The public will be invited to a "Meet the Artist" Reception where they will have the opportunity to speak to the artists and view and comment on the three final proposals. The maquettes will be on display for a period of 2 to 4 weeks, anticipated beginning in early July 2012. The Selection Panel will consider the public comments when making the recommendation on the winning artist. Exact dates for the public display will be posted here once scheduled.
A ceremony will be held July 7, 2012 at 9am to commemorate the beginning of the construction of the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery. The event will be free and open to the public. More information will be posted here as plans develop.
Dr. Steven J. Shephard, an archaeologist with Alexandria Archaeology, presented "Excavations at the Contrabands and Freedmen's Cemetery and the Concept of the Proper Coffin in the Mid-19th Century" on October 27, 2010 at the Lyceum in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Shephard's lecture provided a special look at one of Alexandria's - and indeed Virginia's - most significant burial grounds.
Dr. Shephard has been Assistant City Archaeologist with the City of Alexandria since 1980 and is retiring from the City at the end of this year. He received his undergraduate degree in History at the University of Florida, his M.A. degree in Anthropology/Archaeology at Florida State University, and his doctorate in Anthropology/Archaeology from Southern Illinois University. He has conducted archaeological survey and excavation work in England, NorthCarolina, Tennessee, Illinois and Virginia. He has directed or managed excavations of more than 50 sites within the City of Alexandria and manages the Presevation Review section of Alexandria Archaeology.
On May 12, 2007, the City of Alexandria hosted a re-dedication ceremony honoring the African American men, women, and children buried at Alexandria Freedmen's Cemetery. The re-dedication ceremony included an illumination of more than 1,800 luminaries, one for every person buried at the cemetery. Each luminary was labeled with an individual's name, age and date of death. The luminaries were created at free workshops, held at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
The re-dedication ceremony was the beginning of a three-year process in which the City conducted a series of four archaeological excavations to ensure no graves will be disturbed during the construction of the cemetery memorial.
Please check back for upcoming activities. Additional outreach projects will be scheduled.