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Visitors Overwhelm DC’s New National Museum of African American History and Culture

By: Krystle Crossman

In September 2016 Washington DC unveiled its newest museum open to the public. They knew that the museum would create interest and support but they had no idea just how much the public would respond to it. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is now booked through March of 2017. Generally the museums in DC do not have bookings but this museum has proven to be so popular that they needed to switch to scheduled viewings for the time being.

Beverly Morgan-Welch, the Associate Director of the museum, stated that it was great that so many people were taking an interest in the museum but they are having problems letting everyone in. The lines have been out the door and incredibly long because people are staying in the museum much longer than normal. She said that usually people will walk around the museums in DC for 45 minutes to two hours but with the National Museum of African American History and Culture they are staying for almost six hours. The museum gets to a point where they are at capacity and cannot let others in until the patrons inside leave. Since they are staying so long inside the museum people have been waiting for extended periods of time in lines outside. This is one reason why they switched over to timed bookings.

Morgan-Welch also said that there are guests who are coming out and lining up to get in to the museum before the sun even rises. She sees people who have lined up at 3am before. She feels sad when she walks by all of the people who are lined up outside because she knows that many of them will not be able to get inside within a reasonable amount of time or at all. They will soon be opening more timed passes that are available for free for dates between April and June. Morgan-Welch is hoping that people only take the amount of passes that they truly need so that everyone gets a chance to come in. There are a very small amount of same-day timed passes that are available for free on site as well but the number is very small and with long lines people need to get there early to ensure they get in.

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