CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — With the announcement of a $500,000 gift by Boeing to the International African American Museum project, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said Wednesday that the funding effort was at the halfway point.
Riley said he hoped to have the $75 million museum built by the end of 2018.
“This generous gift from Boeing takes us one step closer to the International African American Museum,” Riley said. “Boeing is, again, a generous corporate neighbor, making sure that our community can share our rich and meaningful history with the people of the Lowcountry and the world.”
Boeing’s contribution to the project is now at $750,000. The company raised $250,000 in 2011.
“Boeing is committed to supporting and giving back to the communities where our employees live and work,” said Tim Keating, Boeing’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. “Through our investment in this important museum of African American history and identity, we at Boeing hope to play a key role in helping tell the story of the largely overlooked history of African Americans in the Charleston area.”
Company officials say the money raised will be used to create the Family Heritage Center. Riley said he hoped Boeing’s donation would draw in other corporate donors to help fund the rest of the museum.
“The people of South Carolina have embraced us with open arms and we want to give back. This contribution is significant to the cultural development and historical preservation of this area,” said Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager Beverly Wyse.
The International African American Museum aims to re-center South Carolina’s place in global history, illuminating its role in the international slave trade and the Civil War.
The museum will connect visitors to their ancestors, demonstrating how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped economic, political, and cultural development in the nation and beyond.
After the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church, Riley said there would be a special place within the museum to remember not only the nine church members killed, but also the church’s storied history in the Charleston community and in Southern black culture and faith.