March 3, 2024

Gari Melchers Studio Awarded Smithsonian Community Grant

Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont has received a $5,000 award from the Smithsonian Community Grant program. The competitive grant was awarded to assist in the development and implementation of exhibition programming in conjunction with the Smithsonian traveling exhibition “William H. Johnson: An American Modern,” which will be on display at Belmont from Saturday, September 10 through Sunday, December 4.

The Smithsonian Community Grant program, funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), helps strengthen the connections between museums nationwide and their communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to allow exhibitors to enhance current program offerings or to create a new program suited to the topic of the SITES exhibition they will be hosting.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio has several events and programs planned in conjunction with “William H. Johnson: An American Modern:”

• Sunday, September 18, opening reception and illustrated presentation about William H. Johnson by Leslie King Hammond, graduate dean emeritus and founding director of the center for race and culture at the Maryland Institute and College of Art

• Sunday, October 16 and Monday, October 17, “The People Can Fly: Tales of the Great Migration,” presented by storyteller Bill Grimmette

• Sunday, November 6, jazz concert and introduction to the history of jazz by drummer, percussionist and composer Robert Jospé and his four-piece band Inner Rhythm

“William H. Johnson: An American Modern,” was developed by Morgan State University and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service with the partial support of the Henry Luce Foundation.

Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a 28-acre estate and former residence of the artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The property, which is operated by the University of Mary Washington, is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, Va., a quarter mile west of the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17, it is open daily with an admission charge. The museum also serves as the official Stafford County Visitor Center. For directions and other information, call (540) 654-1015 or visit the museum website at

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.