The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will reopen to the public Friday, May 14. Beginning Friday, May 7, visitors can reserve passes online at or by phone at 1-800-514-3849. NMAAHC requires a free timed-entry pass for each visitor. Walk-up visitors cannot be accommodated during the museum’s initial reopening phase.

 “After a year of social unrest and the ongoing pandemic, many of us have been pinballing between anticipation and worry, relief and reflection,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “This is all the more reason why the museum proves important, speaking to this moment with deep meaning. It is why, as we reopen safely and surely, I am excited to see Heritage Hall open to visitors who have waited many months to walk through our doors.”

            The museum will be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday each week during the initial reopening phase and open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some exhibitions, interactives and indoor spaces are closed or will operate at limited capacity. Visitors should check the museum’s website for updated resources and other pertinent information. 

            The safety of the visitors and staff is the museum’s highest priority. The museum has implemented several new safeguards based on recommendations from public health officials:

·       All visitors who are not feeling well should stay home, including those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

·       Visitors ages two and older are required to wear face coverings (over the mouth and nose) at all times. 

·       The museum uses timed-entry passes and limits the number of people to allow for safe social distancing.

·       Social distancing and face-covering requirements will be enforced by museum personnel stationed in the galleries.

·       Hand-sanitizer stations will be positioned throughout the museum.

·       Staff will be conducting enhanced cleaning measures frequently.

·       In addition to limiting the number of visitors entering the facility, directional guidance and one-way paths will be in place to ensure social distancing.

            NMAAHC is pleased to welcome visitors back with these new safety measures in place. For updates on access, guidelines and the museum’s operating status,

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than seven million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000 square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the Museum, visit, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.