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VMFA Exhibit Announces Special Admission for Educators, State Employees, Military Personnel, and Their Families

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Commonwealth of Virginia employees, preschool and K–12 teachers (public and private), as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families can receive free admission to the groundbreaking exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) now through September 6, 2021.

“I hope Commonwealth employees will take advantage of cultural opportunities like The Dirty South exhibition at VMFA as more and more residents are getting vaccinations and Virginia begins to safely emerge from the pandemic,” said Governor Northam.

The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse explores the roots of Southern hip-hop culture and reveals how the aesthetic traditions of the African American South have shaped visual art and musical expression over the last 100 years. Beginning in the 1920s with spirituals, jazz and blues, the exhibition interweaves parallels between music and visual art production of the Southern United States. The Dirty South features more than 140 works of art from an intergenerational group of artists working in a variety of genres from sculpture, painting and drawing to photography and film as well as sound pieces and large-scale installation works.

“We welcome our colleagues from the Commonwealth of Virginia to take advantage of free admission and come see this exceptional exhibition,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Visitors to The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse will undoubtedly gain an appreciation for how African Americans in the South, through art and music, have had and continue to have a significant influence on our entire culture.”

More information about The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse can be found at

Ticket Information
Tickets for The Dirty South are now on sale at The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, state employees and teachers, as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families; $12 for adults; $10 for seniors 65+; and $10 for youth 7-17 and college students with ID.

About the Exhibition Sponsors
The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse is presented by Altria Group with additional generous support from The Henry Luce Foundation. The exhibition has been supported by many individual donors as well as the following institutional sponsors: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bank of America; Troutman Pepper; The Council of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; JMI; Radio One; Richmond (VA) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; The Sotheby’s Prize; Alpha Beta Boule Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity; and West Cary Group. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting, and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan, and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit

Read the RFM Review of The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse here.

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