Cultural Institutions of Washington Heights

Cultural Institutions of Washington Heights

Each Washington Heights institution below offers the opportunity for visitors to explore a world beyond their own, whether it is through art, film, or storytelling. Every neighborhood in NYC is jam-packed with cultural attractions and Washington Heights is no exception. The diversity and rich history of the area is reflected in each one of the locations below.

Hispanic Society of America

613 W. 155th St.


The Hispanic Society of America is a two-floor museum that features a spectacular collection of artwork hailing from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. The Spanish paintings of this Washington Heights institution date all the way back to the 1600’s. The Hispanic Society of America also comes with a large collection of Goya’s paintings, artifacts, and antiques. Perhaps one of the museum’s highlights is Joaquin Sorolla’s “Visions of Spain” in which he depicts life in Spain through the use of large murals. Entrance to the museum is free including admittance to the breathtaking courtyard that displays Anna Hyatt Huntington’s masterpiece El Cid Campeador. Guided tours are available on Saturdays for those who prefer a more detailed look into the history of Spanish culture.

Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center

3940 Broadway

photo credit: ricardo-cardenas_flickr

photo credit: ricardo-cardenas_flickr

This historical exhibit pays tribute to the revolutionary life of Malcolm X. The memorial and educational center is housed inside what used to be part of the Audubon Ballroom, the place where where Malcolm X was ruthlessly assassinated in 1965. However, his lifelong fight towards empowering the black community and achieving social justice is still well and alive today. Visitors can learn more about Malcolm X and his wife’s life by reading his postcards and interacting with the multimedia kiosks at this Washington Heights institution. There are murals on the museum’s walls and plaques with texts on them that reflect his vision for the future as well as his dedication towards achieving equal human rights.

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

898 St. Nicholas Ave.


Children are introduced to a new world through the art of storytelling when they visit Sugar Hill’s Children Museum of Art & Storytelling. This kid-friendly museum offers families of Washington Heights a chance to learn more about the culturally diverse area they live in. The museum was designed by Broadway Housing Communities as part of the Sugar Hill Project. The project’s main objective is to create a cultural attraction that continues to attract interest to those neighborhoods that lie above Central Park. As children navigate the museum’s art exhibits, they’ll be able to learn about themselves by participating in various workshops. One of the workshops allows them to create a story of their own and share it with others.

Children’s Cultural Center of Native America

550 West 155th St.


The Children’s Cultural Center of Native America features interactive exhibits that show visitors the lifestyle of American Indians. Each year, the cultural center changes its theme and focuses on a specific Native American group. The Eskimos, Eastern Woodlands, the Southwest, and the Northwest Coast and plains have all been explored in depth before. This is a museum that’s built specifically for children as they will get to play Indian games, sit on a canoe, and even touch some of the artifacts that are on display. This provides them with a hands-on learning experience like no other. After exploring the various exhibits, children will be able to participate in the Indian Workshop. They’ll be instructed to dance, sing, and use sign language in order to express American Indians’ close relationship with nature.


Related Posts:

History of Washington Heights

Landmarks of Washington Heights

Washington Heights Monuments and Statues

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Edgar Catasus

Edgar is a a film fanatic, a food lover, and an Upper West Side enthusiast. After working in PR and marketing in Chicago, he is pursuing his dream of becoming a writer. He loves photography and on his spare time you can find him hiking or biking the great outdoors (while also snapping some pretty awesome Instagram pics!).

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