In 2017 the Anacostia Community Museum will be celebrating their 50th anniversary, having opened their doors to the public on September 15, 1967 in the Carver Theater on Martin Luther King Avenue in Southeast, Washington, DC. In June 1967, the Smithsonian appointed civil rights activist, educator, and minister, John R. Kinard as the director of the museum. Kinard was deeply interested in involving the youth of the area in developing the new museum. Smithsonian staff worked with local residents to convert the Carver Theater into an exhibition space, and to select objects for display. The theater was renamed the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum.
In April 1987, the museum changed its name to the Anacostia Museum to reflect the museum's increased efforts to examine, preserve, and interpret African American history and culture, not only locally and regionally, but nationally and internationally as well. In 1995, the museum was renamed Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, and served as a planning site for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which was established in 2003. The museum then returned its focus to the life and history of communities east of the Anacostia River and was renamed the Anacostia Community Museum in 2006.
The current museum building, completed in 1987, is located in Fort Stanton Park and was designed by Keyes Condon Florance; Architrave; and Wisnewski Blair Associates.
- Anacostia Community Museum records at the Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Historic images of the Anacostia Community Museum from the Smithsonian Institution Archives