Public invited to help fund important artifacts by voting for their favorite museum

When the country seems to be divided more than ever, it’s hard to find something that everyone can agree on, especially in an election year, but it’s safe to say that museums are on many lists of favorites. The Virginia Association of Museums’ Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program provides not one but ten museums for the public to root for in this annual online competition.

1 17 newbern 1After a competitive review of thirty applications from museums across Virginia, the review panel of conservators and exhibition and collections care experts from the Library of Virginia, Preservation Virginia, Virginia Conservation Association, and Virginia Department of Historic Resources have selected the 2019 honorees of the Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program based on the importance and conservation needs of the artifacts.

The public is invited to vote online for their favorite “Top 10” endangered artifact in an online competition happening January 13-22, 2020.

Included in the list of Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Honorees for 2019 is one from our own Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Newbern:

“Registry of Free Blacks 1855-1864 and Witness Book 1871-1876”

Journal of life in Pulaski County, Virginia including registry of free blacks leading up and during the Civil War, and legal proceedings and information on life in the post war era.

The museums where these 10 artifacts reside ranging in size, location, and subject matter will compete in an online public voting competition through January 22, 2020 where the public will be able to vote daily for their favorite museum and artifact. The two items receiving the most votes will receive awards of $2,000 and $1,000 toward the artifacts’ conservation. Additional awards totaling $5,000 will be awarded by the panel to the remaining eight museums. The award winners and honored museums will be recognized during a legislative reception on Wednesday, 1 17 newbern 2February 5, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond, Virginia following Virginia Museums Advocacy Day at the General Assembly.

This marks the ninth year of the Virginia Association of Museums successful campaign to create awareness of the importance of Virginia’s museums and historic sites and the unique historic, cultural and artistic items in their care. The “Top 10” program has benefited over 170 institutions to date, shedding light on the expense museums undertake every day, and connecting them with future donors wishing to help in their stewardship efforts.

Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts is a program of the Virginia Association of Museums, and was originally funded through an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant. The program has been replicated in other states, recognized as one of the grants most successful initiatives, and recognized with a Virginia PR Award by the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.