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Smithsonian’s African American History Museum Will Open September 24

Benjamin Freed | The Washingtonian   in  ·
February 3, 2016

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open September 24, four-and-a-half years after it broke ground on the Mall, the Smithsonian Institution announced Tuesday. The new museum, which will be the Smithsonian’s first major expansion in more than a decade, will kick off with a week-long festival including concerts, dance performances, film screenings, and other events.

President Obama presided over the museum’s ceremonial groundbreaking in February 2012 and will cut the ribbon in September, the Smithsonian says in a news release. The museum’s creation was authorized in 2003; since then, it has raised nearly $500 million in public and private funds to build the its 400,000-square-foot facility on Constitution Ave., Northwest, between 14th and 15th streets, and to assemble a collection spanning several centuries of black history and culture.

“It will be a place for healing and reconciliation, a place where everyone can explore the story of America through the lens of the African American experience,” the museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, says in the release.

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