The one-year countdown has now begun to the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). To celebrate the achievement of opening by next fall after over six years of planning the museum, the NMAAHC hosted musical performances, poem readings, and speeches from Mayor Muriel Bowser, Congressional Delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Museum Director Lonnie Bunch III this past Monday. The event, dubbed "Commemorate and Celebrate Freedom," also celebrated the 150 year anniversary of the end of slavery, the 150 year anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the 50 year anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act. To top it all off, the southern and western exteriors of the building facing Madison Drive NW and facing 15th Street NW will be illuminated with a seven-minute projection of historic images related to slavery, abolition and Reconstruction, the Civil War, and the civil rights era. The projection will occur for three days from November 16 to 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The projection was created with a collaboration by Kansas City-based Quixotic Entertainment and documentary filmmaker Stanley J. Nelson and was directed by Ricardo Khan, the former artistic director of the Tony Award-winning Crossroads Theatre Co. Take a look at what the projection looks like with this video on The Washington Post or check out some Tweets with videos taken during the event at the end of this article.
The 400,000-square-foot museum officially broke ground in February 2012 and costs a total $540 million, half of which is to be paid by Congress. The NMAAHC is located on a five-acre seat and will house at least 20,000 artifacts. The building features a rooftop terrace and a "porch," which is meant to allude to the communal areas of homes that have served as an enduring feature of black life.
· National Museum of African American History and Culture Comes Alive Nov. 16–18 [Smithsonian]
· Making Way for a Dream in the Nation's Capital [The New York Times]
· New museum turns walls into a movie screen [The Washington Post]