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Many U.Va. Programs Will Mark Lewis And Clark Bicentennial Launch

December 3, 2002-- Like its founder Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia will be looking to the West with intense interest when classes begin Jan. 15.

That week marks the start of the 200th anniversary commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the great transcontinental journey that changed the face of North America. With Charlottesville and Monticello hosting the national kickoff of the bicentennial, U.Va. will contribute to public education and scholarship about the exploration and development of the West.

Among many commemorative events throughout the area, U.Va. will host or sponsor a rich array of West-related exhibits, lectures, classes, Web archives and research projects.

“With the tremendous national interest in the expedition, the University has been focusing on the West from numerous perspectives,” said Douglas Seefeldt, director of U.Va.’s multi-year Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Project.

Following are highlights of key events and projects at U.Va. For details about local and national programs, see U.Va.’s Lewis and Clark Project Web site at


“Honoring the Legacy: Native American Art and the 19th-century American West” – U.Va. Art Museum exhibit about Native American art and culture. Tuesday-Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 11-March 2. Free admission.

“Jefferson's West: Base Camp for Discovery Exhibit Hall” –
West-related demonstrations, vendor and exhibitor displays at Newcomb Hall Ballroom, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 15-17.

"Lewis and Clark: The Maps of Exploration, 1507-1814" - University Library exhibit that highlights the maps used in planning the expedition. Special Collections, Alderman Library, through May 5. Special hours during exposition week: Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Jan. 15-16, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Jan. 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Jan. 18, noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.

“Many Nations - Many Voices” - Native American project organized by the Circle of Advisers of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. Newcomb Hall Student Gallery. Jan. 15-17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Jan. 18, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Natural History Pioneers: The Flora and Fauna of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” –Exhibit at the U.Va. branch of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, 104 Emmet St., will open Jan. 16, with an evening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Exhibit hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.


Thursday, Jan. 16

"An Evening with Jefferson and Lewis"
A one-man show with author Clay Jenkinson, who portrays both Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis. 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall. Admission is free, but advance tickets must be obtained by calling 434-982-5252.

"Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery"
Filmmaker Ken Burns and his longtime collaborator Dayton Duncan will screen and discuss an episode from their 1997 award-winning public television documentary. 8 p.m., Culbreth Theatre. Admission is $7, and tickets may be purchased at the door.

Friday, Jan. 17

“Corps of Discovery: A Musical Journey”
The Show-me Opera Company of the University of Missouri will present excerpts from its interpretation of the expedition. 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for students. To purchase tickets, call 434-982-5252.

Saturday, Jan. 18
“Hearts Thus Lightened: Music in the Days of Lewis and Clark,” Concert with various performers, 3 to 5 p.m., Old Cabell Hall. For ticket information, call 434-982-5252


“The Roots of Exploration: Lewis and Clark’s Charlottesville-Albemarle County, Virginia” -— Seefeldt and the Lewis and Clark Project have helped research and create this 10-minute video about Lewis and Clark family properties and houses in Albemarle County, all privately owned today. It is a coproduction with Albemarle County, the city of Charlottesville, the Charlottesville-Albemarle County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and WHTJ-Charlottesville public TV. For details, contact the Visitors Bureau at (434) 293-6789.

“Encountering the West: The Changing Vision of Lewis, Clark, and Jefferson”

Digital history project devoted to elucidating the Virginia landscape that Lewis, Clark and Jefferson knew, and to explaining how their views of nature and geography were severely challenged by what they encountered in the West. A collaboration between Alderman Library, the School of Architecture and the Virginia Center for Digital History, the innovative Web project will show early cartographic views of the West, the international geopolitical context of the expedition and some of the changing ideas about the natural world held by Lewis, Clark and Jefferson. When completed it will be on the U.Va. Lewis and Clark Project Web site at


Student-researched digital archives soon to be available on the same U.Va. site. It will include histories of the Lewis and Clark family properties in central Virginia; the creation of the area’s Lewis and Clark statues and other public sites such as York Place (honoring the African-American expeditioner York) on the Downtown Mall; the history of the area’s Monacan Indian tribe; and Jefferson’s knowledge of Native Americans in Virginia. They have been researched as part of a course, “History and Digital Media.”


As part of “Jefferson’s West: a Lewis and Clark Exposition,” a program sponsored by Monticello, leading scholars and other experts from around the country will discuss numerous topics at U.Va. about the expedition and the West. The cost of the Jan. 15-17 program is $225 with registration required. Among the many speakers are University of Tulsa historian James P. Ronda, U.Va. historian Peter Onuf, U.Va. anthropologist Jeffrey Hantman, University of California historian Daniel Botkin, filmmaker Ken Burns and writers Rick Bass and William Least Heat Moon. For information or to register, contact the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at (434) 982-5252 or see Monticello’s Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Web site at

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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