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May 11, 2012

Dominion Foundation Gift Supports Colonial Williamsburg’s African American Programs

Colonial Williamsburg brings to life the experiences of a free woman of mixed race, Edith Cumbo, in Virginia’s colonial capital through a recent grant of $150,000 from Dominion Virginia Power and The Dominion Foundation. The gift supports a number of new African American programs including those featuring Edith Cumbo.

Cumbo was born in 1735 to Fortune Cumbo, a free Irish woman, and Richard Cumbo, a free African Virginian. According to 17th-century Virginia law, a child born in the colony inherited the free or enslaved status of his or her mother.

Programs offered this summer illustrate how Edith struggled with the legal limitations placed over all African Americans, free or enslaved. During “Her Enduring Spirit,” Edith offers a unique perspective on life in Williamsburg. This special tour departing from the Lumber House Ticket Office in the Historic Area is offered on Saturdays at 11 a.m. through June 16 and at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, June 23 – Sept. 1.

Edith Cumbo is also featured in “Talk of the Town: The Women’s Tour,” a program which examines the range of joys, sorrow, triumphs and tears experienced by women in late 18th-century Williamsburg. The program begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Greenhow Store Office on Tuesdays through June 12.

“Dominion is pleased to support Colonial Williamsburg and its African American interpretive history program,” said Virginia M. Board, president of The Dominion Foundation and managing director of community affairs for Dominion Resources. “The people and communities we serve count on us to make a real difference wherever we operate. That makes our support of this program such an excellent fit.”

Dominion Foundation also supports programs featuring Lord Dunmore, the last Royal Governor in the 18th-century capital of Virginia. New programs will be introduced this summer that reveal Dunmore’s role in the plot for British sailors to steal gunpowder from the Magazine.

“For more than 30 years, Colonial Williamsburg has pioneered African American programs to interpret the lives of the more than 50 percent of the town’s population who were both free and enslaved at the time of the American Revolution. We are grateful to Dominion Virginia Power and The Dominion Foundation for their support of Colonial Williamsburg’s African American programs which preserve and tell these important stories for future generations,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies, including Dominion Virginia Power and Dominion North Carolina Power. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com. Follow Dominion Virginia Power on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/DomVAPower. 'Like' Dominion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dominionvirginiapower.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121



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