Oprah Winfrey is sharing her wealth with the Smithsonian, making a major donation toward the creation of the institution's 19th museum.
The billionaire media mogul is donating $12 million toward the construction of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian announced.
In honor of the large donation, the museum's 350-seat theater will be named after the talk show host. It is one of the largest spaces in the building, which will be a "a forum in the nation’s capital for performers, artists, educators, scholars, authors, musicians, filmmakers and opinion leaders," said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough.
“The Oprah Winfrey Theater will bring untold stories alive through films, live performances, artistic expression and public dialogue," he said in the statement. "The new theater’s designation could not be more fitting, as Ms. Winfrey’s name is synonymous with generosity, education, excellence and the arts."
The total cost of the museum is expected to be $500 million, with half of that needed money being provided by congressional funding. It is the responsibility of the museum to raise the rest.
Winfrey already gave $1 million to the museum in 2007, reports The Washington Post. This is along with a $10 million donations from the Gates Foundation and the Lilly Endowment. According to museum's founding director, Lonnie G. Bunch, the museum has raised more than $335 million in both federal and private funds for the structure.
The site is located on the National Mall next to the Washington Monument, and ground was broken on the project in February 2012.
Treye Green is a reporter for The International Business Times and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Green has shot, edited and...