“Every museum that presents music is faced with the challenge of coming up with programming that will complement or dovetail with its identity,” writes Anne Midgette in Thursday’s (9/22) Washington Post. At the African American Museum in Washington, D.C. opening this Saturday, the 350-seat theater has the “tacit mandate … to spotlight all of African American music—which is like trying to put a frame around a living person and call it a portrait….  Concerts at the Winfrey Theater could conceivably range from opera to hip-hop, jazz to country, R&B to classical…. At this museum, music is an artifact as much as an art. Exhibits include Marian Anderson’s dress, George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership and sheet music to songs titled ‘Slavery Days’ or ‘A Bundle of Rags.’ … [Curator of Music Dwandalyn] Reece’s music exhibition is on the museum’s fourth floor…. Music events will begin this winter, says Deirdre Cross, the museum’s director of public programs…. Because African American music encompasses every genre in the company, classical chamber ensembles alone couldn’t do it justice…. Reece’s goal is, she says, to ‘open the window and get people to think about music in new ways.’ ”

Posted September 23, 2016