National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
07 November 2016

The National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrated its long-awaited opening during a weekend (September 23-25, 2016) of festivities, the culminating moment of which was the inauguration of the Museum by President Obama, on Saturday, September 24th, 2016. The weekend celebrations for the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum included a reception at the White House in the afternoon of Friday, September 23rd.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the Museum’s Founding Donors. The Foundation’s Co-President, Andreas Dracopoulos—a personal supporter of the Museum as well—its COO, Vasili Tsamis, and the Director of Programs, Stelios Vasilakis, represented SNF at the inaugural festivities. 

The Foundation’s gift has provided support for one of the Museum’s Reflection Areas, at the exhibition Defending Freedom: Defining Freedom in the History Gallery. The exhibition recognizes and honors, among others, the late Archbishop Iakovos and his significant contributions to the Civil Rights movement.

Located on 5 acres on the National Mall, the museum’s collection contains more than 36,000 artifacts, many of which were donated by ordinary people. Spread across 400,000 square feet, the museum is organized chronologically, beginning with the early days of slavery, and moving through time to present day, with artifacts documenting modern occurrences such as Barack Obama’s presidency and the Black Lives Matter movement. Other spaces are devoted to African-American achievement in areas such as music, film and television, and athletics. The building is modeled after a traditional Yoruban crown, and contains 5 floors of galleries, in addition to a vast reception area, and atrium with a cafe and theater.

To learn more, visit the museum’s website here.