VIRGINIA, USA — An activist behind the #DontMuteDC campaign is pushing to open a museum dedicated to Go-go music in Anacostia, arguing the genre is a “national treasure.”
“We just have to make sure that we help protect and preserve it in the right way,” Ron Moten said.
Moten and his partners at Check It Enterprises are currently working on buying three buildings along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE, near U Street.
He told WUSA9 the museum would house a gallery explaining the history of Go-Go and showcasing artifacts like vintage posters and prominent musicians’ personal items or instruments.
Moten would also like to set up a Go-go Hall of Fame, and envisions building artist housing and a concert venue in the back of the museum. He hopes the museum will be a place where people can learn how to play the music and dance to it.
“If it’s true to Go-Go culture, which it will be, it will be collaborative. It will be a conversation with the community. It will be sort an organic, collaborative experience—as is the music,” Natalie Hopkinson, author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City, said.
Moten said the recent controversy over the MetroPCS store in Shaw goes to show how crucial a role the museum would play.
“People don’t understand a lot of our culture in general,” he said. “I’ve found when people understand our music or culture, they embrace it -- or respect it.”
Moten hopes the museum will help educate newcomers to D.C., and new generations.
He's currently speaking with the Jack Kemp Foundation and the Smithsonian, but is also asking the public for support.
“It’s something we need," Moten said. "It’s our soul, it’s the soul of the city, so we have to embrace what made D.C. what it was. Go-Go music is what kept D.C. going when nobody wanted to be here."