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International African American Museum receives $1.25 million from Duke Endowment

Staff Report //November 17, 2020//

International African American Museum receives $1.25 million from Duke Endowment

Staff Report //November 17, 2020//

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The Duke Endowment has granted $1.25 million to the International African American Museum under construction in Charleston. (Photo/Provided)The International African American Museum has received a $1.25 million grant from The Duke Endowment.

From the total amount, $1 million will go toward the museum’s endowment — charitable donations it has received to support its mission — while the remaining $250,000 is intended to be used for the most pressing needs between now and the museum’s March 2022 opening.

“Creating a sustainable institution is essential and building our endowment is part of our plan to do so,” The Museum’s Chief Operating Officer Elijah Heyward III said. “Over its 96-year history, The Duke Endowment has shown its wisdom in selecting investments. We are so proud to be in its distinguished portfolio.”  

Having broken ground in October 2019, the IAAM’s construction is almost complete with exhibitions and programming in the final stages of development.

“The Duke Endowment understands the importance of unrestricted donations,” said former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who is a lifetime member of the board of the museum. “The $250,000 grant gives us the flexibility to use the funds to continue to build our leadership team, hire experts to help develop programming, create a comprehensive marketing program and more.”

Established in 1924, The Duke Endowment is one of the largest philanthropic trusts in the Southeast.

The organization’s president, Rhett Mabry, visited the site of the IAAM earlier this year and said it’s an honor to support the museum’s vision.

“From its historic position on Gadsden’s Wharf, the International African American Museum seeks to share the diverse stories of the African American journey, promote understanding, and provide an educational experience for visitors from the Carolinas and beyond,” he said.