Charlottesville, VA-Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB), Monticello and Montpelier announce a cooperative marketing program designed to encourage tourism to the greater Charlottesville area starting in late January 2012.  

The program, "Presidents Passport," is supported by over $180,000 in marketing partnership spending from the CACVB, Monticello, and Montpelier including a substantial grant by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) for $50,000. 

   The Presidents Passport campaign is designed to build on the excitement surrounding the opening of the new landmark Smithsonian/Monticello exhibition opening in D.C. and encourage visitors to explore the extensive history and "intersection of rural lifestyle and urban sophistication" in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding areas.
   "The passport program brings together two historic sites-Monticello and Montpelier-as key destinations for visitors wanting to continue the conversation about early American history and slavery. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the landscape of the presidents and soak up the rich historical and cultural offerings of the surrounding area," said CACVB Executive Director Kurt Burkhart.
   Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty exhibition, a joint effort of Monticello and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opens at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on the National Mall, January 27, 2012. 
   Visitors using the passport will register online to receive insider's travel tips to the Charlotteville region in addition to special offers and discounts for lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment. They will also be able to learn about the history of the area and find more information about what to do while they are here. Some local businesses and organizations already participating include The Clifton Inn, Keswick Hall, Ash Lawn-Highland, The Monticello Artisan Trail, Nelson 151 Travelers, the Inns at Montpelier, and the Virginia Film Festival. Passports will be available on-site at the Smithsonian Exhibition in D.C. as well as at Monticello, Montpelier and the CACVB in downtown Charlottesville. Passports will also be downloadable online at starting January 27th
   Monticello will debut its outdoor exhibition "Landscape of Slavery: Mulberry Row at Monticello," February 17th, which will bring to life the stories of the scores of people-enslaved and free-who lived and worked on Jefferson's 5,000 acre plantation. Once considered Monticello's Main Street, Mulberry Row, was a constantly changing hub of activity, lined with more than 20 dwellings, workshops, and sheds. Today, little physical evidence can be seen of the buildings which made up Mulberry Row. This new outdoor exhibition featuring mini-exhibitions at key sites, an app for smart phones, a website, and computer animations will illuminate Mulberry Row and provide visitors with a clearer picture of the landscape of slavery. 
   A new exhibition at Montpelier helps visitors visualize the areas where domestic and skilled slaves lived and worked during Madison's time. The South Yard includes newly constructed frames of outbuildings, including smokehouses, an outdoor kitchen and slave quarters. The buildings are located where the original buildings stood. The area helps tell the story of enslaved community members like Paul Jennings, the trusted manservant who attended James Madison; Sukey, who attended Dolley; and Ailsey Payne, who cooked in the Madison's kitchen during their retirement years. Visitors can also see Mt. Pleasant, where Madison family slaves carved the plantation out of the wilderness, the mansion's cellar kitchens, the Slave Cemetery, the Gilmore Farm, where emancipated Montpelier slaves settled after the Civil War, and the segregated 1910 Train Depot. In the spring visitors can also watch an archaeological dig of the agricultural complex in progress.
   "A partnership between Montpelier, Monticello and CACVB offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the significant relationship between Jefferson and Madison and explore the impact of slavery on their world," said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. "The passport is designed to capture the attention of visitors to the exhibition in D.C., and offer them a deeper exploration of the topic by coming to our area, where they can immerse themselves in history, and enjoy all that we have to offer."
   "Montpelier offers visitors the opportunity to see the broad sweep of the African American journey from slavery to the Jim Crow era in one place. Here they can examine the landscape of slavery, the paradox of liberty, and explore the friendship of the two great men who gave us the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution," said Montpelier President Michael C. Quinn. "We are excited about partnering with Monticello and the Smithsonian.
   The Presidents Passport launches in January 2012. *Businesses interested in participating in the Presidents Passport campaign are encouraged to sign up at or call Bri Warner at 877-386-1103. 

About Monticello
Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Virginia. Monticello is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit

James Madison's Montpelier
Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, and president of the United States. Now that the home's $25 million architectural restoration is complete, visitors can see the progress of rediscovering James and Dolley Madison through the "Presidential Detective Story" with daily guided tours. They can also leisurely stroll the garden and forest; and take in the galleries, hands-on activities, and many other attractions on the estate's 2,650 acres. Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montpelier is located in the heart of