Ann Lewin-Benham Photo
Ann amid diverse group of children in front of huge mural

In the mid-1970s Ann led an effort to establish the Capital Children’s Museum in a former riot corridor in the shadow of the US Capitol. Its Washington, DC location catapulted the museum to international prominence. For 20 years Ann built the institution creating major exhibitions that brought to life foreign cultures, traced the history of human communication from Ice Age cave to computers, and explored the world of the hearing impaired in an exhibit called ‘Sound and Silence.’ The exhibit ‘Remember the Children,’ prototype for the permanent children’s exhibit at the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC., probed the concept of prejudice.

Capital Children’s Museum was site of many firsts: first public-access computer center in the nation’s capital, first meeting place for First Ladies Mrs. Menachim Begin and Mrs. Anwar Sadat following the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord, first effort to reclaim a Washington, DC riot corridor following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Ann led a large innovative team in bringing to life the museum’s full city block – 3 acres and 150,000 square feet of buildings – with exhibits, performance, and programs for teachers and youth.

Capital Children's Museum had visitors from age 1 to 91
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