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a Monthly discussion series at Gallery5

Each month, Gallery5 brings together three people doing good work in Richmond to talk in small groups over drinks with our audience about how to get involved in shaping the city. This free event, funded by a generous grant from Virginia Humanities, is also a happy hour, and wraps up just in time for Gallery5’s weekly, free Community Game Night! Mark your calendars and come get hyped about your civic duty!

June 19: Richmond & Transportation

Public transportation is taking off in Richmond. The Pulse Bus Rapid Transit system has arrived on Broad street. New bike lanes criss-cross the city, and the GRTC has redesigned routes, and expanded its range into surrounding counties. In this discussion we’ll talk about how new projects are impacting the city, and what still needs to change to make Richmond accessible and connected. 

Panelists: 

Max Hepp-Buchanan - Director, Bike Walk RVA 

In addition to advocating for the growth of biking and walking infrastructure in Greater Richmond through Bike Walk RVA, Max is a Richmond City Planning Commissioner, and A commissioner on the City Safe and Healthy Streets Commission. He is one of the leading voices for people powered transportation in Richmond.

Ross Catrow - Advocate and Organizer, RVA Rapid Transit

Ross Catrow is an advocate and organizer for frequent and far-reaching public transportation in Richmond. He spends a lot of time meeting with and writing to citizens, local leaders and policy makers about the importance of good public transportation. Catrow understands the intricacies of transportation policy, and can help our audience make sense of this complex subject. 

Carrie Pace Rose - Director of Communications, Greater Richmond Transit Company 

As GRTC’s official spokesperson, Carrie engages the community and media about what’s new and next in transit. Carrie will be able to represent the views of Richmond’s municipal transit organization, and address concerns and questions voiced by Ross, Max and our audience members. 

May 15: Richmond & Sustainability

In this discussion series we ask three local experts on environmentalism and sustainability to present their recommendations for how Richmonders can take action in their own lives to make life in Richmond more sustainable and healthy for everyone. This event will focus on positive approach focused on actions that can be taken immediately by our audience members, and ways they can get more deeply involved in the fight to save the planet. 

Panelists: 

Jeremy Hoffman - Climate Scientist, Science Museum of Virginia 

Jeremy specializes in public-facing Earth science communication, content, and exhibit development. Jeremy's science outreach development has been written about in STEM Jobs Magazine, the Richmond Times Dispatch, UPWORTHY and the Corvallis Advocate.

Bruno Welsh - Founder, Compost RVA 

In addition to founding and operating Compost RVA, a local food-waste reclamation business, Bruno is a board member on the Richmond Composting Council. Bruno helps us to understand how composting, and soil health, generally, is foundational to sustainable urban ecology. 

Kendra Norell - Program Administrator, PASS program, Former Program Manager, Groundwork RVA 

At Groundwork RVA, Kendra designed, organized and led environmental conservation projects with Richmond area youth. At the Pass Program, she works to increase public transportation ridership among young people in Richmond. Kendra will help our audiences to understand how youth can be at the center of building a more sustainable city. 


April 17: Richmond & Public Art 

The public art landscape has changed significantly in Richmond over the past 10 years. Against the backdrop of continued controversy over Confederate monuments, the Public Arts Commission has erected several new pieces of large scale public sculpture, including a new monument to Maggie Lena Walker. The Richmond Mural Project and Richmond Street art festival have transformed the city with hundreds of new murals. This discussion will look at the role of public art in reimagining the identity of the city. 

Panelists: 

Hamilton Glass - Muralist, public artist 

Hamilton Glass is a painter, muralist and public artist deeply committed to the Richmond community. He has painted murals at the Oliver Hill Detention Center, the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, The Neighborhood Resource Center of Varina, and at countless other community-oriented venues. He has also worked closely with Richmond area youth at Art 180 and Hands on Greater Richmond, and the Boys and Girls Club. 

Ashley Kistler -  Vice Chair, Richmond Public Arts Commission

Ashley Kistler has acted as a curator at the VMFA, the Anderson Gallery and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. As vice chair of Richmond’s public arts commission, she is a powerful voice in shaping public art in Richmond. 

Mickael Broth - Muralist, public artist 

Mickael Broth is a prolific Richmond muralist and public artist. In December of 2018, his first piece of public sculpture, commissioned by the City of Richmond, was installed at the Hull Street Public Library.  His book Murals of Richmond documents the transformation of Richmond’s public art landscape, and was published by Chop Suey Books in October 2018. 

March 13: Richmond & Urban Agriculture

This discussion will focus on the current growth of urban agriculture projects in the city of Richmond. Community Gardens, Urban CSA’s, backyard chickens and new Farmer’s Markets are springing up across the city. What impact is this new movement having on the way we eat in Richmond? What obstacles stand in its way? 

Panelists: 

Duron Chavis - Community Engagement Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens 

Duron Chavis is a gardener, organizer and activist working at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and racial and economic inequality. He has helped found and grow vibrant, productive community gardens across the city, and is a powerful advocate for the role of urban agriculture in healing Richmond’s deepest divides. 

Hunter Hopcroft - Special Projects Director, Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market

Hunter Hopcroft left a career in investment banking to follow his calling to operate a small grocery store in Richmond. He has now joined forces with Richmond’s beloved Ellwood Thompson’s, which has been instrumental in growing the local food movement in Richmond for decades. 

Sally Schwitters - Executive Director, Tricycle Gardens

Under Sally’s leadership with Tricycle, she launched Richmond’s City-Wide Healthy Corner Store Initiative – Corner Farm, and forged partnership with several organizations bringing food producing gardens to Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center and Richmond Community Hospital, the Visual Arts Center, Independence Golf Club, and 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond’s East End.

Omari Al-Qadaffi - Community Organizer, Richmond Food Justice Alliance 

Omari Al-Qadaffi partnered with the Richmond City Health District in summer of 2017 to found the Richmond Food Justice Alliance. The Alliance trains residents of food deserts to advocate for healthy food access. In addition to promoting food justice, Omari has been a powerful voice for public transportation and tenants rights. 

February 20: Richmond & Black Freedom 

This interactive panel discussion, held during Black History Month, features the narratives of enslaved Black freedom fighters in Richmond. Young Gabriel, Madison Washington, Mary Bowser, Lucy Goode Brooks and Christopher McPherson each committed their lives to ending systemic oppression in the capital city during the years of enslavement. As Richmond continues deliberating about the visible legacy of the Lost Cause on Monument Avenue, this conversation will consider the nature of self determination and how we remember Richmond's ancestral Black (s)heroes.

Panelists: 

Free Egunfemi - Curator + Founder - Untold RVA

Free Egunfemi is a historian, curator, and activist working to reform the commemorative landscape of Richmond Virginia. She founded Untold RVA, a local organization that reconnects Richmonders to their forgotten past through tours, performances, and tactical urbanist installations around the city. 

Alicia Diaz - Assistant Professor of Dance - University of Richmond

Alicia Diaz is an award-winning contemporary dancer and choreographer who has worked with Untold RVA to translate stories of Richmond freedom fighters into expressive dance performances. 

Christopher Rashad Green - Researcher, VCU's Richmond Health & Wellness Program

Christopher Rashad Green is a tenacious local activist working on food justice, prison reform and racial justice. He collaborates with Untold RVA on dramatic performances that help bring the history of the struggle for Black Freedom to life.

January 30: Richmond & the Suburbs 

This panel discussion will address the development of the suburbs of Metro Richmond, with an explicit focus on redlining, white flight, and the ways racial and economic inequality have been built into the landscape of the city and its surroundings. 

Panelists: 

Edwin Slipek - Architecture critic, Style Weekly 

Edwin Slipek is the foremost voice in local architecture criticism. He curated the show "Changing Landscape: Suburban Richmond" at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. He co-founded the website Architecture Richmond, which profiles important buildings, movements, and people in the history of the city. He is an impassioned advocate for understanding architecture’s role in the life of the city. 

Brian Cannon - Executive Director, One Virginia 2021

With One Virginia 2021, Brian is working to counteract aggressive and anti-democratic Gerrymandering in the state of Virginia. Cannon will be able to show our audience how suburban districts impact Richmond, and Virginia politics. 

Burt Pinnock, Principal Architect, Baskervill 

Burt Pinnock is one of the leading architects practicing in Richmond today. In addition to beautiful work on residential, commercial and civic buildings, Pinnock is a deeply committed community servant, serving on the boards of the Historic Richmond Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Richmond’s Urban Design Committee, The Richmond Commission of Architectural Review, The Storefront for Community Design, and many other organizations working to guide development in Metro Richmond.