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DePillars Commemoration Ceremony in the News

The sound of jazz broke through the commotion of traffic and people on West Broad street and the sun set on the city last Thursday. Bands played outside and within the former Virginia Commonwealth University Fine Arts Building at 1000 W. Broad St. as guests gathered for a ceremony officially renaming the building after Dr. Murry N. DePillars, the late dean of VCUarts.

George Copeland Jr., VCUarts building now named for late dean Dr. Murry N. DePillars, Richmond Free Press, Oct. 7, 2021

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – flanked by the Confederate Memorial Chapel and the United Daughters of the Confederacy headquarters – had an unwelcoming aura and a paucity of works by Black artists. Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Fine Arts climbed to the top of national rankings, but failed to properly recognize the Black man who put it on the map. But if equity is a work of art, Thursday was a masterpiece.

Michael Paul Williams, In Richmond equity is a work of art, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oct. 1, 2021

Until the evening of Thursday, Sept. 30 1000 W. Broad St. went by a prosaic description as Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts Building. Then, around 6:30 p.m., [Dr.] Murry N DePillars’ name entered the Broad Street-scape, basked by glorious last-of-September golden light as a jazz combo assembled on the sidewalk first rolled a fanfare and then launched into a rollicking version of the Rebirth Brass Band’s ‘Do Whatcha Wanna.’

Harry Kollatz Jr., A Man for all Seasons, Richmond Magazine, Oct. 1, 2021

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