The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrated its six-month anniversary Friday, and the achievements from its inaugural half-year have been groundbreaking.
The museum has already welcomed nearly 1.3 million visitor through its doors since it opened on Sept. 24, 2016, and it still remains the hottest ticket in town.
Here are other highlights of NMAAHC since it opened:
It Is Winning Accolades
Although it has a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum still stands out among the other Smithsonian museums. It was recognized for its design in the Wall Street Journal’s 2016 Best New Architecture honors and awarded Best Cultural Draw in Wallpaper magazine’s January 2017 Design Awards.
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The museum’s restaurant, Sweet Home Café, was also named one of 27 semifinalists nominated for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards in the category of Best New Restaurant. Sweet Home Café is one of few museum restaurants ever to receive such recognition.
It Is Still Growing
The museum has now increased the number of items in its permanent collection to more than 40,000. Since opening, the museum has added several notable fine-art acquisitions, including “Mabel,” a painting by Hughie Lee Smith and artworks by Bennie Andrews donated by the United Negro College Fund. Two of Roland Freeman’s photographs will go on display this May in the museum’s newest temporary exhibition, “More Than a Picture.”
It’s More Social
Since opening Sept. 24, the museum has increased its Facebook following by 156,000 for a total of 300,000, Twitter following by 71,000 for a total of 114,000 and Instagram following by 41,000 for a total of 91,000. The museum’s visitors have used social media to engage with the museum both before and after their visit—over 44,000 posts have been shared using #NMAAHC on Instagram, and tweets using #APeoplesJourney have been shared to over 110 million Twitter accounts.
It Celebrates Current Black Excellence
The museum may explore the history of black life and culture, but it still highlights modern-day achievements. This incluedes the screening many notable films in the Oprah Winfrey Theater, including Oscar-nominated films like 13th, Fences, Hidden Figures, Loving, and Moonlight.
Many of these screening have included panel discussions with the stars of these movies.
Tickets to the museum are hard to get if you don’t plan. So if you haven’t had a chance to visit in its first year, you still have another six months to get it together.
Have you visited NMAAHC? What was your favorite part of the experience?