The DuSable Museum of African American History will “Lift Every Voice” and celebrate the Grand Opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, September 24, 2016, by hosting a free “Watch Party” beginning at 8:30 AM. The event will take place at the Museum located at 740 East 56th Place (57th Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue) in Chicago.
The celebration will reach beyond Washington, D.C., to Chicago as The DuSable also presents “A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture.” This commemorative poster exhibition will be on view and continue through year’s end. In addition, The DuSable will also unveil its Smithsonian Affiliation Membership Program which provides DuSable Museum Members with special Affiliate benefits.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), situated on the National Mall, and Chicago’s own DuSable Museum of African American History, are places where everyone can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience. The DuSable, and now, the NMAAHC are institutions that transcend the boundaries of race and culture, and weave together a story that unites us all.
Perri Irmer, President and CEO of the DuSable Museum stated, “It is highly appropriate that the nation’s oldest independent African American history museum lead the city-wide celebration for the Smithsonian’s newest jewel, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We are excited about the opening of our National Museum, and this opportunity to join with civic, business, community and legislative leaders to celebrate not only the NMAAHC taking its rightful place on the National Mall, but also paying tribute to its Founding Director, Lonnie Bunch. As an official Smithsonian Affiliate, the DuSable Museum, will be working closely with the NMAAHC going forward and the cultural and educational connections between our institutions will serve to strengthen our collective missions locally, nationally and globally.”
The DuSable Museum invites Museum Members, families, friends and neighbors to join with us as we watch a live-stream of the Grand Opening Celebration of the NMAAHC, during which President Barack Obama is expected to participate. The DuSable’s “Watch Party” will begin promptly at 8:30 AM and immediately following, guests are invited to view our newest exhibition, A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the poster exhibition A Place for All People highlights key artifacts that tell the rich and diverse story of the African American experience. From the child-size shackles of a slave and clothing worn by Carolotta Walls on her first day at Little Rock Central High School to Chuck Berry’s Gibson guitar, “Maybellene,” and the track shoes worn by Olympian Carl Lewis, the poster exhibition presents a living history that reflects challenge, triumph, faith and hope.
The journey to establish the NMAAHC began a century ago with a call for a national memorial to honor the contributions of African American Civil War veterans. After decades of efforts by private citizens, organizations and members of Congress, federal legislation was passed in 2003 to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Since then, thousands of artifacts have been collected to fill the inspiring new building that has risen on the National Mall. Through its exhibitions and programs, the museum provides a shared lens to view the nation’s history and the possibility of hope and healing. It is a place where all can gather to remember, reflect and embrace America’s story: a place for all people. For more information, visit nmaahc.si.edu.
A Place for All People, in conjunction with The DuSable Museum’s crowd-pleasing exhibitions including: Freedom, Resistance and The Journey Toward Equality; The DuSable: Masterworks Collection Series I: Paintings; and Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, share the stories of African American and African Diaspora people and their contributions to the local community and the American story.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition description and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.
Admission to the DuSable Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture Watch Party is FREE and the public is invited. However, reservations are highly suggested and you may register by visiting dusablemuseum.org, or by calling 773-947-0600 ext 238. The Museum may be reached by CTA buses #3, #4 and #55, and limited free parking is available.