Oprah Winfrey to Donate $12 Million to Smithsonian Museum

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
 

Oprah Winfrey will donate $12 million to the Smithsonian's forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture, it was announced Tuesday.

Winfrey previously contributed $1 million to the museum in 2007. The OWN CEO's $13 million is the institution's largest donation.

"I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole," Winfrey said. "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."

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The museum's founding director Lonnie G. Bunch III said, "We are inspired and profoundly grateful for Ms. Winfrey’s generosity at this important time. Her gifts will forever be associated with harnessing the power of art and creative expression to build bridges between cultures and enrich people’s lives."

The museum will also name its 350-seat theater after the media mogul, in recognition of her support.

"The Oprah Winfrey Theater will bring untold stories alive through films, live performances, artistic expression and public dialogue," Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough said. "The new theater’s designation could not be more fitting, as Ms. Winfrey’s name is synonymous with generosity, education, excellence and the arts."

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The museum is currently under construction and set to open near the Washington Monument in late 2015.

Winfrey has been on the museum's advisory council since 2004, alongside BET founder Robert Johnson and Quincy Jones.

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