The Hidden In Plain Site: Richmond is a social justice and racial equity project was created by J. Dontrese Brown, Dean Browell and David Waltenbaugh. The purpose of the project is to allow individuals to learn more about the black history of Richmond through virtual reality. It is a virtual reality experience that is similar to viewing the city of Richmond through Google Earth at first, then when you get to one of the ten various locations, the screen turns into a faded yellow like pages in an old old history books. Once the screen changes, a recreated version of the historical event or once existing building pops up with commentary. For example, one of the stops in the museum is where the Thalhimers building was at on 7th and Broad, which is now a present-day parking lot. However, that spot was the location of a major event in the Civil Rights Movement. The screen turns to that faded yellow and a recreation of the building is there along with the Richmond 34 thirty-four black Virginia Union students doing their non-violent sit in protest at the segregated building. Then the tour guide would expound on how the case would be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and how all the protestors would eventually be found innocent.
I had the chance to explore the museum before its release on Black Friday and I have to say that it achieves its purpose well. It allows to educate individuals on certain areas that one may thing is an empty space or a pointless building in Richmond and reveals the deeper history of those locations. The project was produced by BROWNBAYLOR, Feedback, and RootVR. This social justice project also has a variety of partnerships including The Valentine Museum, The Black History Museum, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, The Good Road, 3DI Studio, Moon Day Productions, the Richmond City Council and the Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities City of Richmond. Hidden in Plain Site: Richmond will officially release their VR Museum experience on Black Friday. To get more info on the people behind it and their mission along with exploring their museum, go to their website hiddeninplainsite.org