The Anacostia Community Museum has a long history of exploring arts and creativity through arts exhibitions and installations, museum collections, and community-focused programs. The museum’s research mission calls for an overall community-focused approach to art and creativity and also for the ongoing documentation of local and neighborhood artists and creators. In 2011, ACM sponsored Call & Response: Community and Creativity, an arts project looking at creativity in Washington D.C.’s ward eight; and in 2012 the museum worked with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to develop Citified, a program of performances and demonstrations by artists and residents of ward eight in Washington D.C. for the annual Folklife Festival. In 2013 the museum installed Ubuhle, an exhibition featuring the outstanding work of contemporary South African women beading artists.
There is a significant collection of African American folk art in the museum’s permanent collection. Curators are working to expand the art collection focusing on contemporary and urban art, and to diversify the artists represented in its collection. The museum also sponsors community forums to bring residents, decision makers, and other stakeholders together in open dialogues to discuss arts-related issues.