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Tuesday, April 9 • 8:00am - 9:30am
Countdown to 2026 NOW OPEN

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Limited Capacity seats available

2026 marks the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Considering Thomas Jefferson as the principal author of the Declaration, what role does Charlottesville (Jefferson’s hometown) play in the upcoming milestone celebration? As we approach America’s 250th, what is the country we want to celebrate in 2026? What kinds of opportunities for collaboration, public engagement, and big ideas might the semiquincentennial offer? How can Charlottesville think broadly about the challenges and opportunities the 250th anniversary will present?

Monticello serves as an important place to explore our common ground as Americans and consider our nation’s path moving forward. It starts with an honest, complicated, inclusive conversation about our history. A lot has changed over the past several years at Monticello and we hope to serve as a place where Charlottesville can learn about the past and contemplate the future as we move towards 2026.

Coffee & Pastries to be served during the discussion

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avatar for Sarah McConnell

Sarah McConnell

Executive Producer, With Good Reason
Sarah is executive producer and host of the weekly public radio show and podcast With Good Reason. With Good Reason, a production of Virginia Humanities, features lively conversations with the best minds at Virginia's public colleges and universities. The program is heard on 100 public... Read More →
avatar for Leslie Greene Bowman

Leslie Greene Bowman

President, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Leslie Greene Bowman is President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and operates the UNESCO World Heritage site, Monticello -- the home of Thomas Jefferson. She has spearheaded the Foundation’s vision to bring history forward into national and global dialogue, propelling... Read More →
avatar for Gary Sandling

Gary Sandling

Vice President of Visitor Programs & Services, Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello)
Gary serves as Vice-President of Visitor Programs and Services at Monticello. His role is to leverage the Foundation’s scholarly work for Monticello’s more than 400,000 visitors annually through tours, workshops, and activities onsite and digital resources offsite. He has been... Read More →

avatar for Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to bring history forward into national and global dialogues by engaging audiences with Jefferson’s world... Read More →