Oprah Winfrey’s $12 million gift to the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the largest donation thus far. The museum, which is set to open late 2015, will be the 19th Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC and will celebrate the Black community.
“I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” said Winfrey 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.”
Winfrey donated an initial $1 million to the museum in 2007, bringing her total gift to $13 million. In honor of her contribution, the museum’s 350- seat theater will be named the Oprah Winfrey Theater.
The fundraising campaign for the museum endeavors to raise an estimated $500 million to go toward design, construction and exhibition costs. Half of the funds are provided by federal government, while the other half is being raised by the museum.
The five-acre museum is currently under construction but there are exhibitions already open to the public in the NMAAHC gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.