Celebrate Black History Month at VMFA

Check out VMFA’s 2024 Black History Month programs in the schedule below. The museum offers year-round experiences with an extraordinary ever-expanding collection of African American art. Celebrate Black History Month with us and explore the depth and breadth of the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and events for all ages.


On View

Click to learn more about Dawoud Bey: Elegy

EXHIBITION | Dawoud Bey: Elegy

Nov 18, 2023 – Feb 25, 2024

Mesmerizing and evocative, these 42 photographs and two film installations by contemporary American artist Dawoud Bey contemplate the harrowing journeys and human realities of the Virginia slave trail, Louisiana plantations, and Ohio’s Underground Railroad.

Click to learn more about Theaster Gates: Wonder Working Power

EXHIBITION | Theaster Gates: Wonder Working Power

Jan 27– Jun 30, 2024

This exhibition features ceramic works by Theaster Gates, a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist and professor dedicated to community transformation. He has called pottery “the magic of taking the lowliest material on earth— mud—and turning it into something beautiful and useful.

Click to learn more about INSTALLATION | RVA Community Makers

INSTALLATION | RVA Community Makers

Celebrating its sixth year, RVA Community Makers is an annual community-activated art project presented by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and led by artist Hamilton Glass. The yearly project honors African American leaders from a variety of fields.


Events & Programs


Dominion Energy Jazz Café | Jazz Around the Museum

Wed, Feb 14, 2024 | 6–8 pm
Cochrane Atrium

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a bouquet of soulful music by the Johnny Lee Long Band, whose brand of funky jazz will spark joy for your mind, body, and soul. This performance features Johnny Lee Long on bass, Mikhail White on keyboard, Lenny Holmes on guitar, Leek Russell on drums, Michael G. Hawkins on flute, Dan Lèon on sax, Bob Miller on trumpet, Edward “Toby” Whitaker on trombone, Edalio Galarza on congas, and vocalists Norma Long and Wanda Jackson. 

Dominion Energy Jazz Café is in partnership with the Richmond Jazz Society.

Free; no registration required. Artists subject to change.


African American Read-In

Thu, Feb 22, 2024 | 5:30–7:30 pm
Museum-wide event

Literature and fine art come together the in African American Read-In (AARI) at VMFA. See and hear notable figures from the greater Richmond community as they lend their voices in prose and poetry readings throughout the galleries. In this powerful display of storytelling, experience evocative and poignant pairings of works by African American artists and authors.

The National African American Read-In is sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English and endorsed by the International Literacy Association.

Free, no tickets required.


African American Read-In for Families

Sat, Feb 24, 2024 | 11 am–12:30 pm
Museum-wide event

Celebrate children’s literature and art created by African and African American artists. Join VMFA educators and Richmond community members for an interactive group experience pairing three works of art by African and African American artists with readings of children’s books by African American authors.  
All children’s literature featured in the African American Read-In for Families is available for purchase in the VMFA Shop on Level 1.

The National African American Read-In is sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English and endorsed by the International Literacy Association.

Free, no tickets required.


More to Explore


VMFA Strategic Plan 2021–25

VMFA is always setting its sights higher and, guided by its latest Strategic Plan, striving to become a more vibrant, inclusive cultural leader.

Learn More


Untitled (James River) (detail), 2023, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), gelatin silver print, 48 x 59 in. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Mrs. Alfred duPont, by exchange, 2020.168.9. Image © Dawoud Bey

Photo: Lyndon French. @ Lyndon French

The Former and the Ladder or Ascension and a Cinchin’ (detail), 2012, Trenton Doyle Hancock (American, born 1974), acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Sydney and Frances Lewis Endowment Fund and Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr. Fund for 21st-Century Art with funds contributed by Mary and Don Shockey Jr. and Marion Boulton Stroud, 2013.3 © Trenton Doyle Hancock