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Moton Mural Ribbon Cutting Is Tuesday

FARMVILLE — The Moton Council will host a mural ribbon cutting and reception July 28 from 10-11 a.m. to mark the opening of Moton Museum’s reconstructed tarpaper schoolhouse building. The public is invited to this special event that will include remarks from acclaimed Richmond-based artist Hamilton Glass; Office of U.S. Senator Mark Warner outreach representative Eldon Burton; and newly-appointed Executive Director of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission Evan Feinman.

The building is a 21st-century model of one of the three “tar paper shacks” constructed outside the all-black Moton High School in 1948 due to overcrowding. The poorly constructed classrooms prompted Moton students to go on strike on April 23, 1951. Moton students and families comprised three-fourths of the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared segregated public education unconstitutional.

The new facility provides additional educational, programming and meeting space for community members and museum visitors. The new tarpaper building is constructed on the same footprint as the original and is identical in size and outward appearance on three sides. The fourth side features a mural by Hamilton Glass. The project also included construction of a bus pull-off along Griffin Boulevard and a new parking lot.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and the Virginia Department of Transportation Enhancement Program funded the project. The Commonwealth Regional Council and the Town of Farmville administered the grants. WileyIWilson served as the architectural and engineering firm for the project, and R.F. Howerton, Inc. was the project contractor.

The former Robert Russa Moton High School, now a National Historic Landmark and museum, is the student birthplace of America’s Civil Rights revolution. Moton continues to serve as a civil rights training ground, striving to promote dialogue and advance positions that ensure empowerment within a constitutional democracy.

The museum is located at the intersection of Main Street and Griffin Boulevard in Farmville.