WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonians Anacostia Community Museum
presents Bridging the Americas: Community and Belonging from Panama to Washington, D.C., on view indefinitely in the museums public program room. Through images and narrative, including graphically stylized commentary, Bridging tells of the personal experiences of Panamanians and Zonians living in and commuting and navigating between the nations capital area and Panama.
The first exhibition project for Ariana Curtis, the museums first curator of Latino Studies, Bridging replaces the exhibition Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia.
Bridging the Americas is a timely exhibition because it connects communities across the oceans through diverse personal stories of Washington, D.C., area residents, said Curtis. It expands our representation of our local community and engages our visitors in collective reflection about their notions and experiences of community as well.
The exhibition uses as a historical backdrop the formal ties established between the U.S. and Panama since the California Gold Rush through the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal in 2014. In addition to new research and contributions from metro area residents with varying ties to Panama, the bilingual presentation incorporates the museums archival material and images from a variety of sources, including donations from community members, the collections of other Smithsonian units and the Smithsonian affiliate Museo de Canal Interoceánico de Panama. Among those persons profiled to demonstrate human ties between the U.S. and Panama is the late Panamanian sociologist Roy Bryce-Laporte, the founding director of the Smithsonians Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies.
Bridging speaks directly to our expanded mission and offers just an inkling about the exciting direction in which Ariana is taking our work, said Camille Giraud Akeju, director of the museum.