Next-door Neighbor Makes Major Investment in International African American Museum
$1 Million Boost from BMW Pushes Museum Toward Goal
CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 23, 2018) – Global automotive manufacturer BMW has invested $1 million in the forthcoming International African American Museum (IAAM). This leadership gift to the museum’s Founders Fund brings the museum within $2 million of reaching its $25 million private philanthropy goal.
“In 1994, BMW ventured out of Germany to build its first North American manufacturing facility and found a wonderful home in Greer, South Carolina,” said Joseph P. Riley, Jr., former Charleston mayor and IAAM board member. “BMW’s relationship with our state is symbiotic: South Carolina’s continuous infrastructure improvements have created productive ports through which BMW’s automobiles flow. In turn, BMW has shown its commitment to our state and its people not only through job creation but through generous donations like this one. We are honored to have the support of this great company.”
“BMW values community partnerships.” said Knudt Flor, BMW Manufacturing Co. President and CEO. “For this reason, we are committed to supporting the historic and cultural fabric of the International African American Museum. Preserving and maintaining history and culture of a people strengthens the community through preservation, education and technology.”
“BMW is a storied company that has made its mark across the globe over the last hundred years,” said Michael Boulware Moore, IAAM president and CEO. “The relationship that exists between BMW and South Carolina illustrates that even the largest, most internationally renowned institutions can benefit greatly from local, pointed focus. The fusion of a local presence and an international influence also exists at the core of the IAAM, which will use the lens of South Carolina and the Lowcountry to tell stories about American and world history.”
BMW’s $1 million investment will be recognized in the Orientation Theater, where guests will begin their exploration of the IAAM. Here, visitors will view videos that provide essential historical context of the museum’s location at the former site of Gadsden’s Wharf. This introduction will orient visitors to the significance of Charleston and South Carolina in national and international histories; offer inspiring stories of African American resistance, sacrifice, survival and achievement; and illuminate the central role of people of African descent in shaping the nation and the Atlantic World.