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Artsline - Celebrate Memorial Day with History, Heroes, and Story!

Elizabeth Van Lew
Portrait of Union spy, Elizabeth Van Lew. Richmond Storyhouse offers a historical walking tour of her Churchill neighborhood. (Photo: The Valentine)

Artsline: Virtual Edition || May 24, 2021

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  ~Joseph Campbell

As we celebrate Memorial Day, what a great time to reflect on the heroes in our communities and the ways we honor them. This week and weekend you’ll find celebrations and commemorations of women spies, brave soldiers, and personal stories of heroes who saved the day in ordinary ways. From the beginnings of our nation to the present day battles we fight, Virginia’s history is replete with those who are sure to inspire. Get out and engage!


1. MEMORIAL DAY “GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH” REENACTMENT
History, Theatre
May 30-31, 1:30 & 3 pm
Historic St. John's Church, 2401 East Broad Street, Richmond, 23223
$12 for adults, $10 for age 12 & under

St. Johns Reenactment

Witness the extraordinary rhetoric of Patrick Henry as he convinces his fellow delegates to take up arms against the King of England. Professional actors portray key delegates to the 2nd Virginia Convention, including Col. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton, and Peyton Randolph. Presented by Historic St. John’s Church. Purchase tickets online. Limited seating available.


2. COMMEMORATING AMERICAN SOLDIER DEAD: THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN WAR CEMETERIES
History, Literary Art
May 27, 2pm
Online

Triumph of the Dead

Nearly 90,000 American soldiers killed during World War II are buried in fourteen war cemeteries constructed in Europe between 1948 and 1956. The American Battle Monuments Commission selected prominent American artists and architects to design the cemeteries, and created a program of pictorial images, inscriptions, and structures that would communicate high ideals of freedom, democracy, and redemption. This program is offered by The Virginia War Memorial and presented by Dr. Kate Clarke Lemay, author of Triumph of the Dead. It will address the political and artistic decisions made in constructing these sites. Register online for this free event.


3. 4TH FRIDAY ART SHOWS AND OPENING RECEPTION
Visual Art
May 28, 5pm and June 4, 6pm
Art Works, 320 Hull St, Richmond, 23224

Amy Burczyk

In May and June of each year Art Works proudly partners with art students at Henrico High School and Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, exhibiting paintings, sculptures, installations, and fashion. Art Works will host Henrico High’s art show and reception on May 28th and Maggie Walker’s art show and reception on June 4th. Also on display will be Short Stories by Amy Burczyk and Non-Objective Illusions in Black: Is Black a Color? from Dan Thompson. Go to Art Works’ website for gallery COVID protocols.


4. MEMORIAL DAY AT HENRICUS
History
May 29
Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, 23836
$9/adults, $7/children 3-12

Memorial Day Henricus

Henricus Historical Park offers a full day to explore the weapons and tactics common of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Demonstrations will include muskets, pikes, and an artillery drill with the cannon.  A private collection of Victorian period armor, Age of Exploration navigation tools and 16th – 17th century weapons will be on display in the church. Free admission will be offered for this event to first responders and all military members with ID.  Immediate family members of first responders and military will be $5 per adult and $3 for children ages 3-12. Purchase tickets online.


5. LET ME TELL ‘YA! STORY SWAP
Storytelling
May 27, 7pm
Online

Let me tell ya story swap

Our lives are full of stories; stories connect our lives. Let Me Tell Ya! Story Swap is a chance to gather virtually every month to share stores. This month's theme is "Mayday, Mayday," stories of difficult times and the help received. Not a professional storyteller, no problem. Never told a story outside of your family, no problem. Want to just come and listen to stories, no problem. Visit Storytelling Connections to register for this free event.


6. VMFA FRIDAYS AFTER 5 TASTE OF ART: REASON BEER
Visual Arts
May 28, 5:30pm
Online

Fridays after 5

Sample three offerings from this Charlottesville brewery, and join Mark Fulton, Head Brewer & Director of Operations of Reason Beer, and Celeste Fetta, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director of Education, as they creatively pair the selections with American artwork from the museum's permanent collection. Beer selections available for purchase through VMFA 2GO Wednesday–Saturday. Register online for this free event.


7. THE WRITING SHOW: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
Literary Art
May 26, 6pm
Online
$15

May TWS

Whether you think characters move plot or plot informs your characters, you won’t get too far with two-dimensional “Mary Sues.” How do you give your characters believable flaws, intriguing backstories, and the strength to see their journeys through to the end? The experts at James River Writers will talk character arcs and motivations and give you the tips and tricks to populate your work with real people. Register online by May 25.


8. SPACEBALLS
Film
May 25, 7pm
The Byrd Theatre, 2908 West Cary Street, Richmond, 23221
$10

Spaceballs

The Byrd Theatre brings the Mel Brooks 1987 classic Spaceballs. Synopsis: When the nefarious Dark Helmet hatches a plan to snatch Princess Vespa and steal her planet's air, space-bum-for-hire Lone Starr and his clueless sidekick fly to the rescue. Along the way, they meet Yogurt, who puts Lone Starr wise to the power of "The Schwartz." Can he master it in time to save the day? This public screening is limited to 75 attendees. Purchase tickets online.


9. ELIZABETH VAN LEW TOUR
History
Download or Stream Anytime
St. John's Church gates, near the corner of 24th and Broad Streets, Richmond, 23223
Suggested donation $1-$20

Elizabeth Van Lew
Photo: The Valentine

Elizabeth Van Lew was a Union spy during the Civil War and carried out her espionage, ferrying messages and hiding prisoners in Church Hill.  Richmond Story House brings this remarkable woman’s story to your smart device, as you take a self-guided walking tour around her neighborhood, with clear and timed directions.  The download is free, with a recommended donation of $1-20.


10. GOTHIC ARCHES, LATIN CROSSES
Architectural Art, History
May 25, 6:30pm
Online

Gothic Arches

Ryan K. Smith sheds light on the intersection of the Gothic Revival movement and anti-Catholicism in nineteenth-century America by arguing that rising tensions led Protestant churches to break with tradition and adopt Latin art. Dr. Smith demonstrates the extent to which artistic and architectural features allowed Protestants to lessen the potent Catholic “threat” while simultaneously adapting to America’s new commercialization. Presented by the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. Register online for this free event.


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.