The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum is marking Women’s History Month by announcing that it has received more than $55 million dollars in donations, including from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pivotal Ventures, Alice L. Walton Foundation, Acton Family Giving, Target Corporation, Bank of America and Tory Burch, to boost the museum’s development. These donors are among a growing list of founding donors who have given $1 million or more to support the initial planning of the museum’s building and kick-start program development and the production of digital content for the museum, which will honor American women’s accomplishments, the history they have made and the communities they represent.
Additional founding donors include AARP, Jane and Spencer Abraham, the Robert and Lynda Altman Family Foundation, Mary and David Boies, Samantha Berkule Johnson and Scott Johnson, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at Fidelity Charitable and the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation. This announcement follows the recent donations from Deloitte and Swiss Re.
“We are so grateful to begin Women’s History Month with the support of such a stellar group of donors who are dedicated to bringing the story of the American woman to light,” said Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. “Together, we will create a museum that celebrates the women who have helped build this country. These donations are pivotal in the realization of this vision.”
“The stories we tell about our country’s history so often overlook the contributions of the women in every generation whose efforts and ideas helped make us who we are today,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Pivotal Ventures. “By paying tribute to the women who shaped our past, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum empowers and inspires the ones who will shape our future.”
“In most U.S. history textbooks, women are described as playing supporting roles to men,” said Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners and former U.S. secretary of commerce. “But we all know that women are not side notes in American history. We are innovators, educators, politicians and more. As chair of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum’s advisory council, I am proud of what this museum will add to the national conversation by recognizing women whose stories have gone unheard for far too long.”
Congress passed legislation in December 2020 approving the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. Since then, the museum has launched online and with in-person events through the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, which researches, disseminates and amplifies the history of American women on digital platforms ahead of the construction of the brick-and-mortar museum.
About the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum
The Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum advances the understanding of women’s contributions to various fields throughout history that have influenced the direction of the United States. The museum collaborates with other museums and educational institutions to expand scholarly research, public programs, digital content, collections and more to recognize diverse perspectives on women’s history and contributions. The legislation creating the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum passed Dec. 27, 2020. Connect with the museum at womenshistory.si.edu.
# # #