Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia
122 W. Leigh Street
Richmond VA 23220
Mission Statement
The mission of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia is to present the complex experiences of the peoples of Africa and African descent, with an emphasis on Virginians, by collecting, preserving and interpreting historical and cultural artifacts.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Tasha Chambers
Board Chair Ms. Marilyn H. West
Board Chair Company Affiliation M.H. West & Co.
Contact Information
Address 122 W. Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone 804 780-9093
Fax 804 780-9107
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1985
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $800,000.00
Projected Expenses $600,000.00
The mission of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia is to present the complex experiences of the peoples of Africa and African descent, with an emphasis on Virginians, by collecting, preserving and interpreting historical and cultural artifacts.

Our most important accomplishments for the past year include:

  • Raising sufficient funds for the capital campaign to enable us to finalize construction on the Leigh Street Armory and fund exhibition development;
  • Initiating both construction and exhibition development (we are well along for both and on target);
  • Implementing an up-to-date, full-service donor management system;
  • Strengthening community and museum partnerships;
  • And, hiring a full-time Museum Director
Our goals for the coming year include:
  • Continue moving toward our capital campaign goals and shifting emphasis toward operating budget and endowment funding;
  • Preparing for the grand opening scheduled for May 2016; 
  • Enhancing exhibition design and construction;
  • Initiate marketing campaign for the “new” and “improved Black History Museum;
  • Diversifying the board;
  • And, increasing staff capacity



  • To secure $1.5 million to fund staff and operating expenses for first three years, beginning with opening in spring 2016
  • To secure $1 million to create an endowment
  • To secure $5 million that will meet the capital campaign goal
  • Raise $4 million for phase II of planned expansion of the Armory facility.
  • Hire key staff and attract needed volunteers for the new Museum.
  • Further strengthen the Board of Directors to ensure required development of the Museum.
  • Secure major partnerships to take the Museum to a new level of development.
  • To further develop our collections
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia was founded in 1981 by Carroll W. Anderson Sr. It opened to the public in 1991. The Black History Museum was originally located at 00 Clay Street in Historic Jackson Ward in an 1832 mansion that has served many purposes, including a private home, a club for African-American military servicemen and the Rosa Dixon Bowser (segregated) branch of the Richmond Public Library system.

The Museum is a private 501(c)(3) institution, governed by a board of directors.  Its mission is to present the complex experiences of the peoples of Africa and African descent, with an emphasis on Virginians, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting historical and cultural artifacts. Further, the Black History Museum strives to increase its impact on its patrons by educating the public on Virginia's African American history, elevating the nature of the conversation on history and race, and empowering individuals --particularly youth--to reach their highest potential.  

Anchored by the permanent exhibition, In Pursuit of Freedom, Justice and Equality, the Museum offers independent and exhibition-related programming that appeals to adults, youth and families.
The museum now resides in the newly-restored historic Leigh Street Armory, one of the first armories built for black militiamen in Richmond.  
CEO Statement The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia is the only museum in the greater Richmond area to have African American history and culture as its year-round focus. We strive to be a central gathering place and the first destination of choice for visitors seeking a cultural heritage tourism experience. At the same time, we strive to serve the educational interests of all Virginians as we share not only Black history but American history.
Board Chair Statement BHMVA is poised to reach its Bold Vision, Bright Future at the Leigh Street Armory site.  The certificate of occupancy for the new home of BHMVA is spring 2016 with grand opening events beginning in May 2016. The capital campaign is gaining momentum and the board has been expanded with key business leaders and subject matter experts about Museum operations and African-American History.  The BHM's outreach and supporters continue to increase through the use of social media and its website. I am committed to working diligently on behalf of this treasure of Richmond. The BHM is a significant education resource and BHM stats indicate that it has become a significant tourist attraction as well.  
Areas of Service
Areas Served
The Black History Museum focuses it's exhibitions and storytelling on the history and experiences of African Americans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, visitors to the BHM include tourists from Virginia, the nation and the world.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Marilyn H. West
Company Affiliation M.H. West & Co.
Term July 2016 to June 2019
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Ms. Bessida C White
Company Affiliation Retired
Term July 2013 to June 2016
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. Stacy L. Burrs Venture Richmond
Ms. Bessida Cauthorne White Community Volunteer
Dr. Leonard Edloe Retired
Dr. Monroe Harris JrVirginia Oral and Facial Surgery
Mr. David Holland VCU
Mr. Brian Jackson Hirschler Fleischer
Mr. Jon King Exclusive Staffing
Ms. Penny J. McPherson Wells Fargo
Ms. Saundra Rollins Southside Senior Citizens Center
Mr. Hossein Sadid VMFA
Ms. Marilyn H. West M.H. West & Co.
Ms. Kimberly J. Wilson University of Richmond
Mr. Richard Woodward VMFA
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 12
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Capital Campaign
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mrs. Tasha Chambers
Senior Staff
Ms. Mary C. Lauderdale Museum Manager
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 10
Retention Rate 50
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Young History Makers  Program.  The Black History Museum collaborates with organizations that work with at-risk youth to offer creative learning opportunities that combine the acquisition of historical knowledge and life skills. In the past few years, the Black History Museum has collaborated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond.  In February 2012, the Boys and Girls Clubs' West End Teen Center Unit received a national award Boys and Girls Clubs of America award for its work in Young History Makers.
Budget $30,000.00
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $800,000.00
Projected Expenses $600,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$36,724$35,755$48,604
Individual Contributions$752,003$666,054$15,745
Investment Income, Net of Losses$7$9$5
Membership Dues$1,595$310$2,599
Special Events$19,750--$31,919
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$119,963$127,782$142,437
Administration Expense$59,598$56,076$56,314
Fundraising Expense$6,688$9,029$10,813
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.357.001.76
Program Expense/Total Expenses64%66%68%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%1%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$2,732,917$2,314,026$1,151,593
Current Assets$44,701$51,979$14,462
Long-Term Liabilities$0$104,500$98,500
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$2,732,917$2,209,526$1,053,093
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%5%9%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose The purpose of the capital campaign is to 1) acquire and rehabilitate the Leigh Street Armory and 2) reopen it as the new home of the Black History Museum
Goal $5,000,000.00
Dates June 2012 to Jan 2015
Amount Raised To Date $3,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and audit prepared by Michael W. Hutzapple, CPA LTD.
  • Financial information obtained from the audited financial statements.