• Visiting the Center

    There are many reasons to come to the Heritage Center. Visit our exhibitions, attend our public programs or rent the space for an event.

  • Directions to the Center

    The Center is one block north of Main Street and within walking distance of the University and the Downtown Mall.

  • Take the Virtual Tour

    We process rental forms in the order received. Submit the form early so that we have time to consider the request.

Visiting the Center

Exhibitions at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center link the past to the present. Our permanent exhibition Pride Overcomes Prejudice presents the history of the African American communities of Charlottesville/Albemarle VA, through the lives of those students and teachers who built and fostered the Jefferson School from the19th through the 20th century. Our contemporary gallery features mult-idisciplinary work by African American artists, or artist who represent African American culture.

Owing to limited space in exhibition galleries, 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. For your safety, if galleries are full at the time that you arrive, you may be asked to wait. For guided tour information please contact us.

We will be closed beginning Friday April 7 at 12 pm through Tuesday April 11 at 1pm.



In the Contemporary Gallery: Picture Me As I Am | Mirror and Memory in the Age of Black Resistance

11 February-29 April, 2023

Of the over 10,000 photographs taken at the Holsinger Studio, a subset of 600 portraits are of local African Americans.This exhibition presents a small selection of this subset, dated between the late 1890s and the first two decades of the Twentieth Century.  These commissioned portraits suggest the aspirations of people distanced two to three generations away from enslavement. Their subjects were instructed by Black teachers who firmly understood the importance of education as a tool of freedom. They were guided by preachers who sermonized Black attainment from their pulpits. They were also exposed to newspapers with coverage and mastheads that delivered a sentiment of Black liberation.

Masks are required when visiting JSAAHC.

Admission Prices
Admission prices are subject to change. Become a member and get free admission for two non-resident guests.
Adult resident (proof of residence required) Free
Adult non resident $10.00
Students (12 and up)/Seniors 65+ $8.00
Members $8.00
Children (12 and under) Free
Military families Free

The Center will be closed Juneteenth, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Please see our FaceBook page for immediate closing updates.

Our Hours

Heritage Center Office Hours

Sunday & MondayClosed
Tuesday – Friday10:00 AM — 6:00 PM
Saturday Closed


Tuesday – Friday1:00 PM — 6:00 PM
Saturday10:00 AM — 1:00 PM

Center For Local Knowledge

By appointment Tuesday – Saturday

Every third Saturday 10:00 AM –12:00 PM

Getting Here

The Center is located on the 2nd floor of the Jefferson School City Center. Its main entrance is on the south east side of the building.

Limited hourly parking is available on Commerce Street. There is also limited parking in the City Center’s 4th St parking lot. Large groups should coordinate with the Center to ensure parking availability for scheduled events. To get directions to the Center please click the directions icon located on the left hand side of the map. This will direct you to Google Maps where you can enter your starting point. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) provides a free transportation via the Charlottesville trolley.
CAT Route 7 stops on W. Main Street. The Heritage Center is one block north from West Main Street.
CAT Route 8 stops on Preston Avenue, Heritage Center is one block south of Preston Avenue.
JSAAHC is also in walking distance from the Downtown Mall and the University of Virginia.

Field Trips

All students visiting the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center receive a guided tour of the historic building and its exhibitions. Our education department will work with you to create a field trip experience that complements your classroom curriculum.

To plan a field trip to the Jefferson School, submit a request using the link below.

Jefferson Heritage African American Center © 2020. All Rights Reserved