New Virginians: 1619-2019 and Beyond
Library of Virginia, Richmond
December 10, 2018 to December 5, 2019

Recent estimates place the number of foreign-born Virginians at just under one million, and nearly half of these new residents are between the ages of 25 and 44. The Library of Virginia, working with Virginia Humanities, hosted an exhibition featuring video-recorded conversations with immigrants and refugees from more than 30 countries. Some came to this country seeking new opportunities, others as refugees fleeing war and hardship. Virginia’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni, is among the interviewees, who also include a teacher, professional photographer, former U.S. Marine and I.T Professional, doctor, missionaries, and folklorists. The New Virginians exhibition explored themes such as opportunity, family, service, faith, and gratitude, and featured artifacts related to the interviewees’ personal journeys. A traveling version of the exhibition (minus the artifacts) traveled to public libraries throughout Virginia. The interviews, with additional videos not shown in the exhibition, are available for viewing on the Virginia Humanities and Library of Virginia websites.