 through 14 at the Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave. at the corner of 19th street.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Interview: Cheryl Pallant on This Weekend’s Inaugural RVA Lit Crawl

The event features over 70 local authors giving free readings around the city.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Cheryl Pallant was inspired to start the inaugural RVA Lit Crawl (or litcrawl) this weekend by a similar event she read about in Denver. Over 70 local authors are giving free readings.
  • Cheryl Pallant was inspired to start the inaugural RVA Lit Crawl (or litcrawl) this weekend by a similar event she read about in Denver. Over 70 local authors are giving free readings.

This is a big weekend for the local literary scene.

If you’re looking for a wide sampling of the writing talent Richmond has to offer – the inaugural (free) RVA Lit Crawl is being held in various venues around the city on Friday evening, April 21 and all day Saturday, April 22.

There are over 70 local authors involved. Event are organized around everything from queer voices at Babe’s in Carytown to sisters-in-crime at Fountain Bookstore, sci-fi and fantasy at Urban Farmhouse in Shockoe Slip to biography at Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream and poetry at Stir Crazy.

You can catch established writers such as Dean King and David Robbins at Quirk Hotel, as well as acclaimed, up-and-coming talents such as Patrick Dacey, who has a new novel out, “The Outer Cape,” and who will be reading as part of Stop Making Sense line-up at Greenbriar Café on Friday night.

We asked a few quick questions of organizer Cheryl Pallant about this weekend's event and also included a list of scheduled readers around the city following the Q&A. You can also visit their website for more info. (And yes, it is supposed to rain a bit this weekend, so what better time to catch a reading?)

Style Weekly: How did the idea come about?

Cheryl Pallant: The idea was birthed while writing – I was working on book number two of three books for which I’ve been contracted to write – and allowed myself to be distracted by Facebook. I saw that a friend was involved in a Denver litcrawl. A vision for a Richmond litcrawl immediately formed. We’re a city of many fine writers in every genre. We have several fine independent book stories as well. A litcrawl seemed like a wonderful way to celebrate our writing talent. When I posted a call to writers on Facebook, many responded quickly with enthusiasm.

What are you most excited about?

I get excited by community arts events and that so many writers got on board. I’m glad that both experienced, multi-book authors as well as new authors are involved. I’m looking forward to mapping out which of the 15 readings to attend, participating in the conversations that an event like this generates, and attending the After Party at CanCan that all readers and their audiences are invited to.

How did you choose the authors involved?

The event came together relatively easily. A small group of us volunteered to organize. We each put out word to our local writer networks that we were looking for fellow writers to put together readings. We had a few guidelines, like limiting readings to an hour and choosing a venue within the city. But each reading organizer could choose the writers, the theme, and the venue.

Where do you hope this goes? Do you plan to make it annual event and grow it larger?

I can better answer this question after the event, but I do hope it becomes a yearly tradition.

Here’s a rundown of where to go:

Friday night, April 21

From 6 to 7 p.m

Queer Voices at Babes in Carytown with author Patricia Smith (“The Year of Needy Girls”) and poet Wendy DeGroat (“Beautiful Machinery”) as well as Annette Marquis, Aiden McKenna and Michael Todd.

Richmond Young Writers @ Richmond Young Writers: featuring Bird Cox, Gbari Allen Garrett, Georgia Leipold-Vitiello, Fran McDaniel, Tom Pollard, Sincere Reading and Suzanne Reamy.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Evil One at Chop Suey Books, featuring Tom Batten, Andrew Blossom, Katy Resch George, Hermine Pinson, Rebecca Taylor.

Life in 10 Minutes at Richmond Young Writers, featuring Phoebe Guider, Valley Haggard, Kristina Cotis Hamlett, Jer Long, Rosie Messer, Tim McCready, Hope Whitby and Samantha Willis.

9 to 10 p.m.

The Originals at Quick Hotel (each writer will read new work): Phaedra Hise, Dean King, Howard Owen, and David L. Robbins.

Stop Making Sense at Greenbriar Café featuring Patrick Dacey, Christopher Irving, Zach Marson, Lauren Miner and Timothy Wenzell.

Saturday, April 22:

2 to 3 p.m.

Fiction Factory at Urban Farmhouse in Scott’s Addition, featuring Ron Andrea, Helen Foster, Jamie Fueglein, Lenore Gay, Megan Holley and Will Paoletto.

Poetry at Stir Crazy, featuring Ian Bodkin, Gail Giewont, Derek Kannemayer, Gregory Kimbrell and Brittney Scott.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m

Poetic Voice at Urban Farmhouse in Scott’s Addition with Kathleen Graber, Joanna Lee, Lea Marshall, Cheryl Pallant. James River Writers/River City Secrets at St. John’s Church’s Parish Hall featuring Hazel Buys, Melissa Bybee, Katharine Armstrong Herndon (moderator) and A.B. Westrick.

5 to 6 p.m.

Sisters in Crime at Fountain Bookstore featuring Mary Burton, Maggie King, Kristin Kisska, Mary Miley, Rosemary Shomaker, LynDee Walker, and Heather Weidner.

Biography at Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream, featuring Brian Burns, Emilie Raymond, Isabelle Richman, and Ryan K. Smith.

6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy at Urban Farmhouse in Shockoe Slip, featuring Bill Blume, Meriah Crawford, Dennis Danvers, J.T. Glover, and Eric Smith. Criminal Minds: A Reading by Three YA Authors at HI Richmond Hostel, featuring Anne Blankman, Lamar Giles, and Meg Medina.

8 to 9 p.m.

Place at Sugar and Twine featuring Dale Brumfield, Elizabeth Hodges, Harry Kollatz, Jr. Nathan Vernon Madison, and Virginia Pye.

9:30 to 11:30

After party at Can Can. Books will be available for sale and authors available to sign them.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Pick: Robyn Hitchcock at Capital Ale House on April 19

Legendary English singer will also be signing albums at Plan 9.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 4:20 PM

The Plan 9 Records website says this Wednesday will be the first time in Richmond for legendary English musician, Robyn Hitchcock.
  • The Plan 9 Records website says this Wednesday will be the first time in Richmond for legendary English musician, Robyn Hitchcock.

In a show that seemed to come out of the blue, English singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock will be performing solo at Capital Ale House downtown on Wednesday, April 19 with country singer Cale Tyson.

First gaining notice with the Soft Boys in the 1970s, Hitchcock has led a prolific solo career since the 1980s, releasing over 20 albums, many of them critically acclaimed. The most recent is 2014's "The Man Upstairs" produced by Joe Boyd (Nick Drake); a new self-titled release is on the way this Friday. The singer also was the subject of a documentary film, "Storefront Hitchcock," from Jonathan Demme in 1998.

On Wednesday at 2 p.m., Hitchcock will stop by Plan 9 Records in Carytown for an in-store signing, according to owner Jim Bland, who also notes that Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 22.

Robyn Hitchcock and Cale Tyson perform at the Capital Ale House downtown on Wednesday, April 19 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $25.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Check Out the Huge New Sculpture Installed Outside VMFA

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 4:45 PM

"Chloe" by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. The work represents the second piece in the VMFA’s outdoor commissioning strategy.
  • "Chloe" by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. The work represents the second piece in the VMFA’s outdoor commissioning strategy.

Workers at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts have just installed a massive new sculpture named "Chloe" in the Robins Sculpture Garden. The 24-foot-tall piece by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa is visible from both the Boulevard and Grove Avenue.

The museum commissioned the piece as part of its five-year strategic plan to add site-specific pieces to the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden, a popular spot for yoga and to just hang out on a sunny day (like today).

Although nobody was available today to answer Style questions about cost and other technical aspects, a horticulture specialist who will be filling in the marked off area that holds the work told us it looks especially nice in the evening sun, or the magic hour as some call it.

Jaume Plensa
  • Jaume Plensa

Plensa will be at the museum on Thursday, April 27, to unveil "Chloe" in the sculpture garden at 5:45 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, check museum’s calendar online for updates regarding the unveiling: Plensa will discuss his work in a public lecture at 6:30 pm in the Leslie Cheek Theater. Tickets for the artist talk are $8 ($5 for museum members).

The piece continues a long series of heads by the artist who was born in 1955 featuring young girls with eyes closed, whose "dreamlike qualities transform their surroundings," according to a release.

Here's more information from the news release:

“In today’s increasingly cynical culture, Jaume Plensa operates from a deeply held belief in shared human values,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA Director. “When you view Chloe, you will find a sense of calm and contemplation from any angle of this remarkable sculpture. This is an iconic work that defines the level of ambition we will seek in future commissions. We already are in discussions with another acclaimed sculptor for the next site-specific work, and we will continue to seek out leading national and international artists who will draw on their unique skills to create pieces that reflect our strategic vision for our outdoor collection. ..."

Although this piece is similar to Plensa’s "Echo" at the Seattle Art Museum and "Laura" at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., Chloe is the first of these heads to be cast in one piece on such a large scale. While those previous works feature visible seams where separately cast pieces were stacked on each other, "Chloe" will arrive with a smooth, unbroken surface.

In creating Chloe specifically for the museum grounds, Plensa also distorted its profile by compressing its depth. As a result, viewers will experience unexpected shifts in perspective as they move around the sculpture, and the marble dust coating the surface will reflect light -- adding a glittering, otherworldly dimension.

“Beauty is the big connection with all things and with all people, the vast place which contains all our memories. Something we carry anchored in us, an emotion,” said Plensa when asked about Chloe and its impact on future visitors to the sculpture garden.

“A sculpture of this magnitude in this outdoor venue offers yet another way for our visitors to engage with contemporary art,” said Dr. Michael Taylor, chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the museum. “We were honored to work with Jaume in commissioning Chloe, which we know will become a popular and iconic addition to our sculpture garden.”

In pursuing this commission, the museum ensured that the sculpture’s proportions complement the scale of the main museum building. Chloe’s site is centrally located at the end of the walkway leading from the main entrance into the garden. Plensa visited the museum 2014, and a museum delegation met with the artist a year later at his Barcelona, Spain, studio to learn about his process and to view a similar sculpture of about half the size of the proposed "Chloe."

In advance of the new installation, the museum moved the Untitled, Mission Clay Pittsburg Project -- a glazed ceramic sculpture by Jun Kaneko, an America born in 1965 in Japan, from that site to its new location by the main entrance.

And more about the artist, Jaume Plensa, from the release:

Over his 30-year career, Catalan artist Jaume Plensa has had exhibitions and commissions in more than 20 countries, from Japan to Brazil. He is perhaps best known in the United States for his 50-foot Crown Fountain, which has served as an iconic destination in Chicago’s Millennium Park for more than a decade. In summer 2010, Plensa gained critical recognition for his successful six-month installation in New York’s Madison Square Garden of a 44-foot sculpture of a 9-year-old girl, Echo, now installed permanently at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Garden. More recently, Plensa exhibited his work at the 2015 Venice Biennale, as well as at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, which organized the comprehensive Jaume Plensa: The Human Landscape exhibition that traveled in 2016.


VIDEO: Richmond Filmmakers Premiere Lynching Documentary Locally

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 1:00 AM

Two local filmmakers premiere their documentary about southern lynching at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center next week – and they’ve added a second night to accommodate demand.

“An Outrage: a Documentary about Lynching in the American South” will show Monday and Tuesday at the museum and features Richmond area residents. The screening will precede a discussion with Kimberly Wilson, whose ancestor, John Mitchell Jr., is profiled in the film. Mitchell was an editor of the Richmond Planet, an African-American newspaper that railed against lynchings in the South.

AN OUTRAGE: Trailer from Field Studio on Vimeo.

The film had its world premiere at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. in March and will be distributed by the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

More from the press release:

An Outrage was filmed at lynching sites in six states – Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia – with descendants of victims, community activists and historians. The film highlights the oft-hidden history of lynching and its resonance today. Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College and an historian of the Jim Crow era, notes in the film, “I promise you, once you start taking in the ‘unofficial histories,’ the official history doesn’t look quite so accurate anymore.”

Filmmakers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren were both raised in Virginia, and their first film, “That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town,” won the Audience Award for Best Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival. Ayers and Warren founded their production company, Field Studio, in Harlem in 2012 and moved it to Richmond in 2014. Last year they completed a multimedia project called Richmond Justice, interviewing residents affected by or working in law, prisons and justice initiatives.

Registration for the second night is open at the Black History Museum’s website.

"An Outrage: A Documentary About Lymching in the South" screens at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia on Monday, April 17 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday, April 18 (check site for times).

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Virginia Commission for the Arts Launches 50th Anniversary Year

Encourages communities to hold round tables to help strategize for the arts.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 2:20 PM

Margaret “Margi” Vanderhye, a former state delegate from Northern Virginia, is executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, where she oversees a vital flow of operating money to arts groups across the Commonwealth.
  • Margaret “Margi” Vanderhye, a former state delegate from Northern Virginia, is executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, where she oversees a vital flow of operating money to arts groups across the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Commission for the Arts kicked off its 50th anniversary year today in downtown Richmond by announcing a year filled with events, calls for greater support, and a plan to recognize 50 arts and culture leaders throughout the Commonwealth.

As noted in a recent Style cover story, the VCA is a state agency that “is a crucial organization providing operating fund support — such unsexy stuff as utilities, rent and salaries — for arts organizations large and small across Virginia. The bulk of its funding, 74 percent, goes to counties whose income falls below the state median -- basically underserved areas, both urban and rural.”

The agency is especially important in light of recent confirmations that President Trump plans to eliminate the arts and humanities endowments.

The VCA’s Executive Director Margeret Vanderhye was joined today by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and VCA Chair Shelley Kruger Weisberg, in offering praise for the arts and the agency.

Also, there were round table discussions led by members of the local arts community including Ellyn Parker, coordinator of Richmond Public Arts, and Scott Garka, president of CultureWorks. These round tables were recorded and will be available on the VCA website for localities wanting to organize their own events.

“With the launch of our 50th year programs, we plan to harness the energy and ideas of cultural, civic, business, academic, and government leaders across the state to build strong arts organizations and more vibrant communities,” said Vanderhye in a release. “Here is our question: How can the Virginia Commission for the Arts help? And our request: Please don’t sit on the sidelines; be a part of our new Virginia Renaissance. All we need is you!”

The VCA’s 50 for 50 Arts Inspirations Awards will be selected by an honorary committee from a pool of nominees recommended by members of their communities for their contributions to arts and culture, according to the press release.

There will continue to be round table discussions open to the public (before today there were round tables held in Staunton and Charlottesville) to help drive the development of strategies for current and future grant programs and work on how the VCA can best help the arts in the Commonwealth.

Visit the VCA website to learn more about their outreach and programs.

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