Christy S. Coleman
Christy S. Coleman is the president of The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond. She oversees a staff of nearly 20 full- and part-time employees, whose mission is to tell the whole story of how the Civil War still shapes the United States.
The 1861 Gun Foundry is home to In the Cause of Liberty, the nation's first exhibit to explore the war's causes, course and legacies from Union, Confederate and African American perspectives. The Tredegar Institute provides ongoing adult educational opportunities through community dialogues and symposia, while the Center offers history labs and digital history programming for students K-12.
Coleman began her career in 1982 as a living history interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, working full time while pursuing her education. In 1986, she became assistant educator at The Baltimore City Life Museums, where she developed a student volunteer program, educational outreach to area schools and other initiatives designed to engage the community.
In 1989, she returned to Colonial Williamsburg, where she served in many capacities until 1999 including: a senior interpreter, director of programs and director of African American interpretations and presentations where she and her team gained international acclaim for bold and innovative programming.
From 1999-2005, Coleman served as president and CEO of the nation's largest African American museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. During her tenure, the museum's membership grew from 3,500 to more than 15,000. While there, she launched a $43 million Legacy Campaign to grow audiences, increase endowment, address capital and programming needs and build a new $12 million, 22,000-square-foot exhibit titled 'And Still We Rise.' She has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, the Anacostia Museum, Monticello, Mount Vernon and The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Most recently, Coleman served as Vice President for the Arts Consulting Group, Inc. She has also served on the boards of the American Association of Museums and the Association for State and Local History.
Coleman has written a number of works for the museum field as well as historic drama for screen, theater and on-site programs. She was raised in Williamsburg, Virginia, and received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Hampton University. She is married to Art Espey and they have three children.