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<em>Hispanics, the New Italians, 2015</em>, Rosalia Torres-Weiner, Charlotte, N.C., Courtesy of Cindy and Randy Rice

Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Youth Advisory Council, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Media Release

Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum Revitalizes Its Mission for Its 50th Anniversary: Celebration Includes an Open House and Block Party

The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum is commemorating 50 years of service to communities in the Washington, D.C., area with the yearlong celebration “Your Community. Your Story.”

The anniversary is an opportunity for the museum to renew its mission and focus, and become a cultural center that convenes conversations about community life in a contemporary society. These conversations will address topics of importance to local communities in the Washington, D.C., area–and the rest of the nation–such as politics, economic livelihood, urban ecology, religion, immigration and cultural and spiritual fulfillment. The museum also will inspire and promote civic engagement through its exhibitions and programming, which will feature community members sharing stories that highlight the opportunities and challenges of life in the 21st century.

“The Anacostia Community Museum is a museum of, by and for the people,” said Lori D. Yarrish, the museum’s acting director. “We want to bring together diverse people and perspectives to learn from, uplift and empower one another in order to create a more tolerant, unified metropolitan community.”

The celebration begins Sept. 15 with an open house and a new retrospective exhibition, “Your Community. Your Story.” The open house will feature dance performances by Zezeh Brazilian Dancers, Chum Ngek (Cambodian dance and music), and Capital Movement Inc. Dance Group; musical performances from Clifton Ross, Brent from Brent & Co., JoGo Project and the Garfield Elementary Drumline; henna and caricature artists; and a program honoring the museum’s founding director John Kinard. The day’s events are free and open to the public; registration is encouraged, but not required, and can be done through the museum’s website or by calling (202) 633-4844.

On Oct. 7, the museum will host a block party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The party will include live performances, food trucks, children’s activities, art workshops and more. Special guests include Washington, D.C.-based go-go band Experience Unlimited, featuring Sugar Bear; the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C.; Pan Lara (Caribbean) and the Pepe Gonzáles Band. Joe Clair from WPGC 95.5 will be at the museum from 1–3 p.m., and community partners will have information tables and local artists will be selling their work. A shuttle will be running on a continuous loop to and from the Anacostia Metro (Green Line). The day’s events are free and open to the public; registration is encouraged, but not required, and can be done through the museum’s website or by calling (202) 633-4844. The event is rain or shine.

Other anniversary activities throughout the year will include “Anacostia Community Museum Out and About” programs throughout Washington, D.C. These “pop-up” stations will bring the museum to six D.C. neighborhoods throughout the year.

The exhibition “A Right to the City” opens in April 2018 and will explore the history of neighborhood change in the nation’s capital as well as its rich history of civic engagement.

About the Museum: The Anacostia Community Museum was founded in 1967 as an initiative to bring national culture into a local, inner-city environment. Under John Kinard, the museum’s founding director, its mission changed, and it became a place for people in an urban neighborhood to voice their concerns about city life and examine their roles in society. The museum served as a safe space for encouraging local forms of cultural expression.

Today, the museum explores social issues affecting diverse populations of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to promote mutual understanding and strengthen community bonds. The museum’s work focuses on the arts, environment, community history and urban studies, and researching, interpreting and sharing the stories of diverse communities.

For more information, call (202) 633-4820; for tours, call (202) 633-4844. Website:

Media Only:
Amy Kehs (202) 309-5543;
Marcia Baird Burris (202) 633-4876; (202) 320-1735 (cell)

Media Website:;

Note to editor:Images for publicity can be obtained from Also visit the museum website at for the calendar of public programs associated with the exhibitions.