Fodor's Expert Review Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
A pioneer in the community museum movement, in a historically black neighborhood in Southeast Washington, this museum examines the impact of contemporary social issues on urban communities, including environment, urban life, and encounters with other cultures. The engaging exhibitions employ video, art, crafts, and photography, along with dynamic public programs including musical performances, crafts workshops, and storytellers. The museum's striking facade features traditional African design elements: brickwork patterns evoke West African kente cloth, the concrete cylinders reference the stone towers of Zimbabwe, and diamond patterned adornments resemble those found on the adobe houses of Mali. The museum is near the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Free transportation is offered from the National Mall on summer weekends and there's free on-site parking.