Wells Fargo is donating $500,000 to fund Charleston’s forthcoming International African-American Museum, the company announced this week.
This is the fifth major corporate donation for the museum this year, following a $500,000 pledge from tire maker Michelin and $250,000 each from AT&T, TD Bank an Bennett Hospitality, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.
“We are thrilled to support the International African American Museum and help bring this nationally significant institution to life,” said Len Hutchison, the Business Banking Manager for Wells Fargo Lowcountry.
“Our goal at Wells Fargo is to help build strong and vibrant communities, and the museum will contribute to a stronger and more vibrant community by providing a center of learning on one of the most sacred sites of African American history,” Hutchison added.
President and CEO of the IAAM Michael Boulware Moore said earlier this year that the museum is halfway through with its funding campaign and developers are slated to break ground on construction early next year. In July, the museum also announced the launch of its new genealogical research center aimed at helping patrons discover their ancestral heritage.
“For African-Americans, it can be a significant challenge in studying and researching and finding their sort of family history,” Moore said. “We’ve got the expertise, the resources, the databases, the technology to help people do that.”
The IAAM will be built near the port city of Gadsden Wharf, where nearly half of all enslaved Africans first stepped foot on American soil.
The museum isn’t slated to open its doors until 2020.
In 2016, Wells Fargo also donated $1 million and historic artifacts from its corporate collection to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.