Melanie Adams has been named the director of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. (Willette Pictures/Smithsonian Institution)

Melanie Adams, deputy director of the Minnesota Historical Society, will be the next director of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum.

Adams, 50, manages 26 historic sites and museums in Minnesota, working to build programs and audiences and to address issues that connected to local communities. Before joining MHS in 2016, she served as managing director of the Missouri Historical Society for 11 years. She is a past president of the Association of Midwest Museums and spent nine years on the Special Administrative Board of the St. Louis Public Schools.

Adams graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English and African American studies. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Vermont and a doctorate from the University of Missouri. She succeeds Lori Yarrish, who led the Anacostia museum from 2017 until her death in August. 

The Anacostia Community Museum is closed for renovations until mid-October. During the work, the museum is collaborating with branches of the D.C. Public Library to present small exhibitions. Adams starts Aug. 5.