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© 2006 DC Appleseed

Solving DC Problems Solving DC Problems

Idea Submitted by D.S.

Reopen a Bigger and Better City Museum and Make it More Accessible to All

One problem is the District's failure to fully capitalize on the great influx of tourists, in order to further local interests. Another is the city's palpable economic and racial divisions. Each year, millions of tourists come to the District, learn all about the national government, but remain ignorant about life outside of the federal district. The City Museum was a fantastic way to build pride among District residents while simultaneously educating outsiders about the city's uniqueness. The Council should study the shortcomings of the City Museum and reopen it. Some necessary changes include moving the museum closer to the National Mall (like the Newseum), and finding ways to lower admissions, if not making it free. Substantively, the museum should be more fun, including tactile exhibits, literally walking visitors through the District's history and neighborhoods. The museum should have showcases for local talent. The museum must have a permanent exhibit addressing congressional representation. This exhibit could encourage non-local visitors to write their representatives on behalf of District residents and discuss local issues impacted by congressional oversight. The museum should encourage different local communities to learn about each other, hopefully building coalitions and removing the unfair stigma attached to certain communities. The museum should use diverse media to tell diverse DC stories about civil rights, our past, our future, U Street, Georgetown, baseball, football, Home Rule, and congressional representation. The City Museum can and should be home to all of these aspects of the DC experience.

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