The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum is current closed for renovation though mid-October 2019 but the museum is having major impact citywide with satellite exhibits of its blockbuster gentrification exhibition “A Right to the City” at DC Public Library branches and other locations throughout the District plus complementary programming and other public activities. For more information, visit
**FILE** The Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum

The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum is initiating a minimum six-month renovation to improve the visitor experience.

The $3.5 million project will enhance the museum’s accessibility and make major improvements to the parking lot and entrance. The scope of the project requires the installation of barriers along the exterior perimeter, resulting in sidewalk and driveway closures and limited building access. The museum building will be closed from March 15 through the summer. The reopening is planned for mid-October.

The changes will improve pedestrian access, accommodate school buses and increase useable outdoor space, including a multi-functional plaza for large-group assembly and a community garden. The museum will also undergo interior lighting and HVAC updates during the closure.

“With this renovation, the Smithsonian is investing not only in the infrastructure of the Anacostia Community Museum, but also in its external accessibility and overall appeal,” said Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the museum.
To minimize the disruption and maximize the opportunity presented, the museum is meeting its public where they are by offering a range of innovative programs and content throughout Washington, D.C., in partnership with local organizations.

The museum has spun off “A Right to the City” — its popular main-gallery exhibition on gentrification in the Adams Morgan, Anacostia, Brookland, Chinatown, Shaw and Southwest neighborhoods — into satellite versions on view in neighborhoods across the District. DC Public Library is partnering on this major initiative by hosting five of the six mini-exhibits, most opening March 15, at library branches in Shaw, Mt. Pleasant, Woodridge, Anacostia and Southwest with complementary community-specific programming. The location of the Chinatown exhibition is being confirmed.

Additional public programs supporting current environmental initiatives, exploring urban issues and celebrating community will take place in collaboration with partners, including Martha’s Table, the Textile Museum at George Washington University and other Smithsonian units during the closure period.

At the completion of the upgrade work in the fall, the museum will reopen the building with an updated version of “A Right to the City.” To learn more about the renovation project and for updates on openings, programs, events and/or to subscribe to the museum’s email list, visit

Established in 1967, the Anacostia Community Museum examines the impact of contemporary social issues on urban communities.

For general information, call 202-633-4820; for program information, call (202) 633-4844.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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