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Virginia Museum of History & Culture gets national award for Va.‘s Women’s Suffrage 100th year

Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) has been selected by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) to receive a 2021 National Award of Excellence recipient for its year-long leadership of Virginia’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial.

During 2020, VMHC coordinated several programs as part of its statewide effort to mark the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Highlights honored by the AASLH included the exhibition, “Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today,” which was mounted at the museum and included a traveling version seen throughout the state.

The exhibition surveyed 100 years of women’s civic activism and featured a diverse selection of Virginia women who challenged concepts of femininity, advanced women’s equality and reshaped the nature of American democracy.

This exhibition also included Today’s Agents of Change, a special re-creation of a historic photograph of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia in Richmond’s Capitol Square in 1915. The VMHC brought together a diverse group of female changemakers from across the state to recreate this image and highlight the diversity of women’s activism in Virginia today.

Accompanying the exhibition, the documentary film These Things Can Be Done: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia, which was produced in partnership with VPM (Virginia Public Media) and used rare archival footage, the words and images of key figures, and commentary from historians and contemporary activists to tell the story of the suffrage movement in Virginia.

The film provided historical context for the recent upsurge of female activism seen in the #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, Women’s Marches, and wave of female officeholders.

The VMHC Education Team also ensured that students and educators throughout Virginia had access to commemoration content through extensive virtual programming. Custom programs commemorating the Suffrage Centennial proved very popular.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards honor significant achievement in state and local history. For more information contact AASLH at 615-230-3203 or go to

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is located at 428 N Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. The galleries and museum shop are open every day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The research library is open the same hours and days exxcept closed Sunday. For more information call 804-340-1800 or go to

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