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Tyrant Lizard King to Take the Throne at Science Museum of Virginia

On Saturday, June 19, the Science Museum of Virginia opens “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family,” the world’s first exhibition showcasing the recently revised tyrannosaur family tree.

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From the Science Museum of Virginia

With its 60 plus razor-sharp teeth, bone-crushing jaws and starring role in a blockbuster film series, T. rex is arguably the world’s most popular dinosaur. But there’s more to the aptly named “tyrant lizard king” than many people know. And not only that, T. rex is just one of more than 25 different tyrannosaurs!

Photo Credit: Durham Museum

On Saturday, June 19, the Science Museum of Virginia opens “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family,” the world’s first exhibition showcasing the recently revised tyrannosaur family tree. Guests will see a dramatic array of fossils and casts of tyrannosaur specimens, run for their life in a virtual experience, hatch a dinosaur egg and more in this immersive, multimedia exhibition that sheds new light on these ancient carnivores.

The highlight of the show is coming face to face with the life-sized Scotty. Discovered in 1991, she is the heaviest and oldest T. rex currently on record at almost 20 feet tall, nearly 40 feet long and tipping the scales at more than 19,000 lb.

“Earth has a vast and diverse history, and scientists are always making new discoveries,” said Director of Playful Learning and Inquiry Timshel Purdum. “Science is not a set of facts to be memorized, rather it is an ongoing journey of understanding the world. No place is this more evident than with dinosaurs. Our knowledge continuously changes and expands. This touring exhibition has a wealth of new information about the fascinating tyrannosaur family that will amaze both dinosaur fanatics like myself and casual science lovers.”

Just as similar genetic characteristics exist among extended relatives, guests will learn about traits specific to tyrannosaurs, such as fused nasal bones, D-shaped teeth in cross section, a special type of hip bone and longer hind limbs. But, also just like human family trees, there is incredible variety among tyrannosaurs: some were huge, some small; some lived 168 million years ago, some live 68 million years ago; and some lived on Asia, some lived in North America.

The exhibition allows guests to travel back in time millions of years to meet Guanlong wucaii, a feathery relative of the T. rex, see how recent scientific findings confirm the links between dinosaurs and birds, and learn more about why sudden environmental devastation can cause even the most dominant species to go extinct.

Photo Credit: Durham Museum

In addition to the “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” touring exhibition, the Museum will feature another dinosaur-focused exhibition as well as an array of prehistoric-related programming.

  • Art can show us how what we know about dinosaurs has changed over time. “Bringing the Dead to Life” explores the evolution of dinosaur science through the lens of paleoart. From early impressions of lizard-like creatures to modern examples of brightly colored beasts, this exhibition illustrates how our perceptions of dinosaurs continue to evolve with every discovery. “Bringing the Dead to Life” is included with Museum admission.
  • Beginning June 2, guests can take their dinosaur discovery to the big screen by seeing “Dinosaurs Alive” in The Dome. This giant screen film is a global adventure, bringing the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous Period, their behaviors and their ancient environments roaring to life. “Dinosaurs Alive” can be added to a Museum visit for $5.
  • In July, August and September, the Museum’s makerspace, The Forge, will feature fossil casting, dinosaur sculpting and robotic dinosaur workshops so guests can get creative and hands-on with their learning.
  • Educators will have various fossils on display for guests to see how modern animals have some of the same traits as prehistoric creatures.
  • The Art Lab will have special dinosaur-related activities so guests can draw new conclusions about the ancient reptiles.
  • The Museum’s in-house theater company will feature a costumed actor greeting guests at various times throughout the summer. Mary Anning, a 19th-century paleontologist who discovered the bones of giant reptiles in the cliffs along the English Channel, or Susie, who has set off to prove that the T. rex was truly a predator and not just a scavenger as some scientists claimed, will be making periodic appearances throughout the galleries.
  • The Museum’s weekly Lunch Break Science series will feature free virtual presentations by paleontologists and scientists across the country who will share information about the latest dinosaur discoveries.
  • Guests can stop in the Museum’s Rotunda to admire the impressive size, examine the powerful jaw and count the massive teeth of a nearly five-foot-long T. rex skull replica. This is on view for all guests and does not require admission.
  • The paleo fun doesn’t have to go extinct when guests leave the building. The Museum will be releasing new digital content, such as videos and STEM at Home activities, for all Virginians to enjoy virtually.

During regular Museum operating hours (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), admission to “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is available through a combination ticket that includes access to the exhibition as well regular Museum exhibits. Admission is $20.50 for adults; $18.50 for youth (ages 6 – 12) and seniors (ages 60 and older); and $15 for preschool-aged children (ages 3 – 5). Discounts are available for teachers, military personnel and EBT cardholders. Museum members receive free admission to the exhibition. Tickets go on sale June 1 at smv.org.

Not only is the Museum reopening seven days a week when “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” debuts, but to give guests even more chances to see the exhibition while it’s in Richmond, the Museum is also offering extended hours June 24 through September 30. On Thursdays and Fridays, the Museum will remain open until 8 p.m. “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” will be the only experience open after 5 p.m., and admission is only $10 during those evenings.

“Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family,” which was created by the Australian Museum and toured internationally by Flying Fish, is at the Museum through October 3, 2021.

“Dinosaurs are going to come crashing out of the past and into the present as they overrun Richmond this summer and fall,” said Purdum. “It’s the perfect opportunity to take a bite out of science!”

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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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Arts & Entertainment

InLight Coming to Low Line in 2021

1708 Gallery’s 14th annual InLight will take place November 12-13, 2021 at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites on the Low Line in Richmond.

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1708 Gallery’s 14th annual InLight will take place November 12-13, 2021 at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites on the Low Line in Richmond. InLight is 1708’s annual public exhibition of contemporary art. InLight takes place at night and each year is in a different location in Richmond. InLight features multimedia, sculpture, installation, performance, community-based works, and virtual projects that utilize light-based platforms (projections, lighting design, and more) to be experienced in the dark. Past sites include Chimborazo Park, the downtown Arts District, and the sculpture garden and grounds of the VMFA.

1708 invites regional, national, and international artists working in all media and disciplines to submit entries for InLight 2021. Great Shiplock Park is located at a former shiplock constructed as part of the James River and Kanawha Canal system. Artists are invited to propose projects that engage with and expand upon the multiple themes and histories that can be found at these sites such as: trade and labor of then-enslaved peoples of African and Indigenous descent during and following the industrial revolution; the environmental impact—especially concerning water resources—of commerce and infrastructure; and the cultivation of spaces for alternative forms of historical preservation.

The curatorial team is especially interested in proposals that address ideas around movement in air, land, and water; flows of resources; and the redistribution of power within these systems; and future-thinking projects that reflect but are not bound by the histories surrounding Great Shiplock Park to imagine the site’s specificity and potential beyond its past and present. Artists, Collectives, and Community Organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more details and to submit an entry, please visit 1708INLIGHT.ORG.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: Midnight (EST), Thursday, July 15, 2021.

1708 will host two virtual meetings via Zoom to provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask direct questions about the application and selection process for InLight 2021. The meetings will be Tuesday, June 22nd at 6:00 pm and Wednesday, June 23rd at 6:00 pm. Please register in advance to attend.

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The Broadberry is F***ing Back or so I Read

Good news for lovers of live music.

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Follow The Broadberry on FB to keep up to date on all the live shows hitting the stage starting in August.

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Richmond Folk Festival and 2nd Street Festival Will Return

Short on details but the good news is the best event in Richmond will be back.

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I was thrilled to see this in my inbox this morning.

Two of Richmond’s largest and most beloved events will return this fall, live and in person. 

Venture Richmond Events plans to produce both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk  Festival as live events, while also following state and federal guidelines for outdoor gatherings. 

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, will take place October 2-3,  2021, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for Traditional Arts and the  City of Richmond, will take place October 8-10, 2021, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront. 

“We look forward to getting back to in-person festivals with the 33rd year of the 2nd Street Festival and the 17th year of the Richmond Folk Festival,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events. “Now more than ever we know how important it is for us to come together safely in a shared celebration of culture and experiences, whether they are the rich traditions of the historic Jackson Ward community, or those from around the nation and the world presented on Downtown’s riverfront.  Certainly, the joy we receive from producing these two festivals is immeasurable and we will do  so with everyone’s wellbeing as our utmost priority.” 

More information will follow this summer as we continue to stay informed and aware of CDC and state guidelines for Covid-19 protocol at events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local,  state, and federal ordinances and guidelines is crucial. 

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, Brown Distributing,  Community Foundation, Virginia Union University, and the City of Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, CoStar Group,  Community Foundation, WestRock, CarMax, City of Richmond, Brown Distributing, National  Council for Traditional Arts, and the Children’s Museum.

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