Oprah Winfrey - the perennial philanthropist and media mogul - has handed out yet another significant wad of cash. This time the grateful recipient is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, who will have been overjoyed to get $12m.
“I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps. By investing in this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honor and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.” Oprah Winfrey Network has been a member of the museum’s advisory council since 2004. “Every donation, whether $25 or a $10 million corporate donation, is important. But truly, there’s only one Oprah Winfrey,” says the museum’s founding director, Lonnie G. Bunch.
The organisation has benefited heavily from celebrity donations - $10 million donation from both the Gates Foundation and the Lilly Endowment. “For a woman like her to give the museum that kind of gift now, before it is open, is really a vote of confidence and encouragement,” said Maria Di Mento, a staff writer for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Museum of African American History and Culture, which hosts a gallery at the National Museum of American History, is scheduled to open in 2015.

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