Communities

The Anacostia Community Museum was able to serve incarcerated audiences through use of newly issued tablets at the D.C. Jail.

Smithsonian Voices

Reaching Out to Those Behind Bars

Learn how the Anacostia Community Museum redesigned its acclaimed exhibition "Men of Change" as a digital offering for incarcerated audiences

The Sound of Our Resurrection Is Stronger Than the Silence of Death is what McCormick and Calhoun call their picture of A Chosen Few Brass Band, photographed in the city’s Treme neighborhood in the 1980s.

Photographs Salvaged From Hurricane Katrina Recall Life in New Orleans

Making art out of disaster, two photographers reexamine these affectionate portraits of life in the Crescent City

Custard apple trees—a freshwater version of mangroves once ringed Lake Okeechobee’s southern shore in a three-mile-wide belt. Today, barely 100 acres remain.

The Strange Beauty at the Edge of the Everglades

Chronicling the historic struggles of the Florida farming community known as Belle Glade

“The Co-Lab” is a first-of-its-kind collaborative design experience where museumgoers can build virtual future communities in real time, alongside artificial intelligence (A.I.) acting as a design partner.

What If Humans and Artificial Intelligence Teamed Up to Build Better Communities?

Smithsonian’s 'Futures' exhibition team and Autodesk announce groundbreaking interactive experience to showcase a bold new problem-solving philosophy

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Remembering Tulsa

The Unrealized Promise of Oklahoma

How the push for statehood led a beacon of racial progress to oppression and violence

The exhibition is on view near a neighborhood recreation center that holds classes and homework time, even during the pandemic, and an all-boys high school. "I just feel like this block amplifies all of the messages expressed in the exhibit," says one of the show's organizers.

In a Covid-Affected Washington, D.C. Neighborhood, Black History Is Reinterpreted on a City Block

A powerful outdoor exhibition amplifies a message of "pride, tenacity and possibility"

Researchers discovered 29 graves at the original site of the North Greenwood Cemetery, which operated in Clearwater, Florida, between 1940 and 1954. Pictured: An aerial view of Clearwater, circa 1930–45

Florida Archaeologists Find 29 Unmarked Graves at Site of Razed Black Cemetery

Authorities moved the historically African American burial ground to make way for a high school and city pool in the 1950s

Two filmmakers launched a nationwide fundraiser to help save the surviving bars.

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Rise and Fall of America's Lesbian Bars

Only 15 nightlife spaces dedicated to queer and gay women remain in the United States

For nearly four decades, Alexander has lived on various heating grates in Southwest D.C., which is why he introduced himself as “Alexander the Grate.”

A Street-Wise Philosopher Explains What It Means to Be Homeless Amid the Pandemic

Smithsonian Folklorist James Deutsch interviews the Washington D.C. man, "Alexander the Grate," about living in the "interstices of the infrastructure"

The Metcalfs—Joni, 57, and Derek, 60—married in August 1983 and raised four children. When Derek lost his job with the federal government, they eventually ended up living in the streets. Recently, they found permanent housing.

A Washington, D.C. Couple Shares How the Pandemic Complicates Homelessness

Smithsonian curator James Deutsch speaks with the Metcalfs, who have long lived on the streets

The Anacostia Community Museum wants to know not just how you’re surviving this moment, but how you’re being resilient.

In This Historical Moment, Here’s How to Collect Your Thoughts

The Anacostia Community Museum wants your story for its new archive #Moments of Resilience

It wasn’t until the 1964 elections that city residents could participate in presidential elections. “It’s only then that Washingtonians got two electoral seats,” says historian Marjorie Lightman.

The History of D.C.'s Epic and Unfinished Struggle for Statehood and Self-Governance

Control of the federal city was long dictated by Congress until residents took a stand beginning in the 1960s

Marta Martínez interviews a local resident for her oral history project.

Covid-19

How Oral History Projects Are Being Stymied by COVID-19

As the current pandemic ravages minority communities, historians are scrambling to continue work that preserves cultural heritage

On April 22, 1970, a local community rose up after many unwanted intrusions into their neighborhood, including the building of the I-5 freeway. Today, Chicano Park with its monumental murals is a National Historic Landmark.

Fifty Years Ago, Fed Up With the City’s Neglect, a San Diego Community Rose Up to Create Chicano Park

Making Tierra Mía, says the director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, proved transformative in giving voice to the people

John Kinard, the first African American to head a Smithsonian museum, took the helm of the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in 1967. The museum was housed in a former theater on Nichols Street in a Southeast neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Fifty Years Ago, the Idea of a Museum for the People Came of Age

A Smithsonian symposium asked experts to weigh in on the strength of the community museum and chart its way forward

The Anacostia Community Museum is just reopening its doors after a seven-month, $4.5 million improvement project amplifies the 52-year-old museum's welcoming outreach to the nearby neighborhoods and community.

At the Anacostia Community Museum, a Sleek New Look Comes with a New Director

With a hyper-local focus on neighborhood concerns, this Smithsonian museum is a mighty influencer

The Randall Park Mall in Ohio, photographed here in 2014, was opened in 1971 and abandoned in 2009. Amazon has built a new distribution center on the site.

The Rise of the Zombie Mall

Hundreds of big retail centers have gone under, but the shop-til-you drop lifestyle isn't dead yet

Smoke and flames rise from Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15, 2019.

Last Night, I Watched Notre-Dame Burn

Our own travel writer, in Paris yesterday, recounts her experience witnessing the devastating fire at the cathedral

A Human Chain Helped a U.K. Bookshop Move to Its New Location

Some 250 volunteers transported more than 2,000 books

Over the course of the 2018 Folklife Festival, experienced artisans worked hand in hand with crochet novices to decorate a humble tree of life.

Armenia

Armenia’s “Tree of Life” Tradition Took Root Thousands of Years Ago, and Has Only Grown Since

The tree adorned in this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival will continue to blossom overseas