Virginia Changemakers
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  • Tags: Arts and Literature

Camilla Ella Williams.jpg
An acclaimed lyric soprano and the first African American to receive a contract from a major American opera company, Camilla Ella Williams was a pioneer for black artists in classical music.

An accomplished artist and musician, Christine Herter Kendall cofounded the Garth Newel Music Center in Bath County.
Bath County

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly.jpg
Seamstress and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, former slave Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly wrote a book detailing her life and experiences in the White House.
Dinwiddie County

Anne Bethel Spencer.jpg
Harlem Renaissance poet Anne B. Spencer was also an advocate for the civil rights of African Americans.

Branch 2.jpg
For decades, multi-talented saxophonist and bandleader James “Plunky” Branch has promoted the cultural importance of music at home and abroad.

Tehrune 2.jpg
For seventy-five years Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune's pen name, Marion Harland, was nationally known to readers of her novels, short stories, and domestic advice.
Amelia County

Rowland 2.jpg
Kate Mason Rowland is best known for her biography of her great-great-granduncle George Mason.

Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly.jpg
Seamstress Elizabeth Keckly bought her freedom and later served as dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln at the White House.
Dinwiddie County

Jean Miller Skipwith.jpg
Jean Miller Skipwith, Lady Skipwith, assembled one of the largest libraries owned by a Virginia woman early in the nineteenth century.
Mecklenburg County

Randolph 2.jpg
As author of The Virginia House-Wife (1824), the first American regional cookbook, Mary Randolph transformed cooking and household management in ways that continue to influence chefs and domestic supervisors.
Chesterfield County and Richmond
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