Grant will help Prince Edward County highlight history

Published 5:57 pm Saturday, February 10, 2024

Prince Edward County has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the VA 250 Campaign, a collaborative initiative with the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). 

Prince Edward County will use the grant to fund an engaging multimedia exhibit at the Heartland Regional Visitor Center in Farmville that illuminates the county’s rich 250-year history, spanning from its foundational role in Virginia to present day. The exhibit is set to debut before the 2024 summer tourism season.

“This grant speaks to the power of the partnerships in our community,” said Chelsey White, Prince Edward County Director of Economic Development, Tourism and Grants. “We’re excited to work alongside historical experts from Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College and the Robert Russa Moton Museum to create this interpretive display. It’s also crucial for us to involve our local historical society, community leaders and skilled artisans to craft an exhibit that truly reflects the diverse and rich tapestry of our county’s history.”

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Engaging visitors with a blend of printed displays, compelling photography, historical artifacts, and immersive digital audio and video elements, the upcoming exhibition promises a multifaceted historical experience. Displays will bridge the historical milestones of Prince Edward County, highlighting key figures such as Thomas Jefferson’s cousin, Richard Randolph, who owned the land that later became the free Black community known as Israel Hill; and Patrick Henry, who lived in neighboring Charlotte County. The exhibit will also cover events that led to the Civil War, the civil rights movement in education, massive resistance and integration, as well as history from local Virginia State Parks and famous Farmville natives. 

Additionally, grant funds will facilitate the creation of mobile trade show displays for key community events like the Heart of Virginia Festival and holiday celebrations.

“Prince Edward County occupies a rich and impactful part of Virginia’s history, and that of our nation,” White said. “Local venues like the Robert Russa Moton Museum and the Civil Rights Walking Trail do an exceptional job of sharing key parts of that story, and this grant will allow us to expand our reach to audiences in the Washington, D.C., and Richmond metro areas. Our hope is that projects like this will help foster future collaborations among our many local historical attractions.”

Prince Edward County’s receipt of the VA 250 Campaign grant marks another significant achievement in the county’s ongoing pursuit of tourism development, adding to a series of grants secured over the last two years. Other awards include a $10,000 VTC Microbusiness Marketing Leverage Program grant to position the county as a premier wedding destination, and a $20,000 VTC Regional Marketing Program grant aimed toward wellness-minded visitors.