by Edison R. Wato Jr. at the NMAAHC
July 11 marks an important date for the Museum that we hope you’ll join us in celebrating because it is Lonnie Bunch’s 10 Year Anniversary with the Museum. On July 11, 2005, Lonnie became the founding director for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
I hope you will participate in this celebration in a personal way by adding your message to the Anniversary card for our esteemed director Lonnie Bunch. Please sign the card today.
In 2005, the Museum had no staff, no collection, and no building. In just ten years, we now have over 130 staff members, our collection contains more than 32,200 objects, and we are scheduled to open the Museum in fall 2016!
Over the past ten years there have been several building milestones Lonnie has overseen as director:
- In January 2006, the Smithsonian Board of Regents voted to build the Museum on a five-acre site on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets N.W.
- In April 2009, Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup selected as the architectural team for the museum.
- In February 2012, members of the Smithsonian family gathered along with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for a groundbreaking ceremony at the building’s future construction site.
- In October 2014, we celebrated the midpoint of construction for the Museum.
- In April 2015, workers began the installation of 3,600 cast-aluminum panels of the architecturally dramatic “corona” surrounding the outside of the building.
So much to celebrate. So much to be grateful for. So much to look forward to.
Please share your thoughts with us as we celebrate Lonnie’s anniversary and look ahead to the future.
Thank you again for your continued support of the Museum and for helping to make our celebration so special.
Edison R. Wato Jr.
Membership Program Director