National Black History Museum Draws Big Donor

Wal-Mart has pledged $5 million toward the construction of the museum that is slated to open in 2015.

Posted: 10/26/2011 11:49 AM EDT
National Museum of African-American History and Culture

Thanks to a $5 million donation from Wal-Mart, the  Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a step closer to completion.

"We are grateful to Wal-Mart for its commitment to help educate people — all people — to the unique role African-Americans played in our nation's growth and history," said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. "Having Wal-Mart join us early in the development of this museum helps bolster our fundraising efforts and ensures we can establish this historic resource for all Americans."

Construction for the 300,000-square-foot museum in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to begin in 2012 with a grand opening planned for the fall of 2015. Wal-Mart’s donation makes the company one of the project’s “founding donors” who have given more than $1 million. The total cost of the museum project is estimated at $500 million and building will take place on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall.  

Wal-Mart says that the gesture is a part of the company's continued commitment to advance causes that promote diversity and inclusion.

"We know the rich history that will soon be on display at the museum is something important to preserve, study and experience," said Sharon Orlopp, global chief diversity officer at Wal-Mart. "We share the Smithsonian Institution's passion to promote and honor diversity and the contributions that African-Americans have made to our country and culture."

The NMAAHC is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African-American life, art, history and culture and will be the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. Until it opens, the museum will present touring exhibitions in major cities across the country and in its own gallery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington.
 

(Photo: Smithsonian/Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup)

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