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Investigating Where We Live


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Investigating Where We Live brings together teens from across the D.C. metropolitan area to express their views of Washington, D.C. Participants learn to use photography and exhibition design as a means of understanding D.C. and describing how the city is changing. As the culmination of the program, participants plan, design, and install a museum exhibition that features their insights and work.

Investigating Where We Live meets for 15 sessions over five weeks in the summer from 9 am to 2:30 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Up to 35 participants are selected each summer. The exhibition planned and produced by the students is on display for up to eleven months. The 2015 exhibition, Investigating Where We Live: New Monuments Revealed, explores the District through the lens of its monuments, memorials, and commemorative spaces. It will be on display until June 6, 2016. 

Participants in the program will:  

  • Fulfill up to 70 hours of community service requirements for school
  • Install a one-of-a-kind exhibition that over 25,000 people will visit
  • Develop relationships with professional photographers, designers, museum staff, and fellow participants
  • Keep their digital camera at the end of the program
  • Develop a portfolio of photographs for use in future projects or high school and college applications
  • Receive a Family Membership to the National Building Museum

How can I get involved? 

The application period for Investigating Where We Live is now closed. 

2016 Program dates: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 9 am–2:30 pm

  • July: 5–7, 12–14, 19–21, 26–28
  • August: 2–4
  • Exhibition Opening: Friday, August 5, 6:30–8:30 pm

Please contact teenprograms@nbm.org if you have questions, or visit your National Building Museum website account to sign up for our mailing list to receive updates. 


College or graduate srudents who are interested in joining the Investigating Where We Live staff are invited to apply. Interns work closely with the staff to plan and implement the program. Click here to learn more about internships at the Museum.      


IWWL participants explore DC through the lens of a camera.
Photo by Museum staff

The Museum seeks professionals and college or graduate students in the fields of photography, design, architecture, urban planning, creative writing, and education to share their expertise with our participants. Volunteers may receive college credits or professional development points for their time. Learn more about volunteering at the Museum. Volunteers for teen programs must be 18 years of age or older.                  


Investigating Where We Live
is generously supported by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; DAVIS Construction; Aon Huntington Block Insurance; and two anonymous donors. Geppetto Catering, Inc. is the official meal provider for Teen Programs at the National Building Museum.