Who are the Capitol Police protecting? //
The noise was deafening last Saturday when an immigrant rights group held a rally in Capitol Square at the same time Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart held an “End Sanctuary Cities” rally espousing an opposite viewpoint. At least two of the Stewart supporters, one at right, openly carried military-style weapons and guns and stood just yards away from the ICE Out of RVA protesters. Capitol Police formed a line between the two groups, as shown here. But their backs were to the men carrying the weapons. Please see more photos, A5.
Who is that ‘cat in the hat?’ //
First-graders at Overby-Sheppard Elementary get a treat — Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. reading Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” to teacher Rita Robinson’s class. The event last Friday was part of Read Across America, a celebration of reading and Dr. Seuss’ birthday, sponsored by the National Education Association. Under volunteer coordinator Lola McDowell, more than 75 “celebrity” readers from the Richmond community read to students at Overby-Sheppard, including members of Richmond City Council and the School Board, Virginia Commonwealth University professors, actor Daphne Maxwell Reid, University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher, state Secretary of Education Dietra Y. Trent, comedian Micah “Bam-Bamm” White and Delegate Jeff Bourne, former chair of the Richmond School Board. Elementary schools across the city hosted celebrations last week, with some observing the day this week.
The new Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University continues to take shape on the southwest corner of Belvidere and Broad streets.
Crews are working to complete the interior of the unique landmark, called the Markel Center after a major donor.
Fred Cueller works on the space where a café will be located. Right, workers install ductwork on the second floor of the building designed by Stephen Holl Architects, a New York-based firm.
The $41 million, three-story building is set to open Oct. 28 and will feature a 240-seat auditorium for film screenings and live performances, an outdoor garden, a learning lab and flexible space for displays of modern paintings, sculpture and other works.
The opening will happen about three years after big machines began digging up the 1-acre site to prepare the ground for construction. The institute is being financed with private donations. To date, the institute has raised about $35 million. The planned opening exhibition, Declaration, will feature new work by artists from Richmond and around the globe.
Zeus plays to crowd at Mama J’s //
Zeus McClurkin, a member of the legendary Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, captivates the room of 37 George Wythe High School honor students during a special luncheon Wednesday honoring the young people at Mama J’s Kitchen in Jackson Ward. The Columbus, Ohio, native engaged the students with a pep talk before showing off his skills. The event was part of Richmond’s first Black Restaurant Week highlighting black-owned and operated restaurants in the city. The promotion, with fixed-price lunch and dinner specials at 20 restaurants, runs through Sunday, March 12. Mr. McClurkin and the Harlem Globetrotters have an exhibition game 7 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Richmond Coliseum.
Blooming saucer magnolias
Jack and Jill Cotillion
Teens in the James River Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. enjoy a special dance at the organization’s 5th Annual Richmond Renaissance Cotillion last Saturday at the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center at Virginia Union University. The theme: Springtime in Paris. Twenty middle school students participated in events leading up to the cotillion, all of which were designed to build confidence through interpersonal and communication skills, etiquette, ballroom dance, community service and social activities.
Fun times //
Comedian Sheryl Underwood, center, smiles for photos with sorors Sherry Crawley, left, and Jillian Mayers of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority on Saturday in Glen Allen. Members of the sorority’s Sigma Delta Zeta Chapter hosted a brunch for Ms. Underwood, who was in town to perform at the Funny Bone comedy club. Ms. Underwood, a host of the CBS show “The Talk,” served as the 23rd International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in 2008. She pledged in 1990.