Welcome to the DC Storytelling System! American University is collaborating with Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum and the DC Public Library to host a system for recording and circulating stories of neighborhood history and community change.

Dial our hotline (202-335-7288) at any time to hear voices from the exhibit, or to record your own story of DC neighborhoods and community change.

Our re-purposed payphone is featured in the Smithsonian’s “A Right to the City” exhibit at the Anacostia Community Museum, on view April 2018-2020.

Join us in person at neighborhood events, often based at community libraries. Our first included the first public showing of the Humanities Truck at Adams Morgan Day, including a neighborhood history map that sent photographs directly to cell phones.

Our hotline accepts calls from mobile phones anywhere in the world, and can send pictures, sound clips, and even video direct to phones. Rather than separate online from physical, we believe audio and media for public space may have particular power to circulate stories that matter for DC neighborhoods in new ways. For more, read about our vision.

For the latest, see our news and reflections.  Over the next several years the hotline will gather new voices and evolve, including to distribute multimedia from residents and exhibit partners.

Questions? Contact us.

The voices from this project come from the community, and institutions ranging from the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum to the DC Public Library. A project of the School of Communication at American University, as part of a collaboration with the Leimert Phone Company, and made possibly thanks to the generous support of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.