First Anniversary Celebration

Gifts to America


September 2017 marks our first anniversary!

Join us as we celebrate the gifts of history, community and culture that together make the African American journey, truly an American story. Festivities include two Community Days outdoors on the Museum grounds that are free and open to the public and our Night at the Museum II: Gifts to America fundraising gala.

Community Days will highlight different aspects of African American history and culture through music, dance, storytelling, theater, and hands-on activities. Visitors can also participate in garden tours on the Museum grounds. Activities will culminate on Sunday with a special performance by Sweet Honey in the Rock. All outdoor events are free and will take place rain or shine. Advance timed passes are not required.

The Museum opened its doors to the world on September 24, 2016. Join us in celebrating our first anniversary!

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Quick Facts about Our First Anniversary Celebration



From the nearly 3 million visitors who have walked through our doors since opening to the 1 million views of objects from the our online collection, we continue to be overjoyed by the amazing community response to our public programs, collections, education initiatives, digital and online communities.

Visitor Voices: 30 Days, 30 Voices, 30 Stories

We are celebrating our first anniversary month with a new series called #VisitorVoices, highlighting our community of visitors and reflecting their stories. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for a new video each day this month.

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Public Programs

We are grateful for the more than 15,000 people who allowed us to share stories and provide an understanding of African American history and culture through public programs and community events. We invite you to follow the Museum's UStream channel to watch archived videos from our inaugural public programs.

  • Book signings
    Book signings
  • Scholarly lectures
    Scholarly lectures
  • Screening of culturally impactful movies
    Screening of culturally impactful movies
  • A taste of the stage in the Oprah Winfrey Theater
    A taste of the stage in the Oprah Winfrey Theater

Family and History

We are proud to have partnered with Family Search and more than 25,000 volunteers to complete the indexing of the Freedmen’s Bureau Records. As a result, the names of nearly 1.8 million formerly enslaved men, women, and children are searchable online.

We are honored by the approximately 17,710 people who have visited the Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center and researched their ancestry.

Lift Every Voice

The Lift Every Voice global initiative highlights the more than 1700 organizations that have co-celebrated the opening of the Museum and showcases the depth and breadth of African American history and culture across the nation and around the world. We invite you to register your event to showcase your local efforts and be acknowledged as a supporter of our campaign.

Online and Digital Engagement

We are amazed by the support of more than 5 million website and mobile app visitors who helped create digital spaces to expand their knowledge of and share stores about the historical events and figures crucial to the American story.

  • Observing the "The King of Pop"
    Observing the "The King of Pop"
  • A Seat At the Table
    A Seat At the Table
  • Thank you to all our guests
    Thank you to all our guests

Media RSVP

Working members of the press wishing to cover first anniversary events must RSVP using our online form. Only confirmed media will be admitted. All guests subject to security screenings.

Media RSVP

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The National Museum of African American History and Culture thanks the following sponsors for their support of the Museum’s First Anniversary Celebration.

Bank of America logo        Kaiser Permanente logo

   Hyundai logo     Target Logo