The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA) has named Adele Johnson as executive director, effective January 1. Johnson has been serving as interim executive director for over a year. Since joining the museum, she has worked tirelessly to take the local treasure from being the best kept secret in Richmond to a destination location for Richmond region residents as well as tourists.
Under her leadership, the Black History Museum has maintained a consistent schedule of national and noteworthy exhibitions, provided increased and enhanced programming, and become known as the ideal event venue – offering a historical and elegant setting for corporate and individual events. Said Johnson, “Our mission is to tell stories that inspire. We tell the stories of African Americans through interactive and informative exhibitions, engaging and educational programming, and fun activities for all people. The Black History Museum is the best kept secret in Richmond and I hope that through our concerted efforts, everyone will become aware of who we are, so we won’t be a secret any longer!”
One specific way she hopes to raise awareness about the museum is through children and youth programming. As former executive director of the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, Johnson fully understands the importance of helping children develop a solid foundation of learning. She has taken numerous steps to enhance children’s programming at the Black History Museum such as cultivating partnerships with area school divisions for programs like the Children’s Book Festival, Kidz@122 and Hands on History.
The BHMVA board members are equally excited about Johnson taking the helm on a permanent basis. Board chairperson Dr. Monroe Harris said, “We couldn’t be happier about Adele joining the museum staff. Since stepping in as interim director, she has done so much to move the museum forward. Her expertise in fund development and nonprofit leadership, coupled with her passion for African American culture make her the ideal fit for the museum.”
“There is a lot to accomplish and the list seems to continue to grow, said Johnson. But that is what makes it so exciting! The possibilities of what the Black History Museum can offer to the community are endless.”