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Department ofArt and Art History


Virginia Apperson - Understanding Black History in Coastal Communities

Virginia Apperson

After graduating,Virginia Apperson '20 (Art History and Studio Art), moved home to Virginia Beach, VA where she was recently hired into the position of Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum. The Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum provides a history based experience about Virginia’s coastal communities and maritime heritage.

Virginia started out as a Research and Exhibitions Curatorial Intern. Her first project included conducting research and creating an exhibit about an all African American beach, Seaview, in the surrounding area from 1946 to 1965. Her exhibit focuses on race relations in coastal communities, specifically Virginia Beach, and how segregation and desegregation affected beach towns. Uniquely, Seaview was owned by African Americans, but fostered a partnership with white businessmen in the area to fund the beach and amusement park.

Virginia attempts to create a narrative for understanding the uniqueness of this partnership during the time period, as well as drawing attention to the history of the black community in Virginia Beach. In her current position, she continues to research and design exhibitions, while also implementing a $100,000 fundraising campaign through outreach and social media.

arthome, aah alumni