Open Daily, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Tickets Are Available Online.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Eola Lewis Dance has served as a public historian for 22 years with the federal government and in the nonprofit world over the past year. Recently appointed President and CEO of The Montpelier Foundation, Eola’s career work demonstrates a commitment to the preservation of cultural landscapes, historic buildings, and the documentation and interpretation of untold stories essential in telling the “unvarnished truth” of the making of America.  A recognized leader in descendant community engagement, Eola has led global, national, and Virginia initiatives exploring topics of freedom, race, gender, and class through research, preservation, and storytelling. Serving as an interpreter, resource manager, and ethnographer, Eola supported distinguished sites like Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (Park Ranger), Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site (Site Manager), and Fort Monroe National Monument (Superintendent). Eola uses participatory and arts-based approaches in discussing difficult topics in social history significant to Native and African American communities with a specialized focus on cross-cultural engagement.  Awarded the 2021 Trailblazer Award by the Greening Youth Foundation, Eola is committed to preparing the next generation for careers in environmental stewardship, archeology, history, and museums. Eola received a BA in History from Southern University and A & M College, an MA in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a graduate certificate in Environmental Policy from The George Washington University. A 2014 attendee to the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University’s Public History Summer Session, Eola has developed programs and worked with communities in researching the people and history of the Underground Railroad (Northeast Regional Coordinator). Eola is a Ph.D. candidate at Howard University in US History with a minor in African Diaspora and Public History. Her research focuses on constructs of race in Colonial America, the evolution of racialized slavery, legacies of 1619, and opportunities for healing within and across communities. Eola is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. initiated in the Beta Psi chapter in the fall of 2000 and is a current member of the Xi Omega chapter. Additional affiliations include the Association for the Study of Worldwide African Diaspora, Association for Digital Editing, the American Association of University Women, and life membership in the Association of Black Women Historians, the Association for the Study of African American History and Culture, and the Association of African American Museums. In her free time, Eola can be found exploring nature trails with her three sons, jogging, doing yoga, or painting.

OUR WORK

As a memorial to James Madison and the Enslaved Community, a museum of American history, and a center for constitutional education, Montpelier engages the public with the enduring legacy of Madison’s most powerful idea: government by the people.