Special/Signature Issues » Top 40 Under 40

Christina S. Draper, 32


Director, African American Heritage Program
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Christina Draper's passion for art and history can be traced back to her childhood trips to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with her mother, and to her early interest in reading biographies in school.

It helped lay the groundwork for her role as director of the African American Heritage Program for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She considers her biggest accomplishment in that position to be "working with communities across Virginia to help preserve the African-American history in their areas."

Through her faculty position with the University of Virginia and her affiliations with groups -- including the Richmond Public Library, The Black History Museum & Cultural Center, the American Association of Museums, VMFA, Hampton University Museum, and an appointment to the board of the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville by Gov. Tim Kaine — Draper works tirelessly to preserve the art and history of the state she loves.

This love of art extends to her personal life as well. Draper's an avid collector of African-American art, rarely missing an exhibit. She encourages her friends to deepen their interest as well, because, she says, she views her generation as "keepers of the flame."

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