The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced that Oprah Winfrey will donate $12 million to support the capital campaign of the new museum. Combined with her $1 million gift in 2007, this brings Winfrey’s total contribution to $13 million, the museum’s largest donation to date.
Winfrey, chairman and CEO of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, has been a member of the museum’s advisory council since 2004.
In recognition of her generous gift, the museum’s 350-seat theater will be named the Oprah Winfrey Theater.
Winfrey’s gift marks a significant milestone in the museum’s fundraising campaign. Design, construction and exhibitions are expected to cost $500 million, half provided by congressional funding and the remainder raised by the museum. Currently under construction on a five-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument, the 19th Smithsonian museum is expected to open in late 2015.