Washington D.C. Map

National Music Center

Contact Info
Smithsonian Institution - Affiliations Program
1156 15th Street, Northwest
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005


On July 8, 1998, the leaders of the Smithsonian Institution and theLibrary of Congress joined with the Federal City Council's President,former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, to announce plans to explore thefeasibility of developing the National Music Center in the heart ofdowntown Washington. The Federal City Council is a private, nonprofitorganization that works for the improvement of the Nation's Capital.From the outset the Music Center will be designed to attract bothvisitors to the Nation's Capital and residents of the Washington area,offering compelling, engaging and interactive experiences. Exhibits andpublic programs will be developed to explain and interpret our country'sextraordinary musical heritage, telling America's singular story throughits music. The specific plan that the Council has developed for the National MusicCenter includes the following elements:*155,000 square-foot, performance-driven National Music Museum thatwill showcase material from the world's greatest musical collections,those of the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, andthat will include two performance spaces. *750-seat performance hall and a smaller, 300-seat black box space. *Exhibition halls totaling 45,000 square feet that will house both temporary installations and permanent exhibits.*State of-the-art, television ready performance hall that will seat 3,000 people. *Public school that will be organized around an arts centered curriculum. *Outdoor civic plaza of at least one acre that will be actively programmed with music of all genres. *Media hub that will include recording facilities and that will provide for live television and the broadcast of distance learning projects. The Music Center will be a place to be entertained, educated, andinspired. Accessible to people from throughout the City and the region,we see it as a vibrant center for all Washingtonians, a place that willbe open from early in the morning until late in the evening, a placewhose indoor performance spaces and outdoor plaza will attract the best local and national entertainers.

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