As the nation witnessed President Barack Obama give his final speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and his lovely wife Pauletta were across town doing amazing things for a great cause.
The Washingtons put together a stellar fundraiser event and invited some of Hollywood’s biggest names to come out and support the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and secured the final cost needed for the museum.
“There is such a historical significance to this project. It means so much for our community, our country and to future generations,” Denzel Washington said.
The total cost of the museum amounts to $540 million. So far the government has contributed $270 million. President Obama insisted that all monies needed to complete the museum be raised before the end of his presidential term. The remainder of the funds came from many celebrity donations, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, George Lucas who contributed $1 million, and Oprah Winfrey who is the largest donor to date, giving $21 million to the museum.
The museum will feature a 355 seat theater which will be named after Winfrey.
Some of the top named guests in attendance at the lavish charity event were Samuel L. Jackson, Quincy Jones, Magic Johnson and more.
“We have to get everyone involved in this making it a success,” Johnson said at the event.
The night ended successfully as Denzel and Pauletta raised more than $17 million, including a pledge of $10 million from television star, writer and producer, Shonda Rhimes.
The museum, which is set to open on September 24, will be a five-acre site located at the National Mall near the Washington Monument. The museum will feature 11 inaugural exhibitions on African American history, including galleries on slavery, segregation and Civil rights. Also featured is Harriet Tubman’s hymnal, Emmett Till’s original coffin and Louis Armstrong’s trumpet.
Written By: Tiffany Hercules