Walmart Awards $5 Million to Smithsonian for African-American History Museum

Walmart Awards $5 Million to Smithsonian for African-American History Museum

Walmart has announced a $5 million gift to the Smithsonian Institution to support construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the first national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African-American life, art, history, and culture.

Scheduled to be completed in 2015, the 300,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument on the National Mall. While it is unclear how much funding has been raised toward the $500 million project, NMAAHC director Lonnie G. Bunch III told the Associated Press that it expects to have about $200 million in commitments from a wide range of donors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which donated $10 million in 2009 to jump-start the effort, by the end of 2012.

Established by Congress in 2003, NMAAHC is the nineteenth Smithsonian Institution museum. In its new home, the museum will present materials currently on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and on tour in major cities across the country.

"We are grateful to Walmart for its commitment to help educate people — all people — to the unique role African Americans played in our nation's growth and history," said Bunch. "Having Walmart 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."