The Anacostia Smithsonian is unique in its mission to enhance the community's understanding of urban experiences through dance, movies, exhibits and art.Exhibits
Founded as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and opened in 1967, the Anacostia Community Museum was envisioned by S. Dillon Ripley, then-Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as an outreach effort by the Smithsonian to the local African American community. Beginning in the 1980s the exhibition program turned to broader national themes in African American history and culture with a focus on preservation of that history. Spearheaded by director John Kinard, this work also served as a platform for his major efforts to advocate for the emerging African American museum movement. Exhibition projects included The Renaissance: Black Arts of the Twenties, Real McCoy: African American Invention and Innovation, and Climbing Jacobs Ladder: The Rise of Black Churches in Eastern American Cities, 1740–1877. The museum established an ongoing program focused on church archives, along with an education program series on the preservation of family history. These efforts included a collection day event that brought hundreds of local citizens and their family heirlooms, works of art, and vintage collectibles together with conservation and content specialists. ACM is committed to:
We believe that active citizen participation in the documentation and use of cultural and historic assets is a powerful instrument in creating and maintaining a sense of community and civic responsibility.
The museum's work is achieved through development of museum collections, engaging exhibitions, research and documentation that examine the development of communities, and through diverse community and educational programming.