Lifestyle

Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum: Back and Better with New Programs and Spaces

The Anacostia Community Museum is back and better than ever! We re-opened on Sunday, October 13th with a wonderful community-focused celebration. I would like to thank everyone who came out to see the new space, eat some cake, and welcome me to the community. I look forward to hosting more such events at the museum to bring people together to get to know their neighbors and learn about the rich cultural history of the DC region.

Melanie A. Adams, director of Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum (Photo by Michael Barnes)
Melanie A. Adams, director of Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (Photo by Michael Barnes)

We have returned to hosting programs and events in our space and encourage you to come check us out. New features are visible inside and out, including our inviting new Sunburst Lounge and an educational garden space!

This column is intended to let you know about the great things happening at your Anacostia Community Museum and how you can participate. The majority of our programs take place at the museum, but sometimes we work with community partners and co-sponsor programs at locations throughout the DC area.  By hosting programs at other locations, we are able to take the great work of the museum on the road and encourage people to visit us at home in Ward 8.

The museum schedules programs throughout the week and on Saturdays, so that you can visit at a time that is convenient for your schedule.  Most programs are free with some requiring a modest fee to cover transportation or supplies.  We try our best to make sure our programs are open and accessible to all who would like to attend.

Below are my featured program picks taking place in the weeks ahead, as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, continue the conversation about neighborhood change, and spark inter-generational dialogue about social change through art, inspired by our current exhibition A Right to the City.  I hope you will join us for one or more of these unique programs, and tell others of the great experience you had at the Anacostia Community Museum! For a full calendar of museum programs and events, visit: https://anacostia.si.edu.

Film and Discussion:  Warrior Women

Thursday, November 14 | 10:30am – 12:30pm

This timely documentary examines social and civic activism through the eyes of Madonna Thunder Hawk, a longtime organizer of the American Indian Movement (AIM). The film explores what it means to balance a movement with motherhood and how activist legacies are passed down from generation to generation in the face of a government that has often met Native resistance with mass violence. A post film discussion and Q&A will be facilitated by Mandy Van Heuvelen (Mnicoujou Lakota), Cultural Interpreter, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Film and Discussion:  What Happens when the Rich get Richer?

Wednesday, November 20 | 11am – 1pm

Presented in Collaboration with the Anacostia Coordinating Council

The Divide takes a deeply personal look at wealth inequality, telling the story of seven individuals striving for a better life in the modern-day U.S. and U.K. — where the top 0.1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%.   Weaving personal stories with stunning footage and commentary from experts like Noam Chomsky, The Divideshows how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by one factor: the size of the gap between rich and poor.

A discussion follows the film facilitated by Dr. Kilolo Kijakazi, Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute.  Dr. Kijakazi wrote the research report, The Color of Wealth in the Nation’s Capital, a joint publication of the Urban Institute, Duke University, The New School, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.  

Family Art Workshop:  Screen Printing for Social Change

Saturday, December 7 | 2 – 4pm

Don’t miss this opportunity to join local artists and community organizers from The Sanctuaries–a DC based collaborative who use art making as a vehicle to heal social division and ignite social change. Participants will learn the process of screen printing to convey individual messages of empowerment.  Through this process, you’ll also learn how art is empowering Washingtonians to shape and reshape their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways!

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