We could all feel a vibrant new energy flowing through our city, but I and my contemporaries have also noticed that some rooms support a portion of old Richmond. Without always wanting it, they were fired.
But honestly, how do you genuinely communicate with people you don’t know and have never spoken to? I began to see Africana as a way to make new connections. We have welcomed large amounts of black creators into art spaces and brought larger groups of Richmonds to circles that may have missed but shared interests.
The same perspective guides my work at the Institute of Contemporary Art. In this new space, I want to represent people who are usually outside the conversations of art institutions and who link this space and its art with society.
Africana and ICA did not have a place in Richmond when I was young. But today they, along with many others, are weaving what we will become. There is a lot under our surface, but we need more people who are investing in bringing different ideas to life.
This is one of the reasons why BLK RVA means so much to me. What about a city built by black hands to glorify and celebrate black life, culture, history, and entrepreneurship? And what about three strong women, in an equal partnership, uniting people over food, champagne and good music with Le Diner en Blanc?