First Lady Youngkin Presents Spirit of Virginia Award to William King Museum of Art

First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Governor Glenn Youngkin presented a Spirit of Virginia award to the William King Museum of Art located in Abingdon. An announcement from the First Lady highlighted women leaders at the museum, which aims to provide arts education and preserve the culture of the southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee region.

“William King Museum of Art serves as a shining example of the positive intersection of art, history, culture, education, rehabilitation, workforce readiness and community engagement,” the First Lady said in a Thursday press release. “I am so proud of the women who shepherd this organization and brighten the lives of Virginians living in Southwest Virginia and beyond.”

Youngkin’s announcement notes that 15 of the 17 museum employees are women, and comes the same week as the launch of her “Strengthen the Spirit of Virginia’s Women+girls” campaign to “prioritize resources and communications to Virginia’s women and girls to encourage physical and mental wellbeing as they strive to pursue and steward their work,” according to a separate announcement.

During the presentation of the Spirit of Virginia award, Governor Glenn Youngkin presented the museum’s Executive Director Betsy White with a proclamation naming November 17, 2022 as a day honoring her.

The proclamation cites her work educating about the cultural heritage of the region, volunteer work, her role at the museum, and two books she wrote.

In the First Lady’s statement, White said, “This award is an exciting and important recognition of the service our museum strives to provide for this part of the Commonwealth. We celebrate our region’s culture, both past and present; our educational programs reach twelve school systems in nine Southwest Virginia counties; and the museum’s national accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums allows us to exhibit art not otherwise seen in this area. We take our mission very seriously and are so very grateful to the Governor and First Lady and humbled to be singled out by them in this special way.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “William King Museum of Art” by First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin.


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