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Community Build Exhibition Opening at VisArts on Friday

Community Build creates space for dialogue, conversation, dance, and echoes between three multidisciplinary artists whose practices include and call in many.

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The Visual Arts Center of Richmond presents, Community Build, an exhibition of work by and with Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Lil Lamberta, Valeska Populoh and members of their respective communities. The exhibit will open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 9 and a performance by Open Space Education students, in collaboration with Lil Lamberta & All the Saints Theater will begin at 6:30 p.m. Community Build will be on view in the True F. Luck Gallery at VisArts until October 31, 2022.

Community Build creates space for dialogue, conversation, dance, and echoes between three multidisciplinary artists whose practices include and call in many. For this exhibition, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Lil Lamberta and Valeska Populoh serve as stewards and facilitators of a much bigger art and social justice ecosystem. Community Build is rooted in storytelling and collaborative work. Through this, it explores the interdependence of how the artists make work in relation to each other, the implications of this environment and the future that we all as a community are building every day.

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (they/them) is an artist, activist, educator, storyteller & curator who lives/works between Ohlone Land [Oakland, CA] and Powhatan Land [Richmond, VA]. Their work centers B.I.Q.T.P.O.C. stories by re-creating and re-telling personal tales and those of the people that surround them through process-based mediums that reflect the multi-layered complexities of the voices echoed in the work.

“Community Build is an invitation into a long legacy of work that depends and becomes of itself because of others, Community Build is an evolving space, a show, a workshop, a performance, a studio, a manifesto, a community, a chosen family, Community Build is stewarded by three artists with much-chosen history and shared underground root structure. Through this month together, we will become a new version of what a collective becoming can look like,” says Lukaza, “I hope that folks are able to both see an entry point into this network/community/demands and also question how to be a part of creating, shaping and making this ongoing work.”

Lil Lamberta (they/them) is a Powhatan and Pamunkey Land [Richmond]-born and based sculptor, performer, dancer, and puppeteer who marries their classical training as a performer with radical formats of Street theater and ancient forms of storytelling such as puppetry. Lil uses papier-mache and other affordable materials to denounce war, inequality, and the capitalist exploitation of workers, migrants, and the environment. in 2006, Lil founded the All the Saints Theater Company which produces Richmond Annual Halloween Parade. The parade features papier-mache masks and larger-than-life puppets as a form of activism and community building. Under Lil’s direction, a team of artists, activists, and community volunteers, build the puppets, organize the volunteers and execute Richmond’s favorite permit-free street tradition for 12 consecutive years.

“We’re trying to tell a specific story through our art, but I can say that we are part of a contemporary web that has ancient origins in storytelling. What threads us to the future from our ancestors is this moment in time, staying true to these ancient forms of theater which are ritual and ceremony,” says Lamberta when asked about their contribution to the community-centered collaborative exhibition at VisArts. “We are preserving something – and for me, the magic is that I will always be able to do this work, because I choose trash, I choose streets, I choose friends. I can’t move puppets without comradery. I can’t have a parade without strangers. collaborative art and theater live beyond the artist and are part of a larger human experience. The puppets in relationship to the scale of landscape or urban story and how those things advocate for life beyond capitalism, eco-terrorism, and racism, that’s what interests me.”

Valeska Populoh works as an artist, educator and cultural organizer and joins the trio from her adopted hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, unceded territory of the Piscataway Conoy and other Chesapeake First Families. Embracing a wide array of tactics, from puppetry to participatory performance, Valeska’s work is motivated by an interest in healing and repair, in our relationships to each other and to the natural world. “Relationships with other artists and community partners greatly inform my work. Our dominant culture has brought us to a precipice. We can hear the voices of the Earth and of communities who have been historically marginalized calling loudly for us to right our relationships – to the sacred web of life and to each other. How do we participate and support the collective transformation that we need for our survival? One way is to craft compelling objects, stories and experiences for and with others – to enchant and educate each other, to help us better heed urgent calls for change, to amplify and honor the voices of those most impacted by climate chaos and inequality, and to strengthen us in undertaking the challenging work of collective transformation.”

“The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this group of artists and their networks of collaborators,” says VisArts’ Executive Director, Stefanie Fedor. “Part of what makes VisArts so special is that our work relies on collaboration amongst a large community of artists, students, and arts appreciators. This exhibition highlights the way three artists deeply committed to social justice are working in communities to document and tell collective stories, create moments of reflection and celebration, and call out the ways we are all connected.”

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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.

Crime

Richmond Police identify 83-year-old victim struck and killed by vehicle outside Libbie Market

The driver of the vehicle, an adult male, remained on scene.

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From Richmond Police:

The Richmond Police Crash Team has identified the individual who died after being injured in a collision in a parking lot on Libbie Avenue as John Busch, 83, of Richmond.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., officers were called to the 400 block of Libbie Avenue, in the parking lot of Libbie Market, for the report of a person struck by a vehicle. Officers arrived and found a male, Busch, down and injured in the parking lot of a business after having been struck by a vehicle in the lot. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injury.

The driver of the vehicle, an adult male, remained on scene.

The RPD Crash Team responded to the scene and interviewed the driver and witnesses. The investigation is ongoing. Investigators have not placed charges at this time.

Anyone with further information about this collision is asked to contact RPD Crash Team Sergeant D. Cuffley at (804) 646-3135.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

Road Closures for Richmond Folk Festival

Quick summary, all the roads around Brown’s Island

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Road Closures/No Parking 4 p.m., Friday, Oct 7 – 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Oct 9 Starting Friday afternoon, several roads near Brown’s Island will close through the weekend for the Richmond Folk Festival. Parking will be prohibited.

Road specifics.

  • North 6th Street between East Broad and East Grace streets
  • Tredegar Street between South 7th Street and Belle Isle lot
  • South 10th Street between Haxall Point and Federal Reserve Bank
  • Spring Street between South 2nd and Belvidere streets
  • East Byrd Street between South 2nd and South 7th streets
  • South 2nd Street between Lee Bridge off ramp and East Byrd Street
  • South 3rd Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 4th Street between East Canal and East Byrd streets
  • South 5th Street between East Canal and Tredegar streets

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by the Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: American Redstart
Scientific Name: Setophaga ruticilla
Length: 4.3-5.1 in (11-13 cm)
Weight: 0.2-0.3 oz (6-9 g)
Wingspan: 6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • Like the Painted Redstart and other “redstarts” of the Neotropics, the American Redstart flashes the bright patches in its tail and wings. This seems to startle insect prey and give the birds an opportunity to catch them. Though these birds share a common name, they are not closely related to each other. In fact, there are other unrelated birds around the world—such as the fantails of Australia and southeastern Asia, and other redstarts of Europe—that share the same foraging tricks.
  • Young male American Redstarts have gray-and-yellow plumage, like females, until their second fall. Yearling males sing vigorously in the attempt to hold territories and attract mates. Some succeed, but most do not breed successfully until the following year when they develop black-and-orange breeding plumage.
  • The male American Redstart sometimes has two mates at the same time. While many other polygamous bird species involve two females nesting in the same territory, the redstart holds two separate territories that can be separated by a quarter-mile. The male begins attracting a second female after the first has completed her clutch and is incubating the eggs.
  • The oldest American Redstart was at least 10 years and one month old, when he was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in Ontario.

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Funny Face at Richmond SPCA

Age: 4 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / Apricot
ID: 51197499

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Funny Face and I’m the girl for you! I am pretty lonely here by myself, just waiting for my special someone to come along. Won’t you please take me home today?

Adopt Funny Face at Richmond SPCA

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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