How central Washington became a downtown to the metropolitan area, what social functions the downtown has served, the economic and cultural rebirth of downtown and other topics will be treated in a special exhibition being prepared by The City Museum Project under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The City Museum Project, a non-profit organization established to promote the founding of a Museum of the City of Washington, is planning to open "Two Centuries of Change: The Idea of Downtown" early this June. People who want to loan artifacts or graphics from their own collections for the exhibit are being asked by sponsors to write to Keith Melder, 334 South Carolina Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20003.

The exhibit will include photographs, prints and other documents focusing on people's attitudes about downtown and what aspirations they had for the city's center. The history of downtown life will be shown in relation to current hopes and plans to bring new vitality to the neighborhood.

The exhibit will open downtown and will travel to at least a dozen different locations in the metropolitan area over a period of 18 months. Exhibition sites will be selected on the basis of their availibility to the public and community programs will accompany the exhibit as it moves from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Members of the exhibition committee are Keith Melder, curator; David Root and Pat Chester, designers; Harris Shettel, exhibit evaluation specialist; Marcia Greenlee, consulting historian; Barbara Coffee and Elizabeth Miller, resource specialists; Rob Mawson, research assistant; Earl James, grant administrator, and Frank Taylor, project director.