For the first time, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened its doors to the public. This Saturday, the grand opening was celebrated with performances by artists like Public Enemy as well as appearances and speeches from U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith.
To honor the opening, the Smithsonian also hosted the music festival, "Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration," focusing only on participants that originated in African American communities.
Any visitors interested in getting an inside look at the museum could only enter if they signed up for free timed entry passes weeks before. The next passes available are for the months of December and January, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
To see all of the speeches and performances that occurred during the dedication ceremony on September 24, see the video below.
I love this photo of @FLOTUS @MichelleObama and Pres. George W. Bush (R-TX) today #NMAAHC #epluribusone pic.twitter.com/uGlhVpb14y— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) September 24, 2016
"It reaffirms that all of us are America" —@POTUS at the @NMAAHC dedication: https://t.co/3CAAhm1FUW #APeoplesJourney pic.twitter.com/MIAigBg3wc— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 25, 2016
A magical evening performing for the @NMAAHC opening gala for donors. Thanks @AndreWells! #nmaahc #apeoplesjourney pic.twitter.com/Hw2P1CCFDn— Mary Millben (@MaryMillben) September 26, 2016
The National Museum of African American Culture and History lit up at night. _____ According to the architect of the building, David Adjaye, the screens angle away from the building in three massive tiers, giving the structure a distinctive shape inspired by the capitals on caryatids carved by West Africa’s Yoruba people. _____ I don't know if the architect was trying to get the feel of one, but looking at the building from the front, at the corners, it sort of resembles the hull of a wooden ship, maybe a slave ship. _____ #nationalmuseumofafricanamericanhistoryandculture #nmaahc #blackhistory #blackculture #africanamericanhistory #africanamericanculture #slavery #reconstruction #jimcrow #janecrow #civilrightsmovement #slavesongs #worksongs #blackarts #blackentertainment #blackmusic #blackentrepreneur #blackinventor #iger #ig #instgramers #blackthought #knowledgeofself
I am more proud of our culture. #APeoplesJourney #DC #NMAAHC #FreedomSounds @NMAAHC pic.twitter.com/GpivGYitvL— GOODPartners (@GOODPartners_) September 25, 2016
#NMAAHC shining bright like a !!! It was an amazing weekend #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory #shotoniphone #SundayNight pic.twitter.com/B3cuaFtMMx— Brotha2ThaNight (@AbsolutLIBRA) September 26, 2016