Tag Archives: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Menokin African American Advisory Workgroup

In 2016, the Menokin Foundation  spearheaded the formation of the African American Advisory Work Group (AAAWG). The primary goals of the AAAWG are to assist the Menokin Foundation in:

  • telling the story of African Americans at Menokin to inspire a fuller understanding of and appreciation for their central role in Menokin’s story.
  • engaging and involving the African American community in ongoing efforts to preserve and interpret Menokin, and developing the historic site into a cultural learning center.
  • acting as a leading pilot or prototype for engagement of any community type.
  • telling the big picture story. (What are the lessons to be extracted from our local history?  How do we relate this history to the state in general and, in bigger terms, the world?)

The group now consists of the following advisory members:

MENOKIN

  • Alice French – Menokin Staff; Education and Outreach Coordinator
  • Dudley Olsson – Menokin Board; Education Committee chair
  • Tom Duckenfield – Menokin Board; Education Committee member

MUSEUM AND HUMANITIES PROFESSIONALS

  • Bessida Cauthorne White – Genealogist; Member of Middle Peninsula African American Genealogical Society
  • Lauranett Lee – Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Trustee; former curator of VHS African American exhibits
  • Mariaelena DeBenignio – College of William & Mary history doctorate and researcher

GORDON FAMILY DESCENDANTS & LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

  • Evelyn Parker
  • Juanita Wells
  • Mark Cox
  • Brenda Leigh Wells
  • Beatrice Robinson Ball
  • Vera Robinson Rich
  • Skip Taylor
EDUCATION AND PROGRAMMING INITIATIVES AT MENOKIN ARE MADE POSSIBLE – IN PART – BY THE 56 SIGNERS SOCIETY OF MENOKIN.

 

Google, Google, what do you see? I see Menokin in 360.

Earlier in the year, while attending a VAM (Virginia Association of Museums) conference in Alexandria, I happened to attend a session led by two folks from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Encyclopedia Virginia (EV) Project.

Matthew Gibson, Director of Digital Initiatives and Editor of EV, and Peter Hedlund, Programmer for EV, were helping non-profits identify free, reasonably priced and accessible digital resources to use in their communications platform. Toward the end of the session, they presented their recent affiliation with Google Street View. It seems that they had received training and licensing from Google to compile virtual tours of historic venues and they were asking for interesting places to visit and shoot.

After bull-dozing my way through the crowd that gathered around them after their session, I managed to wave a business card within eye shot and said “You might be interested in Menokin for a Google Street View venue.” Bazinga. It was as if the fates had planned the whole thing.

“Menokin!” Peter shouted to Matthew. (Or maybe Matthew shouted to Peter.) “She’s from Menokin!”

I felt fairly confident that they were interested.

They were, and in late spring they journeyed to our little corner of the Northern Neck to capture the footage. I got to learn the Google Dance, which involves constantly moving in a circle to keep out of the view of the camera. We canvassed the entire property including the ruin, the trails, the Visitors Center and the Conservation Barn.

CaptureThe result is a comprehensive 360 degree look at each floor of the house, as well as a view of the landing at Cat Point Creek, a tour of the Historic Woodwork Collection at the Visitors Center, and a trip inside the Conservation Barn to view the structural timbers and building stones that were excavated from the site.

Anyone who Googles “Menokin” will see a link to the virtual tour. So if you’re an armchair tourist and would like to see Menokin from the comfort of your home, here’s your chance. Or if you’re planning a visit (and we hope you are), take a look around before you get here.