National Museum of the American People

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A proposed design of the National Museum of the American People at the Banneker Overlook site in Washington, D.C. at the south end of L'Enfant Promenade Design concept by MTFA Architecture.

The National Museum of the American People is a proposed museum to be built in Washington, D.C. On July 7, 2011, Rep. Jim Moran (Democrat-Virginia), with the support of Rep. John Duncan (Republican-Tennessee) and others, introduced into the United States House of Representatives a concurrent resolution calling for a presidential commission to study the creation of this museum.[1]

Overview[edit]

Proposed by the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People, composed in 2012 of more than 150 ethnic, national and genealogical private non-profit organizations,[2] the museum "will tell the story of every American ethnic and cultural group coming to this land and nation from every corner of the world, from the first people through today."[3] The organization announced this project at a press event in February, 2011 and began gathering support in Congress.[4][5] In 2011 and 2013, Rep. Jim Moran and other cosponsors introduced into the United States Congress legislation that would support a bipartisan study on the creation of such a museum without using any federal taxpayer funds.[4][6][7]

History[edit]

The Coalition for the National Museum of the American People was created by Sam Eskenazi, former Director of Public Information for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. According to Eskenazi, the concept for the museum originated when he was passing the Jamie L. Whitten Building, the only office building on the National Mall. According to Eskenazi:

I asked myself, “If this were a museum, what kind of museum could it be?” The answer: a museum that would tell the stories of all of the peoples coming to this land. I came up with a name for the museum on the spot - the National Museum of the American People. It is a testament to the need for the museum that many people, when told about the proposal, were surprised that such a museum doesn't already exist.[8]

On September 11, 2008, Congressman Maurice Hinchey introduced a bill, H.R. 6883, into the 110th United States Congress to "establish a commission to study the establishment of the National Museum of the American People, ....".[9] However, the bill did not leave the United States House Committee on Natural Resources.[10] Eskenazi then created a coalition of private not-for-profit ethnic and nationality groups to support the creation of the museum in 2009 and 2010. In February, 2011 these organizations announced a formal launch of the project at a press event in Washington, D.C.[11] Shortly thereafter the Washington City Paper named it the "Best Museum That Doesn't Exist Yet" in the newspaper's "Best Of D.C. 2011" issue.[12]

In May 2011, Congressman Jim Moran agreed to be the originating sponsor of a resolution calling for a study group, expressing concerns about balkanization of the National Mall.[13] In partnership with Eskenazi's Coalition for the National Museum of the American People, Moran introduced into the 112th United States Congress on July 7, 2011, a concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 63, "supporting the formation of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a National Museum of the American People".[14] The resolution was referred to the United States House Committee on Natural Resources, but did not leave the Committee.[15] On March 19, 2013, Moran reintroduced the resolution (H. Con. Res. 27) into the 113th Congress.[7]

One site proposed for the museum is an overlook at the south end of L'Enfant Promenade that now contains the National Park Service's Benjamin Banneker Park, a half mile (800 m) south of the Smithsonian Institution's "Castle" on the National Mall.[16]

Museum contents and exhibitions[edit]

Logo of the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People

The Museum project creators have proposed a number of components to be considered for a final institution. Among these are a permanent exhibition (tentatively called The Story of the American People), a Center for Advanced Studies drawing upon a group of over 50 scholars who have offered their support to the project,[17] a National Genealogical Center, an Education and Resource Center and an archival library of American Migration and Immigration.[18]

In addition the permanent collection is intended to be presented in a narrative manner, told as four chapters:[19]

Chapter I, The First Peoples Come, 20,000 before present (est.)-1607
Chapter II, The Nation Takes Form, 1607-1820
Chapter III, The Great In-Gathering, 1820-1924
Chapter IV, And Still They Come, 1924–Present


External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (1) Taylor, Kate (2011-07-06). "Congressman Supports Melting-Pot Museum". Arts Beat. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
    (2) Llorente, Elizabeth (2011-07-07). "Lawmakers Push for an Immigration Museum on the National Mall". Fox News Latino. Fox News Channel. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
    (3) Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2011-10-02). "On the Mall, homage to the melting pot" (PDF). The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). pp. Q2–Q3. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  2. ^ Lancaster, Jeffrey (2012-04-29). "Diverse Organizations Support Museum Study". National Museum of the American People. Coalition of the National Museum of the American People. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  3. ^ "47 Different Ethnic Groups Ask House to Support National Museum of American History Study" (PDF). Press Release. Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. 2012-04-18. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  4. ^ a b Trescott, Jacqueline (2011-02-09). "Coalition supports a new museum for "American People"". Arts Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  5. ^ Persinko, Tim (2011-02-10). "Another Museum May Land on the National Mall". NBC 4 Washington. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  6. ^ Zongker, Brett, (Associated Press) (2011-07-07). "Lawmakers seek new immigration museum in DC". Local News. WTOP. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  7. ^ a b (1) "Rep. Moran Seeks Study in Support of New Museum". Arlington Sun Gazette (McLean, Virginia: Sun Gazette Newspapers). 2013-03-29. Archived from the original on 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
    (2) Moran, Jim (2013-03-19). "H. Con. Res. 27, 113th Congress, 1st Session: Supporting the formation of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a National Museum of the American People" (PDF). Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
    (3) "Bill Summary & Status: 113th Congress (2013 - 2014): H. CON. RES. 27: All Congressional Actions". THOMAS. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  8. ^ Eskenazi, Sam (2014-04-29). "The Story Behind the Museum". National Museum of the American People. Coalition for the National Museum of the American People. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  9. ^ Hinchey, Maurice (2008-09-11). "H.R. 6883, 110th Congress, 2d Session: National Commission to Study the Establishment of the National Museum of the American People Act of 2008" (PDF). Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  10. ^ "Bill Summary & Status: 110th Congress (2007-2008): H.R. 6883: All Congressional Actions". THOMAS. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  11. ^ Conneen, Mike (2011-07-09). "Group wants to build National Museum of the American People immigration museum". TBD. Allbritton Communications Company. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  12. ^ DePillis, Lydia. "Best Museum That Doesn’t Exist Yet". Washington City Paper. CL Washington, Inc. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  13. ^ Hopkinson, Natalie (2011-05-20). "Will White People Go to the National Black Museum?". The Root. The Slate Group, a Division of The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  14. ^ (1) Moran, Jim (2012-06-18). "Telling the story of all Americans". Politico. Arlington, Virginia: Politico LLC. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
    (2) Moran, Jim (2011-07-07). "H. Con. Res. 63, 112th Congress, 1st Session: Supporting the formation of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a National Museum of the American People" (PDF). Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  15. ^ "Bill Summary & Status: 112th Congress (2011 - 2012): H. CON. RES. 63: All Congressional Actions". THOMAS. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  16. ^ (1) "Stunning Design Suggested for National American People Museum At Washington, DC's L'Enfant Plaza Overlook Site". National Museum of the American People. Coalition of the National Museum of the American People. 2012-04-29. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
    (2) Roig-Franzia, Manuel (2011-09-30). "Proposed 'melting pot' of American history: One museum over all?". Lifestyle. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
    (3) Environmental Assessment for Improvements to L'Enfant Promenade and Benjamin Banneker Park (PDF). Department of Transportation, Government of the District of Columbia and Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, Federal Highway Administration. 2006-06. pp. 1–3, 1–4, 1–5, 1–6. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  17. ^ Lancaster, Jeffrey (2012-04-29). "Scholars Affiliated with the Coalition for the National Museum of the American People". National Museum of the American People. Coalition of the National Museum of the American People. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  18. ^ Lancaster, Jeffrey (2012-04-29). "Components of the Museum". National Museum of the American People. Coalition of the National Museum of the American People. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  19. ^ (1) Lancaster, Jeffrey (2012-04-29). "Story of the Making of the American People". National Museum of the American People. Coalition of the National Museum of the American People. Archived from the original on 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
    (2) "Coalition envisions new National Museum of the American People". News. Inpark Magazine. 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2012-06-18.