A major arts and humanities philanthropic organization has made a third contribution to the International African American Museum in downtown Charleston.
The New York-based Mellon Foundation’s contribution brings the total philanthropic investment from the organization to over $2 million, according to an IAAM news release. The first grant of $150,000 was made in 2017 in support of the building construction and chief curator position. The second grant of $1.5 million, made in 2019, supported the capital campaign and the ongoing development of the curatorial department. The third grant of $500,000 is intended to support IAAM film and media projects over a three-year period.
“This most recent grant from Mellon Foundation came from its newest program area, Humanities in Place,” said Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of IAAM, in the release. “This program is central to fulfilling the Foundation’s social justice mission. I can think of no better public space for such an investment from one of the world’s most prestigious foundations than our museum and bespoke gardens built here at Gadsden’s Wharf. We are honored.”
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Film and media will be integral components of the visitor experience at IAAM, the release stated. As visitors traverse the various galleries and exhibitions, they will encounter over 40 different media and interactives. The media experiences range from small, 12-inch monitors to cinema-size screens. These engagement points feature short films, documentaries, and educational interactives that will give visitors a rich and diverse experience.
In addition to this media in IAAM’s core exhibitions, many of the museum’s rotating exhibitions, which will be featured in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, will spotlight media and film in a variety of ways, according to the release.
In February, the museum announced it would open June 27 after delays caused by humidity and temperature levels within the new building.