Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 3. Museum of the City of Washington.


§ 39–301. Established; designation as official cultural institution; duties.

(a) There is established in the District of Columbia a membership nonprofit corporation which shall be known as the Museum of the City of Washington, Incorporated (hereinafter the “Museum”).

(b) The Museum is designated as the official cultural institution in the District of Columbia for preserving the record of local achievement, history, culture, and scholarship in history and the arts of the District of Columbia.

(c) The Museum shall:

(1) Collect, preserve, and exhibit those historical artifacts, archival material, and works of art relating to the heritage of the citizenry of the District of Columbia; and

(2) Develop educational programs to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the District of Columbia.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 2, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2101.


§ 39–302. Service of process.

The Museum shall maintain a designated agent to accept service of process for the Museum. Notice to or service upon the agent is notice or service upon the Museum.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 3, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2102.


§ 39–303. Corporate powers.

The Museum may exercise those powers conferred upon a nonprofit corporation in Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Title 29.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 4, 27 DCR 2546; July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 3(ee), 58 DCR 1720.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2103.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-378 substituted “Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Title 29” for “Chapter 3 of Title 29”.


§ 39–304. Board of Directors — Established; composition; term of office; nonvoting ex officio members.

(a) A self-perpetuating Board of Directors is established to manage the affairs of the Museum. The Board shall have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 23 members. Members of the Board shall include representatives of various geographical areas of the City, business people, and community leaders known for their interest in the arts, culture, and humanities.

(b) Each member of the initial Board, as established by this chapter, shall serve a term of 1 year. A successor Board shall be established according to the requirements of this chapter and those bylaws adopted by the initial Board. Each member of a successor Board shall serve a 3-year term.

(c) The initial Board shall have a minimum of 10 members and shall be composed at a minimum of the following individuals:

(1) Ms. Leslie Buhler;

(2) Ms. Charlotte Chapman;

(3) Ms. Marcia Greenlee;

(4) Mr. Earl James;

(5) Mr. Leroi Johnson;

(6) Mr. Tom Lodge;

(7) Ms. Betty Monkman;

(8) Mr. Harris Snettel;

(9) Dr. Frank Taylor; and

(10) Dr. James Walker.

(d) The initial Board shall appoint such additional or replacement members up to a maximum of 23 individuals, so that the initial Board meets the representational requirements of subsection (a) of this section. The members shall be appointed according to the bylaws adopted by the Board members listed in subsection (c) of this section.

(e) The following individuals shall be nonvoting ex officio members of the initial Board:

(1) Dr. John Kinard, Anacostia Neighborhood Museum;

(2) Dr. Phillip Ogilvie, D.C. Foundation for Creative Space;

(3) Mr. William H. Press, Columbia Historical Society;

(4) Mr. Fred Schwengel, J.S. Capitol Historical Society;

(5) Dr. Michael R. Winston, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and Museum;

(6) Mr. Don Wolpe, Jewish Historical Society;

(7) Martin Luther King Library representative;

(8) Ms. Marion Dockery, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington; and

(9) Ms. Cathy Smith, D.C. Public Schools.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 5, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2104.


§ 39–305. Board of Directors — Powers and reponsibilities.

(a) The Board shall file such papers as may be required by the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia.

(b) The Board may appoint such officers and employees as necessary to carry out the purposes of the Museum.

(c) The Board shall have the power to adopt, amend, or repeal bylaws for operation of the Museum.

(d) The Board may establish advisory committees to advise the Board and the officers of the Museum.

(e) In carrying out the purposes of this chapter, the Board shall encourage community participation from all areas of the City in the planning, development, and promotion of the Museum.

(f) The Board may appoint ex officio members of the Board.

(g) A member of the Board may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the remaining members of the Board.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 6, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2105.


§ 39–306. Cooperation of District government.

(a) The District of Columbia government may assist the Museum in carrying out this chapter by transferring or loaning to the Museum any District-owned real or personal property, facilities, furnishings, works of art, or historical artifacts. If the District of Columbia government transfers or loans any property to the Museum, the Museum may not transfer that property to any other person or entity without the express approval of the District government.

(b) The District of Columbia government may appropriate funds or loan personnel to the Museum on a permanent or temporary basis to assist the Museum in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 7, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2106.


§ 39–307. Dissolution.

Except as otherwise provided in a contract or legacy transferring or loaning property to the Museum, upon dissolution of the Museum as a corporation, all remaining assets shall be transferred to the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The Mayor shall make every effort to use the assets for the Museum and public education purposes as provided in this chapter.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 8, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2107.


§ 39–308. Tax status.

The Museum may engage in such activities that make it eligible for treatment as an organization described in § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C.) which may be exempt from federal taxation under § 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.).


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 9, 27 DCR 2546; May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 37, 36 DCR 492.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2108.


§ 39–309. Retention of Council’s authority.

The Council of the District of Columbia retains the full right to repeal or amend this chapter at any time.


(July 26, 1980, D.C. Law 3-79, § 10, 27 DCR 2546.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-2109.