Museum News

Security and Logistics Information for Dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

August 25, 2016

The dedication of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, on the museum’s grounds on the National Mall. Due to the size and nature of the event and its location on the National Mall (14th Street N.W. and Constitution Avenue N.W.) large crowds are expected. Security and logistics information follows:

Dedication Ceremony

The dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m.; the musical prelude begins at 9 a.m. There will be no general public admission to the grounds of the museum. However, the public is invited to watch the ceremony from the grounds of the Washington Monument and on Jumbotrons around the site. Visitors can only gain entry to the venue through security screening at access points at 17th Street N.W. and Constitution Avenue N.W. or at 17th Street S.W. and Independence Avenue S.W. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  • Alchohol
  • Ammunition
  • Animals and pets (helper/guide dogs are permitted)
  • Ballons
  • Bicycles
  • Explores/fireworks
  • Fireams, weapons or knives of any type; includes toy guns or weapons
  • Folding tables, tents, chair, and tripods (and other items that could be considered "structures")
  • Glass containers or soda cans
  • Hard-shelled coolers
  • Hazardous, chemical, radiological, or biological materials (including aerosol containers)
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace/pepper spray
  • Scissors, screwdrivers, razor blades, and needles
  • Unammaned aerial systems (drones)
  • Any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard

Street Closures

In addition to the road closures listed below, motorists may encounter additional public safetyrelated traffic closures throughout the weekend (beginning Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 25, to about 10 p.m.) and are asked to exercise caution while traveling in the area.

  • Constitution Avenue will be closed from 12th Street N.W. to 18th Street N.W. in both directions
  • All eastbound traffic will be diverted to northbound 18th Street N.W. from Constitution Avenue N.W.
  • All southbound traffic on 17th Street N.W. will be diverted to westbound Constitution Avenue N.W.
  • All westbound traffic will be diverted to northbound 12th Street N.W. from Constitution Avenue N.W.
    • NOTE: The 12th Street tunnel will remain open during this time period
  • 15th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. to Maine Avenue S.W.
  • 14th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue N.W. to Independence Avenue S.W.
    • NOTE: Access to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center will be via 13½ Street N.W. during this time period
  • Madison Drive N.W. from Seventh Street N.W. to 15th Street N.W.
  • Jefferson Drive S.W. from Seventh Street S.W. to 15th Street S.W.

Due to these street closures, there will be no public or bus parking near the museum for the dedication ceremony. All visitors to the National Mall are encouraged to use Metro; the nearest stops to the museum are Smithsonian and Federal Triangle (orange, blue and silver lines). At this time, Metro’s SafeTrack project is not expected to have an impact on this event. For the most current information about Metro, visit www.wmata.com.

Entrance to the Museum

The museum will be open to the public from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday, Sept. 25. Free, timed passes are required for entrance into the museum and will be available through the museum’s website. There will be no walk-up passes available Sept. 24 or 25.

Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration

“Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration” is a free festival taking place on the Washington Monument grounds to celebrate the opening of the museum. The festival will include musical performances, spoken word, oral-history activities, storytelling and interactive workshops. A full schedule will be available on the museum’s website.

NOTE: The information in this news release is subject to change. The Smithsonian and the U.S. Park Police will reissue this news release with updated information as necessary. To receive text alerts, advisories, traffic information and additional updates about the festival and dedication, text MUSEUM to 888777.

Media Contact(s): 

Fleur Paysour (202) 633-4761; paysourf@si.edu 
Lindsey Koren (202) 633-4052; korenl@si.edu 

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About The Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.