CHARLESTON, S.C. (December 20, 2018) – As the year comes to a close, the International African American Museum (IAAM) team is reflecting on its exciting progress, optimistically looking forward to new challenges, and eagerly anticipating its upcoming groundbreaking.
This August, thanks to the generosity of more than a hundred donors who made contributions ranging from $100 to $10 million, the IAAM achieved a major milestone by meeting its $75 million fundraising goal. Shortly after, Charleston City Council agreed to move forward on the construction process and hired a construction manager, Turner-Brownstone, which then took the project out to bid.
Due to the dual factors of inflation and newly imposed tariffs – which acutely affect building materials, like steel – the preliminary estimates indicate a 20 percent increase in construction costs. This equates to a new fundraising need of $10 million.
Former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said that, “It feels as if we’ve run a marathon, only to be met at the finish line with the news that we must run ten more miles. But, we’re in shape, and we will win the race, as we draw on our enduring dedication and duty to create this institution, which will honor essential chapters of American history.”
“Our commitment to raising the funds necessary to bring the IAAM to life is bolstered by the unwavering support of our donors,” Riley continued. “Today, we are honored to announce an incredibly generous donation from Anita Zucker. Anita, who pledged $1 million to the museum in 2015, has doubled her commitment, pledging an additional $1 million this week. We are immensely grateful to Anita and her family.”
The museum received word yesterday of another $1 million gift that is not yet ready to be publicly announced. IAAM leadership is hopeful that these critical leadership investments will inspire others to lend their support.
“This is the time of year when people with philanthropic spirits are looking for opportunities to make a meaningful impact,” said Michael Boulware Moore, IAAM president and CEO. “As we work to achieve this new fundraising goal, gifts to the museum are particularly powerful – these are the contributions that will truly make the IAAM a reality.
“The museum leadership is committed to adhering to our timeline: We plan to present our construction contract to Charleston City Council in late January, break ground in May, and open our doors two years later in the summer of 2021. We are confident that the generous support of our donors will make all of that possible.”