$1 Million Gift: GM Foundation Is Latest Donor To National Museum of African American History

January 26, 2014  |  

When it comes to funding, African-American museums can use all the help they can get. So the recent $1 million grant the General Motors Foundation awarded to the upcoming Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture was most welcomed.

Because of the size of the gift, the GM Foundation has become a founding donor to the museum. The museum is still under construction and will be located on five acres adjacent to the Washington Monument. It is expected to open in late 2015.

“Through this grant we continue our commitment by helping to bring to life the story of African Americans who have changed our nation in so many ways,” said the foundation’s president, Vivian Pickard, in a statement.

GM’s donation will help pay for the design and installation of the museum’s permanent exhibition. It will also allow the construction remain on schedule.

Previously Oprah Winfrey also donated $13 million. Her name will go on a 350-seat theater as a thank you for her enormous gift. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and American Express have also donated to the highly-anticipated museum.

 The $500-million museum has been in the works for more than a year; it broke ground in 2012. But the museum is still shy about $100 million, having raised nearly $400 million, reports the Washington Post.

Lonnie G. Bunch, founding director, told the newspaper, every donation helps. “I jump up and down every time we get a donation, whether it’s $5 or $5 million. What I realize is, every donation is a step closer to making dreams of our ancestors real. That excites me every moment,” he said.

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