Visit museums, gardens and historical sites in Richmond and the world online
Ronald E. Carrington | 4/2/2020, 6 p.m.
Richmond area museums are offering online activities, virtual tours and resources to youngsters and families as schools are out for the rest of the academic year and museums and other public venues have been closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in Jackson Ward unveiled its “Black History at Home” program. An online “BHMVA Black History Quiz” is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of African-Americans’historical and contemporary role in shaping Richmond and the United States at www.blackhistorymuseum.org.
While the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be closed to the public through April 23, many of the art activities on the museum’s website can be enjoyed at home, including “Sketching to Learn: Before and After,” which is designed for all ages at www.vmfa.museum/learn/resources/sketching-to-learn-before-and-after
For inspiration, explore the museum’s permanent collection to see the various works of art at www.vmfa.museum/collections/collections-archive/.
The Science Museum of Virginia is staying connected to families and students using sev- eral virtual platforms as new content is posted regularly. A number of topics are covered, from the Keto diet to seasonal allergies for pets, at www.youtube.com/user/ScienceMuseumVA. Other resources are available on the museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art social media channels—mainly Instagram and Facebook—are featuring content highlights from the ICA’s first two years. The ICA will be launching a set of online programs related to its current show, “The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis,” which it hopes to reopen to the public later in the summer. Visit them at www.icavcu.org.
The Valentine is asking students to submit their stories about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic for future generations to understand this unique moment in history. Submissions may be audio, photographs, drawings and journal entries, and must be created by students in grades K-12 in the Richmond region. The Valentine will share the submissions on social media and its website. Go to www.thevalentine.org/studentstoryproject for instructions and how to submit stories.
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture also wants residents to tell their story about responding and adapting to the COVID-19 health and financial crisis. The museum is initiating a project to document the ways the Commonwealth and local communities have been impacted through personal stories and artifacts. To learn how to contribute, go to www.virginiahistory.org/COVID19Stories.
Other museums and venues:
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has “Virtual Visits” on its Facebook page, as well as online activities for youngsters and gardening information at www.lewisginter.org.
The outdoor gardens and open spaces at Maymont remain open, with a reminder for people to observe social distancing. And while the Nature Center and farm play space are closed and its annual Family Easter celebration has been canceled, Maymont is offering a host of photos of the gardens and a virtual learning series on its Facebook page and website. Go to www.maymont.org.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington is closed, as is all of the Smithsonian. But the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts and photographs is open for browsing on their website at www.nmaahc.si.edu
Colonial Williamsburg offers resources and guides for teachers and students and other interactive learning activities, archives, videos and 18th century-style recipes through the Explore from Home area on its website, www.colonialwilliamsburg.org.
Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offer curriculum-based lessons for teachers and students, videos and other interactive resources online. It also has occasional live broadcasts with interpreters on its website at www.historyisfun.org/at-home.
The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk offers a virtual tour and has online resources for families at Chrysler.org.
Google Arts & Culture offers a window to museums across the world, cultural sites around the globe and fun facts on a variety of subjects all online at your fingertips. Go to artsandculture.google.com.