Artsline - Explore Something New with Local Dance, Art, and History!
Artsline: Virtual Edition || February 15, 2021
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~Barack Obama
If the past year has taught us anything, it is the ability to change - to leave behind what does not work, to shift to what might, and to adapt along the way. As one person put it, we’re learning to build an airplane as we’re falling through the air.
Our arts and culture community has adjusted to our new reality - and they continue to create stories and speak in images that challenge our perceptions of our present and provide a vision for our future. We are indeed the ones we’ve been waiting for - and all we need is eyes to see and ears to hear the amazing work going on around us.
1. CALM IN CHAOS
February 15, 7pm opening
Exhibit runs through March 20
ArtWorks Gallery at James Madison University will open their new exhibition, Calm in Chaos with an online artist talk. The JMU students’ work displays how they are coping in the current, unstable state of the world. Calm in Chaos features a variety of mediums to express the artists’ emotional response to current society and how they found tranquility during this time of adversity. The JMU students taking part in the exhibition come from a variety of majors and skills. The online exhibit runs through March 20th. Register for the opening artist talk online.
2. MARDI GRAS RVA 2021
Dogtown Dance Theatre’s Mardi Gras RVA event is going virtual! Join them for performances by your favorite Dogtown dance artists to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021 from the comfort of your own home! Artists featured are CLAVES Unidos, Laterna Bellydance, RVA Dance Collective, Salsa Connection, Dogwood Dance Project, RVA Tap Troupe, Ajna Tribal ATS, Richmond Urban Dance, Pole Pressure RVA, and special guests students from Marianne Kelley’s School of Dance. Performances will be available on their new streaming platform, Dogtown STREAM.
3. THE OTHER MADISONS: THE LOST HISTORY OF A PRESIDENT’S BLACK FAMILY
February 18, 6pm
Join the Library of Virginia for a virtual genealogical book lecture by retired physician and geneticist Bettye Kearse, author of The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family. Kearse—a descendant of an enslaved cook and, according to oral tradition, President James Madison—shares her family story and explores the issues of legacy, race, and the powerful consequences of telling the whole truth. Register online.
4. SMALL ART WITH BIG HEART PREVIEW
February 20 & 21
Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic, 801 Branchway Road, Richmond, 23236
Talented artists from RVA and beyond have been hard at work creating over a hundred 6x6 inch works of art filled with big messages of hope, love, and homes. One week before the Richmond Animal League’s auction, Virtual Sugar & Spice, Love Spay & Neuter Clinic will display all these amazing works of art all weekend long for folks to view, socially distanced, at your leisure. Go to their website to see the art online.
5. DANCE AFTER WORK: HOUSE AND HIP HOP
February 19, 7pm
Local dancers join Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Performing Arts Coordinator Robert Phanord for a discussion about the rise and importance of freestyle dancing. The dancers will perform a freestyle dance battle. Watch on the VMFA YouTube Channel.
6. WILTON UNCOVERED: AN EXHIBITION 20 YEARS IN THE MAKING
History, Visual Art
February 18, 6pm
In 1998, William & Mary archaeologists uncovered the material record of the lives of nearly a century of enslaved families at the Wilton House. This excavation recovered not only the most important available tool for understanding daily life at Wilton, but the largest collection of objects associated with Wilton’s original location in existence. Wilton House Museum’s exhibit displays this collection for the first time alongside Dennis Winston’s poignant artistic renderings of the community that used, loved, broke, resented, played with, and discarded the artifacts. Join them to follow the development of, “Wilton Uncovered,” and its art in this special Zoom presentation. Register online.
7. MOVIE MYTHBUSTING: GLORY
February 16, 7pm
In celebration of Black History Month, join the Virginia Museum of History and Culture as their education team “mythbust” the movie, Glory, a film that showcases the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and the bravery and courage exhibited by its soldiers. The 54th Massachusetts was an all-black regiment that fought for the Union during the Civil War. Watch the film in advance, whenever or however works best for you, and then log into an interactive Zoom presentation where we will chat about what’s true, what’s not, and make some interesting connections to their collection. Special guest historian Kevin Levin, author of Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, will lead the discussion. Registration required for this free program.
8. AN EVENING WITH JASON REYNOLDS AND DR. IBRAM X. KENDI
February 17, 7pm
Chesterfield County Public Library hosts New York Times bestselling authors Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. The award-winning authors collaborated to create a young adult version of Dr. Kendi’s bestselling book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The resulting title, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You has been on the New York Times Best Sellers Young Adult Hardcover list for 45 weeks. Kyle Grinnage, a leadership expert and former Mega Mentor in the Chesterfield County Public Schools system, will moderate the event. Reynolds and Kendi will discuss their collaboration on “Stamped” and what impact they hope the book has for an antiracist future. Young adults are encouraged to attend the event. Registration is required to access the event.
9. COUPLES OF COLONIAL VIRGINIA
February 20, 12pm
Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, 23836
Learn about Virginia’s original power couple, Pocahontas and John Rolfe at Henricus Historical Park. What were the cultural, religious and political implications of their union? Analyze primary source documents to separate fact from pop-culture fiction during this in-depth exploration of courtship, love and marriage in 17th century Virginia. Adult groups, clubs, college classes and individuals welcome. Online registration required.
10. PRESIDENTS AND THE PARANORMAL
February 15, 8:30pm
This President’s Day, The Haunts of Richmond chat up paranormal tales from the nation’s highest office. Whether they are the subject of the stories, or they have been sharing their own experiences, the element of power associated with the Presidency makes the stories that much more compelling. Watch on Facebook Live - no registration required. Questions and comments welcome!
If you are an arts or cultural organization with social-distance-safe events such as online classes, virtual exhibitions or concerts, or even book readings, submit your events to Artsline here. If you are an artist or an arts or cultural organization in need of resources and tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the list of local and national resources from Richmond CultureWorks.