Creating a New Generation of Visitor Experiences
CHARLESTON, SC—January 12, 2021 – Today, the International African American Museum announced a $1.7 million product donation from Sony Corporation of America (SCA), on behalf of Sony Corporation and its U.S. affiliates. The Museum is scheduled to open in 2022 at the former Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, SC. Historians estimate nearly half of all African captives brought to America arrived in Charleston, most of them at Gadsden’s Wharf.
“One silver lining of the pandemic is that museums have been challenged to re-imagine the visitor experience,” said Dr. Elijah Heyward III, Chief Operating Officer of the Museum. “Not only will we create more virtual options to learn and inspire, but we will also make use of the extraordinary new technology so generously contributed by Sony inside the Museum. When our doors open in 2022, visitors will experience the journey of African Americans in a way that has never been seen or felt before. Thanks to Sony, the International African American Museum will be a showcase for a new generation of visitor experiences.”
The donation, which is being made through Sony’s Global Social Justice Fund, will be used to outfit the Atlantic Worlds Gallery – a centerpiece of the Museum – and to support additional environments throughout the space. The Gallery, which is the largest in the Museum, is especially impactful as its windows look out onto the path that the slave ships took to arrive at the Wharf.
“Diversity is built into Sony’s DNA,” said Mark Khalil, President of Sony Corporation of America. “It is one of our company’s values, and this donation translates that vision into action. We are thrilled with this partnership and look forward to working with the Museum on this incredible project.”
“This donation is part of Sony’s ongoing commitment to social justice and diversity,” said Karen Kelso, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, SCA. “This new museum promises to educate millions of people as to the atrocities endured by Africans in this country.”
The International African American Museum will feature a number of state-of-the-art Sony products, including North America’s first public deployment of the new Crystal LED display series, in a 32-foot wide, 7-foot high configuration; 3LCD and SXRD laser projectors; 4K HDR professional BRAVIA displays; and wireless microphones.
“We are pleased to be working with the International African American Museum to bring their vision of education and inclusiveness to light,” said Mike Fasulo, President and COO, Sony Electronics, Inc. “These innovative products are the pinnacle of acuity and resolution, helping to create fully immersive exhibits that bring important history to life for millions of museum visitors.”
About the International African American Museum
The International African American Museum strives to foster empathy and understanding, empowering visitors with the knowledge of the past. The journey will challenge, illuminate, inspire and ultimately, will move people to action. The Museum’s exhibitions will share untold stories using classic techniques as well as new approaches driven by innovation, technology and digital interactivity. Themes will include connections across the African diaspora, the spread of African American culture and influence, and the movements for justice and equality. The Center for Family History will enable visitors to trace their genealogy, while changing exhibitions and special events will keep the Museum energized. Educational programs will provide life-long learning opportunities for visitors both young and old.
The International African American Museum will open early 2022. For more information, visit our website at www.iaamuseum.org or connect with us on social media @iaamuseum on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America, located in New York, NY, is the U.S. headquarters of Sony Corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan. Sony’s principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC., Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $76.67 billion USD for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 and employs approximately 114,400.
For more information:
International African American Museum
Dr. Elijah Heyward III
Chief Operating Officer
Sony Corporation of America