Close-up element in the ICA's Community Media Center.
Close-up element in the ICA's Community Media Center. (Photo by Chioke I'Anson)

Opening of new media center highlights fall schedule at the ICA

The schedule of exhibitions and programs includes the grand opening of the VPM + ICA Community Media Center.

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Fall programming at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will include a multidisciplinary slate of in-person and virtual programs that expand opportunities for audiences to engage with art, artists, discourse and innovation.

On Friday, Oct. 15, the ICA will host “Richmond Racial Equity Summit: An Evening of Conversation” at 6:30 p.m. with the creators of and contributors to the Richmond Racial Equity Essays project. Project creator Ebony Walden and collaborator Duron Chavis will moderate the event with panelists Enjoli Moon, Trey Hart, Kendra Jones, Nastassja Swift, Eva Rocha and Janine Yvette Bell. The program will also be available via livestream on the ICA at VCU YouTube channel.

“The ICA is both global and local, now more than ever,” said Dominic Asmall Willsdon, the executive director. “This fall we’re presenting exhibitions, talks and performances by artists from many countries and from the Richmond area. We are also opening a new space for local storytelling: the VPM + ICA Community Media Center on our second floor. The ICA is here to help build creative communities in Richmond, and to open our city to the world.” 

A grand opening for the VPM + ICA Community Media Center, a production studio and classroom inside the ICA offering workshops and symposia on the development of podcasts and other media content, will be held Nov. 5-6. Tours will be given every 30 minutes at the top of the hour on Friday, Nov. 5, from 4 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center will host a discussion, “Listen for the Hook: Perfecting the First Five Minutes of Your Podcast with Saidu Tejan-Thomas,” the “Resistance” podcast host, and Chioke I’Anson, Ph.D., VPM + ICA director of community media, on Friday, Nov. 5, from 6 to 7 p.m. 

Other highlights of the ICA’s free fall programs include: 

Friday, Oct. 29: “Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste: Set It Off” exhibition opening, 6 to 9 p.m.

The multisite event at the ICA and 1708 Gallery at 319 W. Broad St., will feature DJ sets and remarks from the artist as well as co-curators Amber Esseiva (ICA) and Park C. Myers (1708 Gallery Royall Family Curator). This exhibition, which runs through June 12, is in honor of the life and contributions of Bill Royall, a former vice rector of the VCU Board of Visitors and longtime VCU benefactor.

Saturday, Oct. 30: Sound walk between the ICA and 1708 Gallery, noon

“Set It Off” artist Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste will lead small groups on 45-minute to one-hour sound walks through Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward and surrounding neighborhoods.

The ICA at VCU also is continuing to partner with artists to focus on music and publishing. 

“Elevator Pitch,” a web-based micro-concert music series, is hosted in the ICA’s one-of-a-kind elevator, a gift of the Saunders Family Foundation. With the elevator’s bespoke interior as a backdrop, this season of the series will focus on music from the African diaspora, including indigenous sound, jazz, hip-hop, rock and soul, and will feature sounds by The Archives, Sam Reed, Miramar, Kyle Kidd, Cecily Bumbray and Wes Felton. Episodes are released monthly via ICA at VCU’s YouTube channel.  

“Wavelength,” an online lecture series and partnership between the ICA at VCU, VCUarts and VCUarts Qatar, returns for a third semester to connect a dynamic group of artists, designers, curators and scholars with VCU communities in Richmond, Doha and beyond.

Upcoming lecturing artists this semester will include filmmakers Elegance Bratton and Chester Algernal Gordon, and choreographer and dancer Alice Sheppard. 

Additionally, the exhibition “Ibrahim Ahmed: It Will Always Come Back To You” continues through Nov. 7 and “Dineo Seshee Bopape: Ile aye, moya, là, ndokh … harmonic conversions … mm” continues through Dec. 19.