Many museums in Richmond continue to tell the well-known, little-known and untold stories of struggle, sacrifice, achievement, and triumph that have been created over the 400-year history since the first Africans touched American soil. These stories shape who we are today and serve as inspiration for our future. Museums tell these stories every day, to everyone. Below is a list of Richmond museums and cultural institutions that tell that history not only during Black History Month, but all year to engage, reflect, and be inspired!
•American Civil War Museum – The museum consists of three distinct attractions in three locations that were recently merged that together tell of a complicated and dramatic aspect of American history – Historic Tredegar (480 Tredegar St Richmond, VA 23219) with three exhibits on the Civil War, the South’s Global Ambitions and Currency; the White House and Museum of the Confederacy; and the American Civil War Museum – Appomattox. Children 5 and under are free. (Richmond)
•Black History Museum & Cultural Center – The Museum seeks to become a permanent repository for visual, oral and written records and artifacts commemorating the lives and accomplishments of Blacks in Virginia and the many facets of Black history through exhibitions, discussions and celebrations. Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10am – 5pm.
•Elegba Folklore Society. A resource for African World cultural arts invites everyone to explore the richness of Mother Africa’s gifts through interactive artistic, and cultural experiences. Family-friendly.
•The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU features work by diverse living artists including the show ‘JEREMY TOUSSAINT-BAPTISTE: SET IT OFF.’
•Maggie Walker National Historical Museum – Devoted to the life of a woman committed to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home is preserved as a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination. Free admission. (Richmond)
Virginia State University and Chesterfield County proudly present the 34th Black History Month (BHM) Celebration. Each February, Chesterfield County and Virginia State University celebrate the month with a variety of programs designed to explore the rich, diverse heritage of African Americans and their contributions to our community and nation. The 2023 BHM theme is Uniting Today for a Better Tomorrow.
•Valentine History Museum – The museum’s permanent and changing exhibitions are dedicated to the history of Richmond. Founded by Mann S. Valentine II 1898, it was the first museum in the city. The lower floor unflinchingly describes the life of the hired help and the actual labor that went into supporting such a luxurious household. One terrific way to learn about the Black history of Richmond is to go out on one of the Valentine Museum’s FREE self-guided city tours. specifically Shockoe Bottom, Richmond Cemeteries and Jackson Ward – Self-Guided Murals Walking Tour.
•Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – Collections include notable African-American artists. General admission is FREE (some special events may require a fee). As year-round participant of Blue Star Museums, VMFA provides free admission to special exhibitions for all active duty, National Guard, and Reserve military personnel and their immediate families. (Richmond)
•Virginia Union University Museum and Galleries – Collection include artifacts from Papua New Guinea, masks and sculptures from West and Central Africa, Coptic crosses from Ethiopia and an extensive collection of African American Folk art. (Richmond)
More things to do in and around Richmond:
- The Ultimate List of RVA Parks and Playgrounds
- Richmond’s Public Pools & Splash Pads
- RVA Dog-Friendly Parks
- 12+ Free Things to do in Colonial Williamsburg
- RVA Historic Sites
- Free Art Galleries in RVA
- RVA’s Nearby Ski Resorts
- 50+ Things to Do in Richmond
- Orchards and Berry Farms
- Things to Do: RVA
- 50+ Events & Festivals
- Special Resources
- Military Discounts
- FREE for Kids (or really cheap)
- Garage, Moving, Estate Sales and more
- Metro Richmond Zoo
- Richmond boat launches and marinas
- Fairs in RVA and Virginia
- Richmond Museums: Some Admission Free
Chesterfield County Library
Virginia State University