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article imageOprah Winfrey gives whopping $12 million to Smithsonian Museum

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 13, 2013 in World
Media magnate Oprah Winfrey has donated $12 million to the Smithsonian’s fledgling new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. The donation, announced Tuesday, follows a $1 million donation to the museum in 2007.
“I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” Ms. 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.”
Funding-raising for African American history
Currently, the branch of the Smithsonian devoted to African-American history is located in a gallery on the second floor of the National Museum of American History. A stand-alone complex devoted to African-American history has been under construction since last year and will sit on five acres next to the Washington Monument. It is expected to be finished in 2015 and will cost some $500 million, with half the cost coming from fund raising.
Winfrey, a member of the museum's advisory committee and involved in it for nearly a decade, will be recognized for her philanthropy by having her name go on a 350-seat theater in the museum. She's earned the gratitude of the museum's founding director.
“In essence, she’s put her imprimatur on it. Part of getting a museum built is tied to visibility, helping all people see how important it is," Lonnie G. Bunch told media. "Oprah Winfrey is someone so many people in America admire, and I think this is an important moment to the museum,"
In Forbes' March list compiling of the planet's richest persons, Winfrey was tied for 503rd with a net worth of $2.8 billion.
More about Oprah Winfrey, Smithsonian, Smithsonian museum, Charity, Washington
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