Ford Donates $1M to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Coinciding with the celebration of our nation’s independence, Ford announced that it will be donation $1 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum, which was established by an act of Congress (yes, you read that right, sometimes those folks actually do stuff) in 2003, is the nation’s first museum devoted entirely to African American history.
“We are so pleased that the Ford Motor Company Fund has chosen to join hundreds of donors from across the country to build a groundswell of support for the National Museum of African American History and Culture; we recognize this as a vote of confidence,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “It is a genuine honor to have the company join us in our commitment to bring to the nation’s capital a truly innovative cultural resource – one capable of telling a richer and fuller story of the development of this country.”
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the 19th Smithsonian museum and will be nearly 400,000 square-feet when it opens on the National Mall in 2016. The museum and its 11 exhibits run a total cost of $500 million, half of which was provided by Congress on the condition that the other half could be raised independently.
Ford notes that its relationship with the Smithsonian museums goes back 40 years, and that donations to support exhibits and programs have totaled $11.5 million in that time.
“Since Henry Ford’s groundbreaking $5 a day wage in 1913, which paid people equally regardless of race, Ford has invested in programs that empower and celebrate the African American community,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Ford is proud to work with the Smithsonian on this museum that will recognize the tremendous contributions of African Americans to our country and our world.”