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Science Museum of Virginia Hosts Touring Exhibition About Misunderstood Topic of Mental Health

The Science Museum of Virginia is helping create a safe space for conversations around mental illness with the opening of the touring exhibition “Mental Health: Mind Matters” on Saturday, Feb. 6.

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Info provided by Science Museum of Virginia

Mental illness can happen to anyone. It touches just about everyone in some way, and yet it is often misunderstood. Misconceptions and stigma can lead to suffering, prejudice and discrimination.

The Science Museum of Virginia is helping create a safe space for conversations around mental illness with the opening of the touring exhibition “Mental Health: Mind Matters” on Saturday, Feb. 6. By highlighting this important topic, the Museum wants to help people recognize that it’s OK to talk about mental health as it is part of overall health.

Photo Credit Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia estimates that between 1.1 and 1.5 million Virginians have some form of mental illness and about 102,000 children and adolescents living in the state have a serious emotional disturbance. The exhibition strives to create a safe environment to learn about and discuss mental health, and to raise awareness and develop empathy for people with mental illness.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the vital national dialogue about mental health,” said Museum Director of Playful Learning and Inquiry Timshel Purdum. “This is an extremely important topic, especially coming off the tumultuous year that was 2020. The exhibition is designed to help guests feel comfortable having conversations about a serious topic. It presents the science of mental health in an approachable way for all audiences.”

The 5,000-square-foot “Mental Health: Mind Matters” touring exhibition uses immersive experiences and multimedia activities to raise awareness about mental illness, starting with the fact that mental illness is not a choice or personal flaw, but instead a medical condition that requires care. Despite being portrayed as dangerous, unpredictable and scary in pop culture, with support and treatment, those living with mental health challenges can live productive, fulfilling and happy lives. Through role-playing stations, testimonials, quizzes, historical scenarios and more, the exhibition helps build empathy, respect and acceptance.

Photo Credit Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The exhibition allows guests to identify and express emotions, an exercise that also includes tips parents can use when teaching their children healthy ways to express feelings. It also explores the symptoms, causes and treatments of some of the more common mental illnesses, such as PTSD and depression. Although mental illness is treatable, not everyone seeks help or is aware that medical intervention options are available. The exhibition label copy uses supportive language throughout, and encourages guests to think about how the words they use to discuss mental health can have an impact. At the end, the exhibition provides those who choose to share personal stories the opportunity to do so.

“This exhibition provides a thoughtful platform to discuss the science of mental health,” said Museum Scientist in Residence Dr. Catherine Franssen. “By turning the lens inside our minds, this exhibition provides inspiration to learn more about current scientific progress in mental health research and a wide variety of careers in science, medicine and allied health professions. We hope this exhibition serves as a launching point for more conversations about neuroscience and how it relates to wellness.”

Not only will the exhibition be a powerful tool in creating conversations about mental health, but the Museum will also be offering companion virtual programming and resources in cooperation with area nonprofits to dive deeper into themes covered in the show. In addition, while “Mental Health: Mind Matters” is on display, the Museum is hosting “Creative Arts Therapies,” an exhibit featuring local examples of the various ways the arts can be used for therapeutic purposes, such as singing, dancing, sculpting and painting.

“Mental Health: Mind Matters” will be at the Museum through August 29, 2021. It was produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota with Heureka, The Finnish Science Centre and their partners, Ciencia Viva and Cite des Sciences & L’industrie. The exhibition is sponsored locally by WestRock.

Entry to “Mental Health: Mind Matters” is included with Museum admission. Museum members and children two and under are admitted free. The Museum offers discounts for military, teachers and EBT cardholders. Call 804.864.1400 for details about reserving tickets with the discount code. Museum operating hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Museum has adjusted operating procedures, including purchasing tickets online in advance, to help ensure a safe environment for all who enter the building. Guests are encouraged to review the reopening policies on the Museum’s website at smv.org/welcome before their visit.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Downtown

City Council unanimously approves sale of the Public Safety Building

The city is selling the three-acre property to Capital City Partners, LLC for $3,520,456 who will then redevelop the site into a $325 million mixed-use project anchored by VCU Health System, The Doorways, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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Richmond City Council approved three Ordinances introduced by the Stoney Administration for the sale and redevelopment of the site of the of the existing Public Safety Building. The city is selling the three-acre property to Capital City Partners, LLC for $3,520,456 who will then redevelop the site into a $325 million mixed-use project anchored by VCU Health System, The Doorways, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The negotiated sales price takes into account the developer’s responsibility to demolish the existing building and build public infrastructure that includes reconstructing Clay Street between 9th and 10th Streets.

“The sale and redevelopment of the Public Safety Building site is a critical first step to improving downtown,” said Mayor Levar Stoney.  “My Administration was glad to work with City Council and Capital City Partners, LLC to create this great win for Richmond.

The project will aid minority businesses, create child care slots for Richmond families, fund scholarships for graduates of Richmond Public Schools, and generate nearly $56 million in new revenue for the city’s General Fund over the first 25 years. We can, and we will, continue to grow Richmond by redeveloping underutilized city-owned property.”

“For many years the city has needed to find a better use for the Public Safety Building site.  I am glad that City Council has approved this important project that moves the city forward in redeveloping our Downtown, benefits our community, and strengthens healthcare in the city and region,” said Councilmember Ellen Robertson.

“We want to thank Mayor Stoney and Richmond City Council for supporting the sale of this property and allowing this important development to go forward.  Too often real estate transactions are thought of only in terms of investment and economics, but not in the lives they improve.  This project will help improve the lives of thousands of families in crises and will further Richmond’s reputation as an important healthcare capital,” said Capital City Partners’ Susan Eastridge and Michael Hallmark.

“VCU and VCU Health are strongly committed to the redevelopment of this area.  The Public Safety Building Project, along with the current construction of our new children’s inpatient hospital and Adult Outpatient Pavilion, will play a critical role in supporting a thriving urban center,” said Michael Rao, president of VCU and VCU Health System.

“We are pleased that the City has chosen to move forward with the sale of the Public Safety Building to Capital City Partners, LLC.  This announcement marks the beginning of a long-awaited initiative to breathe fresh life into this section of the city, while providing a much needed new home for The Doorways to lodge the thousands of families who depend on our services to access their medical care.  This announcement is truly a win-win for the Doorways and the entire Richmond community,” said Stacy Brinkley, President and CEO of The Doorways.

“As specialty pediatric care grows in the Richmond region, so does the need to support the whole family.  A new, fully-accessible Ronald McDonald House provides more capacity to help families whose sick and injured children are receiving care at all pediatric hospitals throughout the Richmond region as well as families whose children are the most vulnerable and medically complex being cared for at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.  This project is a game changer for pediatric healthcare,” said Kerry Blumberg, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond.

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Education

Great Depression brought to life through interactive photo collection now available through UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab

Photogrammar is an open-access, web-based tool that allows users to easily navigate and engage with 170,000 photographs taken between 1935-1943.

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The University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab and Distant Viewing Lab has released a new project that gives its users the ability to explore what life was like in America during the Great Depression and World War II.

Photogrammar is an open-access, web-based tool that allows users to easily navigate and engage with 170,000 photographs taken between 1935-1943.

Photos can be browsed by categories that were assigned in the 1940s, from expansive themes like “Work” to far more targeted slices of life, society, and the economy during the Depression era like “Dancing,” “Strikes,” and “Abandoned Mines.” Users can also zero in on photos of their own communities from 80 years ago through an interactive map.

“This project allows anyone to experience some of the most iconic images of the era by photographers like Dorothea Langea and Walker Evans as well as others rarely seen before,” said Lauren Tilton, assistant professor of digital humanities and project director.

“What began as an initiative to support and justify government programs put into place to foster the country’s recovery from the Great Depression, these photographers quickly expanded their vision and set out to document America,” she added.

The image collection was originally digitized in the 1990s by the Library of Congress, and in 2010, Tilton and University of Richmond statistics professor Taylor Arnold began the Photogrammar project with a team at Yale University. Tilton and Arnold joined UR in 2016, and the project has continued to evolve with their guidance, being supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Council for Learned Societies.

Photogrammar is the latest installation in UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab’s award-winning American Panaroma: An Atlas of United States History. From immigration and federal urban policy to slavery and electoral politics, American Panorama features data-rich, interactive mapping projects that are a go-to resource for journalists, policymakers, educators, and citizens alike.

“From the moment it launched a decade ago, Photogrammar has been a groundbreaking project,” said Rob Nelson, director of UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab. “The photographic archive behind it offers an incredible window into all aspects of life in Depression-era America. We are very excited to have this new version as part of American Panorama. ”

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Community

Former O’Charley’s to Become Hook & Reel

We didn’t see an expected open date when we poked around but will update when we hear more.

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According to their website, Hook & Reel is getting ready for a new restaurant located at 7131 Forest Hill Avenue. The site was previously the O’Charley’s which closed last year. Shoutout to Steve S. who posted about this on the Forest Hill Neighborhood group on FB.

Hook & Reel is a national chain currently having a growth spurt. There are currently two operating in Virginia. One is located in Norfolk and the other in Falls Church.

Forbes

Launched in Lanham, Maryland in 2013 by Tony Wang, Hook & Reel is hooking in franchisees faster than a fisherman can haul in shrimp. It currently has 23 locations—all franchised, but by the end of March, it will proliferate to 28 locations.

It specializes in Cajun/Creole seafood, so the food is spicy and tangy and catching on with a variety of customers.

Its ownership vows that it will add 40 to 50 locations by the end of 2020. In this year alone, it has already debuted three new outlets in Philadelphia, the Bronx and Denver.

Snapshot from their website gives you an idea of what to expect and you can dive into their online menu here but that doesn’t list prices. To get a better idea of cost checkout this menu from their Athens, GA, location.

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