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VMFA to rename gallery featuring many contemporary Black artists following major gift

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced that it recently received an important contribution from Dr. Monroe Harris Jr. and Dr. Jill Bussey Harris. One of the museum’s 21st-Century Art galleries will be renamed to honor the Harrises’s support.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced that it recently received an important contribution from Dr. Monroe Harris Jr. and Dr. Jill Bussey Harris. One of the museum’s 21st-Century Art galleries will be renamed to honor the Harrises’s support.

“Monroe and Jill are avid art collectors and tremendous supporters of VMFA,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Their generous gift offers significant support for the museum’s continued efforts to expand and exhibit its collection of contemporary work by Black artists.”

Supporting African and African American art has been the Harrises’s passion for many years. “From offering support to local artists and those who are well established, we are preserving our diverse culture,” said Monroe. Jill added, “It’s important for us to not simply be involved but to also give back to our community.”

Dr. Monroe Harris, who was elected president of the Board of Trustees for VMFA in July 2018, is the first African American to hold the position in the institution’s 82-year history and the first African American board chair of a major comprehensive art museum in the United States. During his tenure, he championed the expansion of the museum’s collection to include more works by African and African American artists, including Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War. Previously, he held the offices of executive vice president and vice president of the museum’s Board of Trustees and served as president of the Foundation Board of Directors.

Both Harrises have longtime careers in dentistry. Dr. Monroe Harris is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Richmond and a partner in the practice of Virginia Oral & Facial Surgery. Dr. Jill Bussey Harris is a cosmetic dentist who maintains her own private practice, Beautiful Smiles, in the museum district. In 1989, she became the first African American female full-time assistant professor at VCU/MCV School of Dentistry.

“As collectors of African American art, as donors, and as dedicated professionals, they demonstrate what it means to be visionary leaders, not only for VMFA but the entire Richmond community,” Nyerges said. “We are grateful for their support.”

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Arts & Entertainment

2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival Dates Announced

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Two of Virginia’s largest and most beloved events return this fall to Downtown Richmond.

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, is October 1-2, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts and the City of Richmond, is October 7-9, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront.

“Venture Richmond Events is proud to produce these two festivals that have brought so much attention to two Downtown neighborhoods – Jackson Ward and the Riverfront,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events for Venture Richmond. “Both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival are economic drivers bringing a combined 200,000+ people Downtown and generating $39.5 million in economic impact annually. With six stages along the Riverfront and four stages in Jackson Ward, these two events that are only a week apart, showcase world class entertainment, food, arts and culture in Downtown.”

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia Union University, Brown Distributing, CoStar Group, and Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., CarMax, CoStar Group, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia is for Lovers, National Council for the Traditional Arts, Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the Children’s Museum.

Check out pictures from last year’s Folk Festival here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Tonight’s Friday Cheers is Cancelled Due to Weather

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

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This is the first time that I can remember that Friday Cheers has pulled the plug due to weather concerns. Understandable due to the forecast of high winds.

Hot off the press release printing press.

For the safety of our patrons, artists and staff we must unfortunately cancel tonight’s Friday Cheers with Japanese Breakfast and Abby Huston. We understand this is a tremendous disappointment, and we share that sentiment.

“We’ve produced hundreds of outdoor events and have hosted hundreds of thousands of patrons, but I don’t believe that we have ever had a more definitive forecast predicting unsafe weather as we have for this evening,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We have been advised by several meteorologists that severe weather is certain and, frankly, cancelling is our only choice.”

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

Thank you for understanding this difficult decision.

Website: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/friday-cheers-2022/

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Arts on the Lawn returns to Hermitage Richmond for second year May 14th

Open to all residents, families, team members, and community friends who share a love of art and creating.

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Retirement community Hermitage Richmond is hosting its second annual Arts on the Lawn event on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The event is free and will be held outdoors on Hermitage Richmond’s front lawn at 1600 Westwood Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talent we have here at Hermitage Richmond,” said Amy Chapman, Hermitage Richmond’s Executive Director. “Our resident artists are excited to share their work with the community and invite other artists to do so as well. We want everyone to know that the fine arts are alive and thriving at Hermitage Richmond. It is such a great way to kick off the summer and have our residents and community come together.”

More than 50 local artists and creators will feature their paintings, photography, pottery, fiber art, handmade jewelry, woodwork, and more. All artists will benefit 100% from their sales.

There will also be three food trucks and live music from Chris and Suzi of Thorp Jenson plus GreenSpring International Academy of Music student performers at the event.

Net proceeds at Arts on the Lawn will benefit Hermitage Richmond’s Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, which is an evidence-based intergenerational art-making program benefiting people with dementia.

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