Dr. Rex M. Ellis (center) was the keynote speaker at the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM) annual conference on March 21 at Hotel Roanoke. Judith Barnett (right) and Ann Layman, members of the Botetourt County Historical Society, attended the VAM conference. Ellis is the Associate Director for Cultural Affairs at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He “has the responsibility for planning, developing, directing and managing all curatorial collections, education and outreach programs and activities ” says VAM. The NMAAHC, which is now open on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a $550 million public museum. Ellis was excited to talk to Judith Barnett about her exhibit at the Botetourt County Historical Museum in Fincastle. It is called “Finding What Has Been Lost—Families, Churches, Schools, Organizations, Businesses—An Initial Exhibit of African American History of Botetourt County, VA.” The exhibit is open from 10-2 Monday through Saturday, April 1. Botetourt County Historical Society (BCHS) member Patty King was also awarded her certificate in Museum Management from VAM. She is a docent at the BCHS museum as is Judith Barnett. Ann Layman is vice-president.

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