Volume IV | January 31 2021
The Danville Museum Launches New Video

The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History brings multifaceted histories of the Dan River Region together for all.

January – December 2020: The DMFAH launched an extensive collections research to reconstruct the Danville Museum Visitor Service Introduction Video. The goal was to include omitted histories and narratives of the Danville Museum Site and its context to the community narratives of the Dan River Region.
The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History (DMFAH) is a House Museum that holds two very separate histories under one roof. One history belongs to the original owners, the William T. Sutherlin Family, and their relationship to Confederate history, Jefferson Davis, and the end of the Civil War. The other history is that of the Civil Rights Movement and the difficult situation of segregation during the time before the Sutherlin Mansion became a museum, when it was a “whites only” public library. These two histories both need to be told because they are connected, and this project aims to create the platform for equitable disclosure of this narrative in order to facilitate new conversations and discoveries.

PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. Contact the museum at info@danvillemuseum.org

DMFAH’s Omitted History Visitor Service Video aims to look at the complex task of addressing the civil rights narratives through a revision and reconstruction of this video by including all of the Sutherlin Mansion histories in an equitable way. 
The Omitted History Project
Although only a short introduction video, the Omitted History Visitor Service Video reflects an open and equitable invitation for the public – all public – to participate in exploring the many histories of the Museum and the Dan River Region. It is the entryway to a far larger archive of cultural histories that tell the story of all the people living in the Dan River Region.

Accompanying the video on our DMFAH website, is a Time-line document describing the various important events of the Museum and the Dan River Region. The Omitted History Video connects these events in the accompanying Timeline and shows how the museum collections are deeply woven into the regions diverse and vibrant cultural narratives.

We believe the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History is a space and a place where visitors and residents want to talk about inclusive museum programming for all communities in Danville. 

Role of the Humanities
The humanities play a vital role in the life of any museum and help us understand others through their languages, histories and cultures. The humanities foster social justice and equality, and they reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world. The humanities teach empathy.

The humanities teach us to deal critically and logically with subjective, complex, imperfect information. And they teach us to weigh evidence skeptically and consider more than one side of every question. Humanities studies at museums build critical skills in writing and understanding. The humanities encourage us to think creatively. They teach us to reason about being human and to ask questions about our world. The humanities develop informed and critical citizens. Without the humanities, democracy could not flourish.
The DMFAH is partnering to bring new SOL standards to the Collection Content
The Museum - with the help of a recently graduated Museum Study Masters student from UNC-G, Kate McDannold – created a unit this summer (Think Like A Historian) based on our own research for a new Visitor Service Video funded by the Virginia Humanities. The Museum was taking a deep dive through collections to look at how it presented its histories and realized how much was being left out. One of the units in Think Like a Historian is an outline of the 1883 Danville Race Riots. It is important to us to bring this “missing puzzle piece” to the public’s attention and to the attention of schools and community groups.
DMFAH Audio, Video and Film - Digitizing our Collection
Digitization is very important for data processing, storage, and transmission due to the fact that it allows information to intermingle and to be carried out with the same efficiency. Digitization allows data to be shared and accessed, to be propagated without loss, and to migrate to new formats when needed.
 Interns Aidan Thomas and Daniel Shogan have been pulling original source audio, video and film from the DMFAH’s large holdings. The DMFAH digital preservation plan is to transcribe the original source materials as digital files that can be more easily shared with researchers, exhibition curators, students and the public. We will also ‘feature’ certain digital files in our newsletter to bring these videos and audio samples to the attention of our community.
DMFAH Story Circles: Saturday February 6th 2021 at 11-12:30pm (Zoom)
Celebrating Black History Month
On Saturday, February 6, 2021, the DMFAH has teamed up with the Duke Center for Truth, racial Healing & Transformation to participate in a program that marks the start of community conversations around silenced narratives that needs to be given voice.
Dr. Darla Deardorff, is the research fellow who will lead the conversation in Story Circles. 

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 from 11:00-12:30 pm