Could DC’s next museum be dedicated to go-go music?

Go-go, D.C.’s special brand of funk, got fresh attention when a Shaw business was recently told to turn off the music it played on outdoor speakers for 24 years.

Now, local activist and entrepreneur Ron Moten is asking people to support his ongoing effort to create a Go-Go Museum in Anacostia.

The effort is part of the broader #DontMuteDC movement that promotes cultural education and the empowerment of black-owned businesses as a means of pushing back against gentrification. Moten is calling on those who joined the protests to return the music to Shaw to do more to protect go-go.

“We want to bring the Go-Go Hall of Fame here, where we have things … honoring the go-go artists,” said activist and entrepreneur Ron Moten.

Moten said he wants to buy three buildings along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE near U Street, including the building which currently houses Check It Enterprises.

He aims to create space for entrepreneurs and artists, similar to what’s been done at Union Market in Northeast D.C.

The owner of the cellphone and CD store at 7th Street and Florida Avenue, NW — the store at the center this month’s protests — also has a new goal.

Donald Campbell of Central Communications wants to digitize his collection of 30,000 live go-go recordings and establish a streaming music service.

He is trying to raise $50,000 on GoFundMe to make it happen.

Finally, Howard University assistant professor Natalie Hopkinson is asking people to get educated about how the city is changing. A note in the petition said:

“Learn more about gentrification research at Howard University’s Dept. of Communication, Culture and Media Studies underway since 2014. Help us document D.C. black cultural businesses and create forums for new and old residents to come together to find common ground.”

As of Monday night, the petition had been signed by more than 78,000 people.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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