While a lot of the big ticket items will be closed, there's still plenty to do and see in DC. Frankly, some of these less visited venues are more interesting that the high-draw options, and you could plan a perfectly good trip around them alone. So let's take a look at a few:
Entries in National Geographic (2)
One of the ironies of telling the African American experience today is that is hardly an under-told story. The same exhbit that would have groundbreaking, and maybe even contoversial, in 1981 treads a well worn path in 2011. Once routinely marginalized and white washed out of the story; historians and museum curators have taken to re-examining these stories with vigor. Today, there's no shortage of museums, in Washington, DC and elsewhere, hosting exhibits and contributing to the discussion of African-American history and culture.
So the National Geographic Museum faces a unique challenge hosting it's new exhibit America I AM: The African American Imprint. How do you tell this story in a way that has relevance to today's generation in a way that avoids the whole "oh, it's February again, we have to talk about Black people" trap?
It's a challenge, and America I AM largely rises to it. The exhibit is a comprehensive and well documented look at the African American experience in our country, with a particular focus on how that experience interplays with larger society as a whole. From it's roots in the slave trade, to the election of our first African American President, America I AM details the unique, separate, and largely unequal experience of the only large group of Americans who didn't choose to come here.