Hill Talk: Anacostia Museum Gets Shuttle

Posted June 23, 2010 at 4:40pm

In an effort to bring more visitors east of the Potomac River, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum is sponsoring a free shuttle from the National Mall for the second summer in a row.

The 24-passenger bus picks up riders near the Smithsonian Castle between 10 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. It starts at the Ripley Center and continues to the National Air and Space Museum, the Anacostia Metro station, the Anacostia Community Museum and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and returns to the Mall. It will drop off riders through 3:30 p.m.

The museum hopes to draw visitors from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, where part of the focus will be on Mexico, to its own exhibit on Mexico, which closes July 4. “The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present” features the art and culture of Afro-Mexicans.

This Saturday the shuttle’s hours will be extended to bring visitors to the museum’s “Family Fiesta: Viva La Mexico.” The museum is also showing “Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia.”

Spokeswoman Marcia Baird Burris said the goal is to raise awareness of another part of the District for visitors to the Smithsonian.

“We’re obviously trying to take advantage of visitors to Washington and visitors to the Mall who are interested in Smithsonian offerings but may not be aware that there is a museum in the community that extends the Smithsonian’s reach,” she said.

Folklife Festival Starts Today

Visitors will get a taste of Asian Pacific, Mexican and Haitian culture at this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

“Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties” was inspired by the more than 350,000 Asian Pacific Americans living in the area. From performing arts on the Asian Fusions stage to Thai and Burmese food, the festival offers a chance for visitors to engage in the culture.

Some of the evening shows include a Filipino dance heritage ensemble, a chorus singing traditional Hawaiian songs and a dance troupe performing a combination of Fijian and Indian dances.

This year’s featured country is Mexico, with the festival focusing on the different cultures that make up the country. People can dance with a troupe and watch a ceremony celebrating rain and fertile land.

Some of the Mexican musical traditions to be featured include mariachi, a rock band singing traditional lyrics from the Comcáac tribe and a group revitalizing Afro-Mestizo music.

To help the effort to rebuild culture in Haiti, Haitian artists and musicians will sell crafts and perform. The proceeds raised will support the reinvigoration of traditional crafts in the country.

The festival will be held today through Monday and July 1-5 on the National Mall. The hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Special events such as concerts and dance parties start at 5:30 p.m.