Anacostia in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Museum for the Community
An East-of-the-River View
—Anacostia Heritage Trail —
Then a decade later, a museum moved in — one that changed the whole idea of what a museum can be.
Smithsonian Institution Secretary S. Dillon Ripley knew that most low income people did not go to museums, so he decided to bring a museum to them. Several DC neighborhoods vied for the privilege of having a branch of the Smithsonian, but Anacostia won, thanks to negotiating by DC Councilmember Stanley Anderson and citizens organized as the Greater Anacostia People's Corporation.
Until the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum opened in 1967, the Smithsonian had never produced a major exhibition on African American history or culture nor had it employed any African American curators. The museum tapped John Kinard, an anti-poverty worker and local activist with no museum experience, to run the new facility. Kinard later described the job as "a leap in the dark;' yet the creative risk paid off.
Many east-of-the-river residents now experienced museum-going for the first time. While early installations featured a model of a Mercury space capsule and dinosaur bones, soon, with community
After the museum achieved national recognition for its exhibit “The Rat: Man's Invited Affliction” (featuring live rats), Kinard began looking for more space. In 1987 it moved to a new building at Fort Stanton Park and in 2006 became the Anacostia Community Museum.
Erected by Anacostia Heritage Trail. (Marker Number 9.)
Location. 38° 51.755′ N, 76° 59.547′ W. Marker is in Anacostia, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2405 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue Southeast, Washington DC 20020, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nichols Avenue Elementary School/Old Birney School Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birney School (about 300 feet away); Crossing Lines (about 600 feet away); A Navy Town (about Faith and Action (about 700 feet away); Barry Farm - Hillsdale (about 700 feet away); The Big Chair (approx. ¼ mile away); The World’s Largest Chair (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anacostia.
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 14, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 179 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 14, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 17, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.