After a construction-filled summer, the Anacostia Community Museum will reopen Monday, in anticipation of its 45th anniversary this fall.
The museum, in Southeast Washington, was established in 1967 as a “experimental store-front museum” to bring the arts to under-served communities. It closed in May to complete a lighting upgrade project. Since then the museum has taken its programs to the community, including the “Citified: Arts and Creativity East of the Anacostia River” installation at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
“The summer’s been great!” said Sharon Reinckens, the museum’s deputy director. The museum also started tours earlier this month that give visitors a behind-the-scenes look.
“Because we’re a small museum, we store collections in many parts of the building,” Reinckens said.
The weekly event allows patrons to view the museum’s archives and learn how to access other exhibits through the Smithsonian collections system.
When the doors reopen next week, the standing exhibition “Separate & Unequal: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia” will return. In addition, the museum will host 13 different programs, including a forum on green jobs, a youth open-mike night and women’s impact in the world of Salsa in August.
In September, the museum’s newest exhibit “Reclaiming the Edge — Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement,” explores the past and future of the Anacostia River as well as solutions to urban waterways around the world. The exhibit will also examine the river’s role as a dividing line between parts of the city, Reinckens said.
“With this exhibition, we’re really focusing on our position here in Anacostia and exploring the contemporary urban experience,” she said. “We spent about three years on this project: researching; working with various community groups. We’ve made a lot of new relationships through this project, and we’re very excited about the opportunity to talk about the Anacostia River.” The new exhibit will run through August 2013.
Starting Aug. 4, you can get to the museum every weekend by hopping on Shuttle Anacostia, the free service that provides round trips from the Mall. The bus will stop at the Ripley Center and Air and Space Museum on the Mall, the Anacostia Metro station and the Frederick Douglass House, in addition to the Anacostia Museum. The shuttle service ends Aug. 26. To reserve a spot on the behind-the-scenes tour, call 202-633-4844. Find out more by visiting anacostia.si.edu.