Community Outreach

As we approach 2019, American Evolution will actively engage with museums, heritage sites, community action groups, and localities across the Commonwealth of Virginia. These sites and organizations will be encouraged to participate in the commemoration of their own communities, revealing how their history and culture have contributed to Virginia’s development and success over the past 400 years. Beginning in late 2017, sites will be invited to plan, develop, and execute programs and activities that support the education and tourism goals of the Commemoration.

Community engagement projects include, but are not limited to:


The 1619 Society

American Evolution has established the 1619 Society with the goal of engaging a younger generation of Virginians in the development of democracy, diversity, and opportunity in the Commonwealth. Events hosted throughout the state will encourage emerging leaders to participate in civic engagement by identifying challenges and solutions unique to Virginia’s many distinct regions. Participants in the 1619 Society will be empowered to work together and contribute to the ongoing evolution of Virginia through community engagement and activation, in cooperation with the 2019 Commemoration.  This community engagement may take many forms, from additional local gatherings and civic education projects to art exhibits and public performances.


American Evolution Digital Trail

Drawing on the resources of The Library of Virginia, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the American Evolution Digital Trail will feature a collection of significant historic and cultural sites that tell the story of the first 400 years of Virginia’s dynamic history.

Incorporated into an easy-to-use, interactive mobile application, the trail will promote tourism while inspiring, educating and stimulating awareness of Virginia’s role in the creation of the United States, engaging new generations to pursue a deeper understanding of our shared history.


American Evolution Marketing Grant Program

American Evolution is sponsoring a marketing grant program administered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The purpose of this grant program is to assist Virginia localities – from towns and cities to museums, tourist attractions, and non-profit organizations – in the promotion of their sites and their connections to American Evolution.


Museum Exhibits, Educational Programs, and Special Events

American Evolution will support exhibits and programs that reflect the historical events of 1619, the 400 year arc of Virginia’s history since that time, and the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity. These events will increase civic engagement in communities across the Commonwealth and attract highly diverse audiences.


Creative Expressions Campaign

The 2019 Commemoration will sponsor a statewide campaign to encourage creative expressions of the commemoration’s themes and historical pillars. Entries will be featured in local and statewide exhibits and may also be exhibited during signature events. A limited number of entries may also be highlighted in 2019 Commemoration promotional material.