Oprah Winfrey donates $12 million to Smithsonian museum of African American History

oprahEven though she’s busy with the duties that come along with running a television network, Oprah Winfrey always makes time to be a philanthropist.

In her latest giving move, the media mogul is donating $12 million to the Smithsonian’s planned National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The museum, which began construction in Washington, D.C. early last year and won’t be completed until 2015, will house 22,000 objects from African-American history that start from slavery to the civil rights era and up to the 21st century. It will also include a 350-seat theater that will carry Winfrey’s namesake.

“I am so proud of African American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole,” said Winfrey in a statement released by the museum. Along with the $1 million she gave in 2007, Winfrey has given the museum’s largest donation.

“By investing in this museum, I want to help make sure that we both honor and preserve our culture and our history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.”

The museum’s founding director Lonnie Bunch expressed his gratitude for Winfrey’s contribution; “Every donation, whether $25 or a $10 million corporate donation, is important. But truly, there is only one Oprah Winfrey.”

The museum has also received $10 million donations from the Gates Foundation and the Lily Endowment.