Exploring Washington DC's cultural heritage

Exploring Washington DC’s cultural heritage

Thursday, 11 Apr, 2024 0

Washington, DC is not just all about politics.

It has been a melting pot of creativity, expression and heritage since its founding in 1791.

The impact African Americans have had on the DC arts scene can be seen today, from Black Broadway to JazzFest to the springtime opening of the Go-Go Museum.

Discover some of the incredible people, stories, and festivals that make DC the cultural powerhouse it is today.


Black Broadway – a rich history

Washington, DC’s arts scene boasts a particularly storied legacy through its Black Broadway, a term that dates back to the early 20th century when U Street SNM became a thriving hub for African American artists and performers. Amid the backdrop of segregation, Black Broadway emerged as a beacon of creativity, resilience and community spirit.

The historic theaters lining U Street, including the Lincoln and Howard Theaters, witnessed groundbreaking performances by legends like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. These venues weren’t just stages; they were places where African American artists could showcase their talents and break down barriers.

Today, the spirit of Black Broadway lives on, with the U Street corridor offering a vibrant mix of live music venues, art galleries, and cultural institutions that pay homage to its heritage.

Black Broadway in Washington D.C. | Washington DC


JazzFest – two decades of celebration: 31 August – 1 September 2024

DC celebrates the 20th anniversary of JazzFest. Since its inception, JazzFest has been a testament to the enduring allure of jazz music,  and its improvisational flair and infectious rhythms.

What began as a modest gathering of jazz aficionados has blossomed into a premier event that attracts top tier performers from around the globe. From intimate club settings to sprawling outdoor stages, JazzFest offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to seasoned jazz enthusiasts and curious newcomers.

This year’s milestone anniversary promises to be a spectacle like no other, with a lineup that includes Samara Joy, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Barron, Galactic and D-Nice. From traditional Dixieland to avant-garde experimentation, JazzFest 2024 invites audiences on a journey through the past, present, and future of jazz.

DC Jazz Festival


The new Go-Go Museum – opening spring 2024

The Go-Go Museum & Café will provide an introduction to Go-Go music and culture from its headquarters in DC’s historic Anacostia neighborhood. Founded by ‘Godfather of Go-Go’ Chuck Brown, Go-Go music is a brand of funk, R&B, hip-hop and Afro-Latin rhythms created in the 1970s. On 19 February 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a law naming Go-Go the Official Museum of Washington, DC, and visitors will be able to enjoy digital and interactive exhibitions to guide visitors through Go-Go’s roots, pivotal moments, best songs, landmark music venues and impact.

HOME | Go-Go Museum & Café (gogomuseumcafe.com)


For more information on travel to Washington, DC, visit www.washington.org 

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TravelMole Editorial Team

Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.

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