126 Artist & History Studio Cooperative Program

126 is a research lab that is activated for Art & History cross-disciplinary collaboration. 126 is a residence annex of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History that houses a Research Center; a Conference Room; an offices and four bathrooms; a bedroom and a fully stocked Kitchen. The 126 Research Building welcomes students, professional studio artists and historian scholars as well as creative researchers to operate 126 at the intersection of public art, historical research and service. Striving to strengthen stewardship of public cultural platforms and discourse, while working to bring awareness to issues of social and cultural concern, 126 offer organizational structures that support and promote cultural connections in the Danville region through advocacy, outreach, and educational programming. 126 focuses on how important it is for more people to be involved in caring for our common communities and to re-address access to the arts and history as a commons. 126 will launch its first year in January of 2020 and will initially host 12 visiting artists/scholars/writers in 2020 that would impact programming which has the potential reach 3 000 – 5 000 visitors at the DMFAH historical Sutherlin Mansion and its downtown Satellite Gallery at 536 Craghead. This Satellite Gallery location in historic downtown Danville is situated near the restored train station, the Science Museum and the Community Market as well as outdoor arena. The Sutherlin Mansion is located about 1.1 miles away in the Holbrook Historic residential area.

Download the Residency Program Outline

Current Residents

Elise SchafferElise Schaffer

Virtual Tour Creator Training  (January 12-16, 2020)

Google Tour for Non-profits and Local Businesses | Creating Virtual Content Using Free Resources 

Elise Schaffer is a senior Arts Administration major (Class of May 2020) from Penn State University, Lehigh Valley campus in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. Elise has previously worked as an intern for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Ronald K DeLong Gallery, a Project Assistant for the Spotted Lanternfly: Zones of Syncopation community arts project and as a teaching assistant for the Virtual Education Department at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Elise’s undergraduate research focuses on virtual resources for arts and cultural organizations and accessibility adaptations for arts spaces. 

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Karen WilliamsonKaren Williamson

Writing Legacy Narratives: Capturing & Celebrating Your Story (January 25 - February 5, 2020)

Workshop for All Writers | Creating Narrative Content Using Danville Timelines & Family Legacies

Karen Williamson, born in the mid-west, raised in the suburbs of Washington DC and currently living in Caswell County, NC, is a Board Member for the Thomas Day House/Union Tavern in Milton, NC. Williamson is the historian for the Danville, Virginia Chapter of the African American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS). Williamson is a strong advocate of programs/information that advances the study and tells the rich stories of African American genealogy and history; especially those stories that originate from the Caswell County, NC, and Danville, VA areas. Karen is a 1986 graduate of James Madison University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Dance Theater. Professionally, she has been a sales rep for Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, and PepsiCo. Avocationally, she is an award winning artist in photography and reed weaving.

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Kate McDannoldKate McDannold

Virtual Education & Community Engagement (April 5 - 30, 2020)

Virtual Interactive Educational Content | Learning & Exploration Formats for Camilla Williams

Kate McDannold is a Museum studies Graduate student with a passion for developing unique learning experiences for all audiences. Skilled in program creation, historical research, community outreach, peer tutoring, and collaborative project development in a museum setting she developed the DMFAH virtual education formats for creative engagement. Working towards an MA in Museum Studies from UNC-Greensboro. As an education Department Intern Kate developed and hosted educational programming at the Children’s Museum in Greensboro and successfully led 500 students through summer activities there. She trained and supervised a team of 12 volunteers for this.

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Josh Lucia ImageJosh Lucia

Storytelling Through Film (May 18-27, 2020)

Creating Virtual Content in Dialogue with contents of THE MOVEMENT Civil Rights collection.

Lucia is a graduate of Chatham High School and has an associate degree from Liberty University. Josh is the owner of Lucia Video, a local video production company. He also serves as Managing Director for Smokestack Theatre Company, a non-profit theatre that serves the entire Dan River Region with live performances, classes, and more. While many of the projects he works on with Lucia Video have a focus on marketing, every project includes creative elements. Josh has a passion for creative storytelling through film and video. He will be working on a virtual tour of the Museum’s current exhibit, “The Movement: Danville’s Civil Rights” and hopes to bring this important exhibit beyond the walls of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History.

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Val-Rae Christensen ImageVal-Rae Christensen

Writer in Residence 

Val-Rae Christensen is a published author, essayist, and a content creator for Her historical fiction novels, Of Moths and Butterflies, and Cry of the Peacock, have allowed her to address issues of gender and class inequality as well as trauma recovery.

In October of 2018, Val-Rae founded the Health and Peace Initiative, a community outreach endeavor to take mindfulness practices and trauma education out into the public, providing individuals with the means to self-manage stress, anxiety, depression, and the effects of adverse experiences.

As the Danville Museum of Fine Art and History’s writer in residence, and through her project “Responsibility over Guilt”, Val-Rae will offer community conversations that can lay the groundwork for healing and understanding.