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Library of Virginia Celebrates Bicentennial with Yearlong Series of Events

The celebration begins this Tuesday with 200 YEARS, 200 STORIES.

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The Library of Virginia is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2023 with a yearlong series of events and programs, including an anniversary exhibition and multimedia experience, a panel discussion highlighting Virginia’s first Black legislators, the launch of mobile programming across the state, and more.

The Library was founded on Jan. 24, 1823, by the General Assembly to organize, care for and manage the state’s growing collection of books and official records. Since then, the collection has grown to 2 million books, newspapers, maps, prints and photographs, as well as 130 million manuscript items, making the Library the most comprehensive resource in the world for the study of Virginia history, culture and government.

“It’s exciting to celebrate this milestone as one of the oldest state libraries and archives in the nation,” said Librarian of Virginia Sandra Treadway. “We invite the community to join us at the various activities planned to mark our rich history and hope all Virginians will discover ways to be more engaged with us as we enter our third century.”

The schedule of anniversary events follows. All events are free and open to the public (except for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration, its annual fundraising gala, on Oct. 14, 2023). Learn more at www.lva.virginia.gov/200.

Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Oct. 28, 2023 | Exhibition Gallery & Lobby

200 YEARS, 200 STORIES: AN EXHIBITION

This exhibition and multimedia experience celebrates 200 Virginians whose fascinating narratives can be found in the Library’s records, images and artifacts. Rather than a Top Ten or a Who’s Who, the exhibition presents captivating stories of Virginians of all stripes: heroes and villains, the famous and infamous, the powerful and the powerless—reflecting the sweep of Virginians’ experiences.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023 | 12:00–1:00 p.m. | Conference Rooms | Learn more and register

200TH ANNIVERSARY LECTURE

The Origins of the Library of Virginia’s Book Collections

The Library of Virginia was founded by the General Assembly on Jan. 24, 1823, to organize, care for and manage the state’s growing collection of books and official records, many of which date back to the early colonial period. Join us on this momentous anniversary date for a talk by historian and author Brent Tarter on the origins of the Library’s book collections. A few books from the Library’s earliest days will be on display and our new exhibition, 200 Years, 200 Stories, will be open for viewing.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 | 6:00–7:30 p.m. | Lecture Hall & Lobby | Learn more and register

BLACK HISTORY MONTH PANEL DISCUSSION

The First Civil Rights: Black Political Activism After Claiming Freedom

Join the Library of Virginia and Virginia Humanities to celebrate the completion of a signature project to document the lives and achievements of Virginia’s first Black legislators. Editors of the Library’s Dictionary of Virginia Biography joined this project in 2011 in collaboration with the commonwealth’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission to research and write the definitive life histories of the 92 African American men who served in the General Assembly from 1869 to 1890. Their stories are now part of the collective digital story of our state thanks to the collaboration with Encyclopedia Virginia, a rich online resource sponsored by Virginia Humanities. Panelists for the program, moderated by Virginia Humanities executive director Matthew Gibson, will include the Honorable Viola Baskerville, one of the founders of the project; University of Richmond professor Lauranett Lee; Ajena Rodgers, supervisory park ranger at the National Park Service’s Maggie L. Walker Historic Site and a descendant of Black legislator James A. Fields; and historian and author Brent Tarter, a retired editor with the Library of Virginia. For more information, contact Elizabeth Klaczynski at 804.692.3536 or [email protected].

Friday, March 3, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Collections Show & Tell

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” March’s theme is Collections Show and Tell. Learn about archival preservation—you can bring in your own items for evaluation and conservation recommendations—and see displays of Library items to spark ideas for creating something with your own collections.

Saturday, March 25, 2023 |10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Suffolk Public Library | 443 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434

LVA On the Go at Suffolk Public Library

LVA On the Go, a custom-made vehicle equipped with state-of-the-art technology, will bring the Library’s programs, workshops, digital resources, staff expertise and more to the Suffolk Public Library. This is the first of more than 16 visits scheduled for regions across the commonwealth to connect and engage with the community. Activities include genealogy assistance, oral history recording, children’s crafts and more. Find the full schedule of visits at www.lva.virginia.gov/200.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 | 6:00-7:30 p.m. | Lecture Hall | Free

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH PANEL DISCUSSION

A Woman’s Place is in the House…of Delegates

In 1923 the first women won election to the Virginia House of Delegates. In the century since then, 109 women have served in the House, with a record number of 36 women in 2023. Virginia has often lagged the nation in the percentage of women in its governing bodies. How have women battled Virginia’s “old boys’ network” and pushed through barriers to take their place in the halls of power? Join the Library of Virginia in celebrating a century of Women in the House. A group of House members will discuss the challenges, opportunities and changes they have experienced in Capitol Square.

Friday, June 2, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Maps: Your Place in Virginia

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” June’s theme is Maps: Your Place in Virginia. Make your own map listing places lived in Virginia, your path to the commonwealth or your favorite locale.

July 7 & 8, 2023 | Lobby

Virginia Folklife Celebration

A two-day Folklife Festival, in partnership with the Virginia Folklife Program of Virginia Humanities, will feature programs and performances with some of the finest traditional musicians and craftspeople in the commonwealth.

Friday, Aug. 4, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

 

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Your Virginia Story

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” August’s theme is Your Virginia Story. Use prompts and hashtags to record your own story.

Oct. 9–14, 2023

Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration Events

Over the past 25 years, the annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards have become the commonwealth’s premier celebration honoring Virginia writers and their contributions to literature. Award categories are nonfiction, fiction and poetry; People’s Choice Awards for fiction and nonfiction; and Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. Our special 2023 edition will celebrate past award finalists and winners in a weeklong series of events. Mark your calendars now for a week of events culminating in our Oct. 14 Literary Awards Celebration, and help us wrap up our anniversary year in style.

Coming in Fall 2023 | Lobby

Exploring 200 Years of Virginia Food & Wine

Watch for more information coming soon!

Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 | 5:00–8:00 p.m. | Lobby & Conference Rooms

FIRST FRIDAYS AT LVA

Capture Your Traditions

Venture east from Richmond’s Arts District for quarterly First Fridays at the Library of Virginia! Join us to enjoy refreshments and view an art exhibition by Virginia artists as well as our 200 Years, 200 Stories exhibition; listen to open mic poetry, prose or music; and take part in a “creation station.” December’s theme is Capture Your Traditions. View cookbooks, scrapbooks and music ephemera from the Library’s collections and create your own mini-book.

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.

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.

Community

Part of Bliley to be Closed for Stormwater Repair

Bliley Road bordering Westlake Hills and Cedarhurst neighborhoods in the 4th District will be closed between Forest Hill Avenue and Blakemore Road for stormwater repair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

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WHAT:  Street Closure

WHEN:  Now through Wednesday, February 15

WHERE: Bliley Road bordering Westlake Hills and Cedarhurst neighborhoods in the 4th District will be closed between Forest Hill Avenue and Blakemore Road for stormwater repair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday; Whitlone Road will also be closed between Bliley and Debora Street at those times. There will be no vehicular access during those times on Bliley from Netherwood to Cedarhurst and from Bliley to Debora. The rest of the area will have resident access only.

PROJECT SCOPE:  Emergency stormwater repair project

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

Storm the Gates with Art 180, All City Art Club, and Supply.RVA

Bridging the divide between street art and gallery spaces with street signs, black book works, graffiti pieces, and creative public art activities.

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Art 180, All City Art Club, and Supply.RVA is bringing you their first exhibition of 2023, Storm the Gates, a gallery takeover celebrating graffiti artists, illustrators, cartoonists, and people painting in the corner of their bedrooms and garages. Bridging the divide between street art and gallery spaces with street signs, black book works, graffiti pieces, and creative public art activities.

Join them this Friday during February @rvafirstfridays where they’ll unveil a mural collaboratively painted by All City Art Club and ART 180’s program alumni and current participants.

Friday, February 3
5-9 p.m.
ART 180’s Atlas Gallery
114 W Marshall St.

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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Business

Greater Richmond Convention Center marks 20 years serving region

Since 2003, the complex has hosted a total of 7,034 conventions, consumer shows, sports tournaments, and other events, bringing millions of people and dollars to the region.

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Virginia’s largest meeting and exhibition venue celebrates two decades of welcoming events and visitors to the Richmond Region this year. The Greater Richmond Convention Center officially opened on February 28, 2003, as cheerleaders from across the country flipped in the American National Cheer and Dance Championships in the building’s exhibit hall.

Since then, the GRCC has hosted a total of 7,034 conventions, consumer shows, sports tournaments and other events bringing millions of people and dollars to the region.

The GRCC replaced the 62,000-square-foot Richmond Center, which opened in 1986. Stretching across a six-block area, the 700,000 square-foot GRCC incorporates some of the steel and pillars from the original facility.

Construction for the project began in 1999 and was supported by a $10 million investment from former Governor George Allen and the regionwide transient lodging tax.

“It is the best example of regional cooperation in the history of this whole area,” said late Lt. Gov. John H. Hager during a 2002 press conference.

The Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority – a political subdivision of Virginia with representation from the city of Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties – oversaw the financing, development and construction of the GRCC. The Authority’s 25th anniversary is this year.

We’re immensely proud of the legacy and the positive impact the Greater Richmond Convention Center has had on tourism,” said Lincoln Saunders, City of Richmond Chief Administrative Officer and Chair of the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority. “Millions of people are introduced to the Richmond Region through events and competitions that are hosted at the facility every year. These visitors support our economy by shopping at our small businesses, eating at restaurants and visiting attractions.”

To examine the viability of the GRCC, regional leaders commissioned a feasibility study by C.H. Johnson Consulting in 1999. The researchers projected hotel tax collections to reach $30 million by fiscal year 2020. Hotel tax collection revenues reached $30 million by fiscal year 2019.

Throughout the GRCC expansion phases, groups were welcomed to the region to use completed portions of the building. About 1,200 women from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority were the first to use the facility’s new ballroom during a three-day conference in May 2001.

When the GRCC was officially completed in 2003, Richmond Region Tourism had booked 18 conventions through 2008.

Interest and bookings have experienced a dramatic uptick over the years. During its last fiscal year, the GRCC hosted over 180 events.

From USA Fencing tournaments and ice dancing competitions to offshore wind conferences and comic conventions, the GRCC has hosted various large-scale events since it opened.

“The convention center is a shining example of regional collaboration,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “The success of the convention center demonstrates how investing in tourism results in positive economic development for our entire region. Richmond Region Tourism and its partners are committed to working alongside our community to continue tourism’s positive momentum.”

The GRCC went through extensive upgrades to modernize the facility in 2020.

GRCC’s technological and cosmetic improvements include new LED lighting and RGB color lighting, monitors, digital signage, and a new digital sound system.  Its interior spaces were updated with new tile, accents, paint scheme, and pub-style tables and seating. The facility also features a new executive lounge and a renovated food court and service desk.

Today the GRCC features 178,159 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, a 30,550 square foot grand ballroom, and 50,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting room space.

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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