News Releases

Microsoft Donates $1 Million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

March 24, 2016

The Smithsonian today announced a gift of $1 million from Microsoft to support the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens to the public Sept. 24.

“Technology continues to play an important role in the evolution and history of America,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum. “Microsoft’s partnership demonstrates the convergence of technology and culture by bringing a new perspective for telling the African American story in a rich and compelling way.”

“The stories, art and culture of African Americans are vibrant and important narratives in our nation’s history,” said Fred Humphries, corporate vice president of U.S. government affairs for Microsoft. “Microsoft is proud to support the museum and bring these perspectives to life in a powerful and enriching experience.”  

Currently under construction on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian’s 19th museum will be a place where Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience. The museum will open with 11 inaugural exhibitions to cover major periods of African American history, including the slave trade in the 18th century, segregation, the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, the great migrations north and west and the election of the nation’s first African American president in 2008.

President George W. Bush signed the legislation establishing the museum in 2003. In 2009, the museum’s architectural team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroupJJR was selected, and in 2011, Clark/Smoot/Russell was chosen as the construction firm. David Adjaye is the lead designer, and Phil Freelon is the lead architect. The landscape design is by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.

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museum exterior

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Fleur Paysour 
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Abigail Benson  
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