The Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville announced multiple projects to be funded by the more than $27,000 raised during Moton Live 2023, including the creation of new, free educational resources for K-12 schools; facilitation of school field trips to the museum; and community programming for Prince Edward and its surrounding counties.
Those efforts, now bolstered by the funds Moton Museum raised in just 24 hours through Moton Live on April 22, 2023, directly support the museum’s mission to share the Moton School story across Virginia and beyond the commonwealth’s borders.
Launched in 2021, Moton Live is a hybrid fundraising and storytelling event with both virtual and in-person components. The event’s purpose is twofold: to raise funds that support the museum’s outreach and education efforts in Virginia and beyond, and to share the Moton story through both historical and modern perspectives.
To date, Moton Live has raised more than $100,000 in support of the museum’s education and outreach efforts.
“Every year we host Moton Live, and every year our supporters surpass our expectations,” said Moton Museum Executive Director Cainan Townsend. “The donations we received this year have already had an immediate impact in our ability to share the Moton story and connect with our community.”
The educational resources for K-12 schools include new lesson plans and resources of varying size, depth and grade level. The existing educational resources are available for free to all educators and are crafted to align with standards of learning (SOLs). Moton Live 2023’s funding will allow Moton to expand the reach and content of that library, which already includes programs about famous African-American Virginians; Virginia studies; the Civil Rights Movement; symbols of Virginia and the United States; and specific elements and figures of the Moton School Story, including the student-led strike and Barbara Johns.
Moton Live 2023’s funds will also expand the frequency and reach of Moton Museum’s field trip and classroom visit offerings, which annually connects the museum with more than 60 schools and 5,000 students in Virginia and across the country. Those connections occur both in person with student trips to the museum and Moton staff visits to schools, and digitally through virtual tours and live discussions facilitated by Moton staff.
Finally, Moton Live’s fundraising efforts will allow the museum to expand its events and outreach in Prince Edward County and the surrounding area. Those currently include monthly prayer breakfasts, Barbara Johns Day, the Rev. Robert Francis Griffin Lecture and the Black History Month Jazz Concert, and celebratory events like the Juneteenth celebration, and educational events featuring guest speakers and lecturers.
Moton Live’s 2023 fundraising total came on the heels of multiple regional and national recognitions for Moton Museum. In May 2022, President Joe Biden and the National Park Service designated Moton Museum a Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park for its role in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education United States Supreme Court. The Moton Museum was one of seven institutions involved in the Brown v. Board case to receive the recognition, which aligns the communities who worked toward fighting segregation in education.
Additionally, Barbara Rose Johns – who at just 16 years old organized and led her fellow Moton students to stage the 1951 walkout in protest of unsafe and inequitable school conditions in Prince Edward County – received additional recognition with a new portrait displayed in the Office of the Attorney General in Richmond, Va. Johns will also be memorialized at the United States Capitol later this year with a statue that will replace one of General Robert E. Lee, which was removed in 2020.
About Moton Museum
Farmville, Virginia’s former Robert Russa Moton High School, now a National Historic Landmark and museum, preserves and constructively interprets the history of civil rights in education, specifically as it relates to Prince Edward County and the leading role its citizens played in America’s transition from segregation toward integration. Moton strives to promote dialogue and advance positions that ensure empowerment within a constitutional democracy. It is envisioned to be a repository for historically significant materials that record Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle to achieve civil rights in education. For more information, please visit http://www.motonmuseum.org/ and connect with Moton on Facebook and Twitter.