Government Shutdown Ruining Your DC Plans? We Got You Covered

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With the Smithsonian and other government services still at a stand-still, it's time to look to the private options.

Washington, DC is known for its massive tourism economy, setting a record of 20.2 million visitors in 2014. The latest government shutdown is poised to interfere with many people’s vacation plans. With gigantic, world-renown museum systems like the Smithsonian closing their doors to the public, your museum hopping holiday plans are ruined, right? Wrong.

The government shutdown is the perfect time for DC’s travelers to explore lessor-known museums. Private museums not only stay open during government shutdowns because they don’t accept taxpayer supplied government funds. They are perfect examples of how we can preserve history and culture - no government required.

1. Newseum

“The mission of the Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives.”

2. The National Building Museum

“The National Building Museum transforms understanding of the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and design. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, we welcome all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. The Museum resides in one of the most awe-inspiring places in Washington, D.C., with a soaring Great Hall, colossal 75-foot-tall Corinthian columns, and a 1,200-foot terra cotta frieze.”

3. The Phillips Collection

“The Phillips Collection is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 4,000 works ranging from masterpieces of French impressionism and American modernism to contemporary art. By displaying superb works in an intimate setting, founder Duncan Phillips hoped to encourage visitors to appreciate new, challenging forms of artistic expression. Art from different eras and places is often juxtaposed and changes often to suggest visual ‘conversations.’"

4. The Glenstone

“Glenstone is a place that seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and landscape into a serene and contemplative environment.

Guided by the personal vision of its founders, Glenstone assembles post-World War II artworks of the highest quality that trace the greatest historical shifts in the way we experience and understand art of the 20th and 21st centuries. These works are presented in a series of refined indoor and outdoor spaces designed to facilitate meaningful encounters for our visitors.”

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