The Philanthropy Initiative at the National Museum of American History
Launched in December 2015, the Philanthropy initiative is a long-term project to collect, research, document, and display materials relating to the history and impact of American philanthropy, broadly-defined. An annual program, The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life, and changing exhibition, Giving in America, explore the collaborative power of giving in all forms and at all levels across a wide spectrum of issues and movements. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds come to understand the ways in which Americans’ gifts of time, expertise, and resources continues to shape American history and reflect our nation’s ideas and ideals.
Annual themes focus on philanthropy’s impact on particular areas of need and are designed to spark conversation and make connections between historic and contemporary giving. Our current theme is philanthropy’s impact on issues of sustainability and the environment. In 2018, our focus will shift to philanthropy’s impact on culture and the arts—from support for visual and performing arts and the institutions that house them to the use of culture and the arts to mobilize resources, raise awareness, and pursue a range of aims across philanthropic spheres.
Building the Collection
In December 2016, the Museum welcomed its new David M. Rubenstein curator of philanthropy, Amanda Moniz, who is working to build the Museum’s history of philanthropy collections. Read about her collecting plans, oral history project, and work behind the scenes, plus a full roundup of blog posts about philanthropy.
For questions from the press and general information about the Museum, please call 202-633-3129 or use the contact form for the Office of Communications & Marketing.
- Smithsonian Accepts ALS “Ice Bucket” for Philanthropy Exhibition:
Names Endowed Curator for Philanthropy Initiative
- National Museum of American History Adds Objects on #GivingTuesday
Museum Documents Story of Philanthropy in America
- Smithsonian Philanthropy Initiative to Examine Impact of Giving on America
National Museum of American History to Document, Exhibit History of Philanthropy
To suggest an object or subject for collection, please email email@example.com.
For more on the Philanthropy Initiative, please contact Kari Fantasia, Deputy Director of External Affairs.