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Talking and Walking Common Ground: A Shared Vision in Action
June 21 @ 7:00 pm
The panel will include Elizabeth Chew, Senior Director of Museum Programs and Chief Curator of James Madison’s Montpelier, Maya Davis, Executive Director of the Riversdale House Museum, and Nancy Easterling, Executive Director of Historic Sotterley. All three of these historic museum sites have experienced ongoing transformations in how their history and stories are interpreted. The journey has not always been easy, and each site has had to face unique challenges as well as shared ones, but these museums represent a growing movement dedicated to providing a more holistic and honest view into our shared past, as well as creating ways to find Common Ground.
Elizabeth Chew, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Museum Programs and Chief Curator at James Madison’s Montpelier, where she oversees the Curatorial, Education, and Research departments. She has worked at museums and historic sites since 1985. At Montpelier she has overseen the excavation and reconstruction of six slave dwellings and work buildings, the creation of the exhibition The Mere Distinction of Colour, winner of six national awards, and the National Summit on Teaching Slavery. As curator at Monticello for thirteen years, she was instrumental in expanding interpretation to include women, slavery, and domestic work.
Maya Davis is the Director of the Riversdale House Museum, the former 19th Century Plantation home of George and Rosalie Calvert, as well as generations of enslaved families held in bondage. Prior to her arrival at Riversdale, Maya was the Research Archivist and Legislative Liaison at the Maryland State Archive where she consulted on statewide projects that documented, interpreted, and preserved African American History and Culture and facilitated discussions on state legislation and prepared statements for contemplated legislation.