From its inception the museum’s mission has been inextricably tied to urban communities. Today, urban residents are seeing and experiencing a great deal of change, including changes in the demographic composition of U.S. cities and towns, and an increasing number and significance of cultural encounters between members of different ethnic and cultural communities. Other changes include gentrification, displacement, and loss of traditional neighborhoods and social networks; the impact of globalization and exchange of technology on community life; and the loss of traditional means of employment and income. A rapid pace of movement, displacement, and change characterizes cities and towns in the U.S. These trends mirror what is happening in other urban communities around the world.
In this section you will find materials on: historical and cultural connections between diverse communities; the broad historical and cultural contexts of changes that are seen day-to-day in community life; the impact of emerging technology; and explorations of the connections between individuals, community, and the larger society.
[apane title=”Black Mosaic”] In 1994, the Anacostia Museum presented a community-based exhibition called Black Mosaic: Community, Race, and Ethnicity among Black Immigrants in Washington, D.C. This multilingual, multicultural research and exhibition project was among the first documentation projects to examine perceptions and realities of race, nationality, and ethnicity of Black immigrants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The stories and collections continue to resonate with D.C. area residents today. It has been 20 years since the Black Mosaic exhibition and the issues of race, ethnicity, and community remain at the center of many urban issues in D.C. and beyond.
[apane title=”Ubuhle: Beadwork and the Art of Independence”] The Anacostia Community Museum is pleased to present the exhibition, Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence, on exhibition through September 21, 2014, featuring the work of artists from the Ubuhle arts organization. The exhibition showcases a new form of bead art developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The flat surface of the textile onto which the Ubuhle women bead is reminiscent of the Xhosa headscarves and skirts that many of them grew up wearing. Using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression, the Ubuhle community has re-imagined the longstanding beading tradition as a contemporary art form. Twenty-nine works are featured, including The African Crucifixion.
[apane title=”Sapelo Island”]When I was tapped to curate the exhibit Word Shout Song: Lorenzo Dow Turner Connecting Communities through Language I did not know I was signing up for a wonderful adventure that would take me to some of the most interesting places I have visited so far in my life. One of these places was Sapelo Island in the Sea Islands of Georgia.