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The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum will begin 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.
The museum will continue to offer 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 locations 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.” For more information on the renovation project and for updates on openings, programs and events, visit http://anacostia.si.edu.
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. http://anacostia.si.edu.
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