About the Museum

Lonnie G. Bunch

“This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans.”

–Lonnie G. Bunch III, director

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be the 19th museum to open as part of the Smithsonian Institution. It will stand on a five-acre site on the National Mall, adjacent to the Washington Monument and opposite the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

Historian, author, curator and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the founding director of the Museum. Director Bunch is designing a high-profile program of traveling exhibitions and public events ranging from panel discussions and seminars to oral history and collecting workshops to kick-off the development of the Museum.

Ultimately, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place of meaning, of memory, of reflection, of laughter, and of hope. The Museum will remind us of our history, the challenges we still face and point us towards what we can become.

There are four pillars upon which this museum will stand:

  1. Provide an opportunity for those who care about or who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
  2. Help all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
  3. Explore what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
  4. Serve as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington to engage new audiences and to collaborate with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created

The initial architectural design concept was submitted by the architectural team of Freelon Adjaye Bond / SmithGroup. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2012 with completion scheduled for 2016. Until then, we invite you to visit our temporary Gallery located on the second floor of the National Museum of American History, 14th and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC. This gallery space at American History will feature exhibitions until our museum building opens in 2016.

NMAAHC Building Map - Future site of the Museum on the National Mall

If you have a comment or question regarding The National Museum of African American History and Culture please email us at NMAAHCinfo@si.edu.

Email: NMAAHCinfo@si.edu | Phone: 202.633.7369 | Mailing Address: PO Box 37012 MRC 509, Washington, DC 20013-7012