Finding America: UnMonumental

UnMonumental is a weekly series about how we remember our past in Richmond. Stories air every Friday morning and afternoon.  

UnMonumental is produced by Kelley Libby and brought to you by WVTF/Radio IQ and Finding America, a national initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated, and with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  


Ways to Connect

When Richmond Felt Like Rehab

Jun 10, 2016



“My name is Victoria Matoska. I’m from Kenosha, Wisconsin. That’s where I lived the majority of my life.

“If you ever look at those—they always have them on Facebook—the maps of the U.S. and it’ll be a red dot for cities that have more bars than churches or more bars than grocery stores, and the area in Wisconsin that I was living in is just completely dotted in red.



When a City Cared for Its People

May 27, 2016

“The vision I think that guides me forward, or what I’m kindof working towards, is this idea of a more just city. 


“When I was in college, I went to Italy to visit a friend, and I was blown away by the fact that in historic Rome their sidewalks were covered by colonnades. And it really dawned on me that to spend all the money on that infrastructure showed a great value of the citizenry of Rome, versus growing up in Richmond, where bus stops aren’t covered and people are sitting in the rain waiting for a bus, and that does not show an equal value for the citizens.

Richmond Hill is an ecumenical, residential Christian Community located in the historic monastery of the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria on Church Hill in the center of Richmond. The mission of the Community is to pray and work for the transformation of the metropolitan city. Prayers are three times a day—at 7 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. A bell rings to call the community to prayer.

Shola Walker lived at Richmond Hill when she was a teenager.

When a Songwriter Got Her First Song

May 12, 2016


We moved to Richmond maybe like the summer of 2004, and within maybe six months one of our neighbors who we hung out with was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a horrible, painful thing—she had a young daughter, eight years old.


When a Librarian Heard "You're Like Me"

May 6, 2016

My name is Cristina Ramírez, although people here in the States probably say ‘Cristina Ramirez’ because it’s easier and it’s hard to roll your ‘r’s’ and the ‘th’ sound for the ‘z.’ I have that skillset—I speak Spanish, I’m Latina, but I’m also a Professional Librarian.