Tina Panetta, Mother on the Hill

By: Margaret Foster
Posted on: February 26, 2021

Years ago, though it’s hard to imagine today, Republican and Democratic senators used to sit at the same table to share a meal in the Senate Dining Room. They would cross the aisle just to talk to beloved waitress Tina Panetta, an ebullient Italian mother and grandmother. “We talked like family, like brother and sister,” Panetta, now 95, recalls of her 23-year career serving... READ MORE

Richmond area artist memorializes civil rights icon

By: Margaret Foster
Posted on: February 09, 2021

When the Virginia Museum of History and Culture completes its renovations next year, it will display a significant new work in the collection: a portrait of Oliver Hill — a Richmonder who was a trailblazer in the civil rights movement. “The portrait of Hill fills a major gap in the VMHC collection,” William Rasmussen, senior museum collections curator and Lora M. Robins Curator of... READ MORE

Unearthing Sugarland’s story

By: Margaret Foster
Posted on: January 29, 2021

One day 26 years ago, Gaithersburg resident Gwen Hebron Reese visited the Maryland town where she was born in 1941 — at least what was left of it. Reese walked around the grounds of the shuttered church that had been the heart of Sugarland, established in 1871 by formerly enslaved people. “The church had been closed, and it was just sitting there. The door was nailed shut, and the ... READ MORE

Conversations on race, culture

By: Robert Friedman
Posted on: January 18, 2021

The new director of Maryland’s museum of African American history and culture has bigger things in mind than cataloguing or explaining events and artworks of the past. Terri Lee Freeman takes over as executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore on Feb. 15, at a time when the country is focused anew on the issue of racism. She hopes to involve the museum and its... READ MORE

Local author draws on her own childhood

By: Glenda C. Booth
Posted on: January 11, 2021

In Richmond author Meg Medina’s latest children’s book, Evelyn del Rey Is Moving Away, two best friends face the sadness of separation but vow an enduring friendship. Daniela is a light-skinned Cuban American; Evelyn is a darker Cuban African. Their story, their ethnicity and their skin color are at the core of Medina’s mission: to bring to life the experiences of under-represented ... READ MORE

A spy reveals her life in disguise

By: Robert Friedman
Posted on: January 04, 2021

“Don’t look back” — someone is definitely following you. “Use your gut” to choose your next move. Are you being bugged with microphones and cameras in the walls of your office or apartment? “Assume that you are.” As you drive to a crucial meeting with an asset, if you realize you’ll be boxed-in by other vehicles, scoot away. Then, before you duck out of the car,... READ MORE

Bridging the generation gap

By: Simone Ellin
Posted on: December 21, 2020

In 2016, the World Health Organization embarked on an ambitious campaign called the Global Campaign to Combat Ageism. The campaign was necessary, according to the WHO, since “unlike other forms of discrimination, including sexism and racism, [ageism] is socially accepted and usually unchallenged.” Recently, a team of researchers at Cornell University, working on behalf of the... READ MORE

Folklore society nourishes African heritage

By: Glenda C. Booth
Posted on: December 08, 2020

At the gateway to the historic black community of Jackson Ward, a light-filled, street-level building is brightened by the colors of Africa: rich reds, yellows and greens. This is the headquarters of the Elegba Folklore Society, a cultural arts organization at 101 East Broad Street, whose mission and outreach are different from other Richmond museums. The society, established 30 years ... READ MORE

Flutist’s lyrical memoir uplifts

By: Catherine Brown
Posted on: December 01, 2020

I am no dope I see how my family notes my lapses and losses of appropriate words or a name or the date and it makes me fretful to be forgetful so I try to hide it So begins one of the first poems in Eugenia Zukerman’s book Like Falling Through a Cloud, which her publisher describes as a “lyrical memoir of coping with forgetfulness, confusion and a dreaded... READ MORE

Artists bring new life to shops

By: Tony Glaros
Posted on: November 20, 2020

In a cozy, second-floor studio at Long Reach Village Center in Columbia, where the walls gleam with a fresh coat of white paint, artist Stacey Berger stepped back from a collage to gain perspective. She gazed at the meticulously arranged, diamond-shaped pieces of orange and blues. “I tore pages out of National Geographics and cut them into strips,” explained Berger, surrounded by the ... READ MORE