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Local Arts Hero: DC History Center

Weekly since 2020, BCDC has showcased a Local Arts Hero that’s keeping the lights on in a challenging moment. This week the we’ve chosen the DC History Center!

Founded in 1894, the Center serves as the area’s only community-based nonprofit dedicated to chronicling, und unpacking, the District’s rich history. It’s based in Mount Vernon Square’s historic Carnegie Library, which was fully restored in 2019 as part of a partnership with Apple and Events DC. The spiffed-up building houses a range of exhibits, an introduction to the Center’s research work, a number of public programs, and the Kiplinger Research Library.

Education is at the core of what the DC History Center does, including numerous lesson plans and suggested activities rooted in local history, such as a guide created to support educators who want to draw the lives of Black Washingtonians into their classrooms.

Although the Center is temporarily closed to the public through January 23, online engagement and digital programming continue in spades. A virtual panel discussion on January 27, for example, will feature reflections on the history and development of the DC food scene through the lens of three longtime, local restaurant owners who immigrated to the US. Following that, a workshop in early February will provide an introductory “how to” on researching family history (with a particular spotlight on Black genealogy).

To learn more about the DC History Center, and support its work, head here!

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