Free festival marks opening of National Museum of African American History & Culture

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The Smithsonian will host a free three-day festival called “Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration” to mark the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Each day has its own theme, which starts with “homecoming,” then “celebration,” and finally, “call and Response.”

“The themes of the festival highlight the social power of African American music as a communicator of cultural values, challenges, aspirations and creative expression,” said a Smithsonian Folklife Festival program curator Mark Puryear.

Daily programming will include traditional music like Afro-Latin jazz, R&B, gospel, folk, classical, New Orleans brass and hip-hop. Food will be available from Southern BBQ and Soul Food, Gulf Coast Kitchen Po’ Boys and More, as well as Kenyan Curries and Caribbean jerk.

Activities include music and dance performances, spoken word poetry, history activities and two concerts. Public Enemy and The Roots will be performing on Saturday evening. Sunday’s performer is still to be announced.

The festival kicks off Friday, Sept. 23, from 12 p.m. and concludes on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m. Evening concerts are scheduled to begin Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. There is no concert on Friday.


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