About Our Center

Located in the Jefferson School City Center, The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s mission is to honor and preserve the rich heritage and legacy of the African-American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia and to promote a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the contributions of African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora locally, nationally and globally.
The Center features a permanent historical exhibit, a rotating contemporary art gallery, and a robust calendar of events, all of which combine to highlight Charlottesville’s African American history and culture of the African diaspora.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center Welcomes Newly Elected Board Members

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is pleased to announce four new members to our Board of Directors. New board members include James Bland, Airea Garland, Gary Sandling, and Chris Tate.

“I am pleased to welcome James, Airea, Gary, and Chris as new Board members, “said Dr. Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. “These individuals each bring unique talents and expertise and will be tremendous assets to the Heritage Center as we further our mission to honor, uplift, and promote a greater understanding of the contributions of African Americans in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.” 


Tate, attorney for Flora Pettit, was elected at the most recent board meeting in June. He joins Bland, who serves as Director of the Center for Diversity in Engineering at the University of Virginia, Airea Garland, owner of Mac and Mae, and Gary Sandling, Vice President of Historic Area Operations at Colonial Williamsburg, elected in March.

Swords Into Plowshares  is entering into its second community engagement phase. In this phase we are asking Charlottesville to help determine where a work of public art could be located in our community. We hope that you will participate by completing a short survey about your park usage. It only takes 3 minutes to complete. 

Our goal in the next year is to focus on our area’s parks as cultural landscapes. Through research, guided tours, and community conversations we will continue to educate ourselves about the role public art can play in shifting centers and changing minds.

Swords Into Plowshares is a project of our Center For Local Knowledge which hopes to use research to further social justice. 

We are hiring! We are looking for a researcher to get us to our next milestone. Click here for job description.  All applications should be sent to localhistory@jeffschoolheritagecenter.org

Help us plan for the future by taking our survey.
Help share authentic history by becoming a guide.

It’s Tuesday 3:39 am EST — Sorry, we’re closed. Visit us when we’re open!

Contemporary Gallery

Nic(o) Brierre Aziz: Haiti Across the Water

1 June  – 31 August, 2024

Nic(o) Brierre Aziz is a Haitian-New Orleanian interdisciplinary artist and curator born and raised in New Orleans, LA. His current practice is deeply community focused and rooted around the utilization of under discussed personal and collective histories to reimagine the future. His work is also very centered around the Caribbean Diaspora and he is interested in Blackness as an experience, construct and capitalist tool.

The exhibition features works produced in the last five years that critically consider such things as history, migration, white supremacy and the lives of Black males. About his practice Aziz asserts that he “seeks to create work from the dark matter that uplifts and heals, while exposing truths that enable us all to tread down a more collectively harmonious path of liberation.”

Aziz is the recipient of several artist residencies and fellowships and most recently, was selected as a 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow and a 2021 Joan Mitchell Center Artis-in-Residence.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of a private collection, Yale School of Art, and the JSAAHC Annual Fund.

Alice Ivory: Sculpting in Metal

14 September  – 14 December, 2024


Become a Member

Join today and be part of our vision for 2023 and beyond!

As a JSAAHC Member you’ll receive:

  • Free admission to exhibits and events.
  • Discounts on workshops, lectures, and programs.
  • Invitations to members-only events.
  • Discounts in Alumni Room Museum Shop and Café
  • And much more.

Spotlight Events & Programs

Covid Policy: Due to limited space in exhibition galleries and our desire to keep us all safe, visitors must now obtain a general admission ticket to visit. Groups are limited to no more than eight people. Groups must obtain a timed group ticket. 


Daily 1.00 pm–6.00 pm


233 4th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

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Upcoming Events

Performance, Shows

Wine in the Wilderness by Alice Childress

Time: Thursday, October 3, 2024October 3, 2024 - 7:30 PM - October 13, 2024 - 4:00 PM /
  Leslie M. Scott-Jones and Munier Ahmad Nazeer co-direct one of Chlidress’ most thought provoking plays. Centered on the last evening of the 1964 riots, a young artist, along with his community, wrestle with the role Black men and women are forced to assume. Questions of class, gender, and racism all come up as our […]
Performance, Shows

A Night of Baraka

Time: Thursday, August 8, 2024August 8, 2024 - 7:30 PM - August 18, 2024 - 4:00 PM /
CPG begins to talk about how Black artistic voices have chosen to think and speak about the Black lived experience when faced with denial of resources, injustice, and our response to the constructs we are forced to navigate. 8-18 August we welcome Ti Ames back to the director’s chair to steward an ambitious project of […]
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