History Makers: Janine Bell

Community

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This year, The Valentine will be honoring several individuals as “History Makers” in the community. 

Janine Bell is one of those individuals who will be honored in the Advancing the Quality of Life category. 

She is the president and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society in Richmond, which focuses on instilling cultural foundations in African and African-American communities.

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Bell has not always been rooted in the arts. While in college she studied psychology and urban planning. ​​​​​​​Now her passion is providing educational opportunities through the arts and sharing stories that need to be heard. 

Her organization presents cultural festivals annually and has cultural tours along the trail of enslaved Africans and other notable sites.

She says that “there is so much history in Richmond that is rich and telling of the story of not only the city but of a nation that’s hidden in plain sight.”

While Bell says she was in shock when she found out that she was named as a Richmond History Maker, she hopes that her win will give more visibility to their organization and their work. 

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