Following a week-long online voting competition that generated over 19,000 votes from the public, and the selection of an independent, professional panel of conservators and preservationists, the Virginia Association of Museums awarded $18,500 in conservation grants to ten historic and cultural organizations from across the Commonwealth to help in the care of Virginia’s historic and cultural treasures.
- Birthplace of Country Music (Bristol, VA) $5,000. Receiving nearly 6,000 public votes in the program’s online voting competition, Birthplace of Country Music will receive the top award for conservation of its WCYB-Bristol Farm & Fun Time Audio Disc Rare Radio Performance by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys (date: circa early 1950s).
- Alexandria Archaeology-Office of Historic Alexandria (Alexandria, VA) $4,000. Following close in the voting competition with over 5,500 votes, Alexandria Archaeology will receive funds toward the ongoing conservation efforts of their impressive 18th Century Merchant Ship (dated: circa 1750s-1800).
- African American Historical Society of Portsmouth (Portsmouth, VA) $3,000. Receiving special recognition from the independent Selection Committee, the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth will be awarded $3,000 to conserve its Segregated Era “Colored” Sink that exemplifies an era of separate but equal life in the South under “Jim Crow” laws.
- Prince William County Historic Preservation Division (Dumfries, VA) $2,000. Recognized for its research potential and historical documentation of voter disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth, Prince William County Historic Preservation’s Poll Books will receive $2,000 toward its paper conservation efforts.
The six remaining 2017 Honorees of the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program will each receive $750 – $500 toward conservation/preservation efforts and $250 toward professional development in the field.
An awards ceremony will take place during a special legislative reception at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia on February 21, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. following Virginia Museums Advocacy Day, presented by the Virginia Association of Museums. This is the first time that VAM has been able to provide direct financial support to its members for conservation efforts, and is made possible through a generous gift of the Blandford-Rees Foundation in recognition of the association’s 50th Anniversary.