Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? The History of Systemic Racism
An important conversation to provide insight and understanding around the history of systemic racism in America.
Hosted and Moderated by Miss Community Clovia
Tune in Tuesday August 18th @ 5pm
William J. Martin (Bill)
Director – The Valentine
William “Bill” Martin, director of the Valentine, leads the oldest museum in Richmond and the only museum dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting the city’s diverse history. For 25 years, Martin has expanded the Valentine’s programming, grown Richmond walking and group tours, and worked collaboratively in the community to support city tourism initiatives and promote the social, cultural and educational importance of the 1.6 million objects in the Valentine’s collection. Her currently serves on the boards of the Afrikana Film Festival and TheaterLAB, is an active member of the Church Hill Association and ChamberRVA’s Richmond Cabinet and the convener of the Richmond Area Museum Directors. Martin holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and an M.A. in Public Administration from Virginia Tech.
About The Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for over a century. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists alike to discover the diverse, challenging and powerful stories that tell the broader history of this evolving region. The Valentine is free for all visitors during the summer of 2020. Reserve your free, timed ticket, review our new safety guidelines and more at our website: www.thevalentine.org.
Karen Sherry, Ph.D.
Curator of Museum Collections at The Virginia Museum of History & Culture
Dr. Karen Sherry is a curator specializing in American material culture with 20 years of museum experience. Since 2017, she has served as a curator at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (Virginia Historical Society), where she organized the exhibitions Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality and Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today. Previously, she held curatorial positions at the Portland Museum of Art (Maine, 2012–2015) and Brooklyn Museum (2005–2012). Sherry has published, lectured, and organized exhibitions on a range of topics related to American history and culture. She has also received numerous fellowships and grants, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, Luce Foundation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Smithsonian Institution. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware, and a B.A. from Boston University.
About the Virginia Museum of History & Culture
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society — a private, non-profit organization established in 1831. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. Hours are Monday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the galleries and museum shop, Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the research library. For more information call 804.340.1800, visit VirginiaHistory.org, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her position at the VMFA, she was Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston where worked from 2000 – 2017. She has served as director of the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1995-2000) and a program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts (1988-1995). In 2000 she was one of six curators selected to organize the Biennial for the Whitney Museum of American Art.
During her tenure at the CAMH, Cassel Oliver organized numerous exhibitions including the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005); Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee (2009); and Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012). She has also mounted significant survey exhibitions for Benjamin Patterson, Donald Moffett, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jennie C. Jones, Angel Otero and Annabeth Rosen.
Her 2018 debut exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was a 50-year survey of work by Howardena Pindell entitled Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen. The exhibition co-organized with Naomi Beckwith, the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, was named one of the most influential of the decade. Most recently, Cassel Oliver organized the exhibition, Cosmologies from the Tree of Life that featured over thirty newly acquired works from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. She is currently developing the group exhibition, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse, scheduled to open at the VMFA May, 2021.
Cassel Oliver is the recipient of a Getty Curatorial Research Fellowship (2007); the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Award (2011); the Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Foundation-to-Life Fellowship at Hunter College (2016) and the James A. Porter Book Award from Howard University (2018). From 2016-17, she was a Senior Fellow in Curatorial Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a visiting lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2020.
Cassel Oliver holds a M.A. in art history from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and, B.S. in communications from the University of Texas at Austin.
About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan, and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit www.VMFA.museum.
Additional Panelist Include:
President, Artistic Director – Elegba Folklore Society
Front Desk Manager – Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA
Historical Strategist, Founder + CEO, Untold RVA