National Museum of American History Opens Philanthropy Exhibition

Smithsonian Adds ALS “Ice Bucket” to Collection
November 23, 2016

WHAT:          Press breakfast to open an exhibition focused on the history of philanthropy and to
                       introduce the David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy. The museum will also
                       host a donation ceremony to officially add the bucket that helped start the
                       viral "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge."

WHEN:         Tuesday, Nov. 29
                      8 a.m. breakfast, remarks at 8:25 a.m.

WHERE:       National Museum of American History
                      Constitution Avenue entrance, between 12th and 14th streets, N.W.
                      Third floor, center

WHO:           John Gray, director, National Museum of American History
                      Bonnie Campbell Lilienfeld, assistant director for curatorial affairs,
                             National Museum of American History
                      David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy, National Museum of American History
                      Anthony Senerchia, the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation


The National Museum of American History will open “Giving in America” Nov. 29, a long-term exhibition that looks at the history of philanthropy’s role in shaping the United States. Nov. 29 is also #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. The exhibition is part of an initiative launched last year to explore philanthropy’s collaborative power. The museum will host the second annual invitation-only “The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life” program. Public activities will invite the museum’s audiences to share their #AmericanGiving stories.

In July 2014, in order to raise awareness for the neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), professional golfer Chris Kennedy challenged his cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony suffers from ALS, to tip a bucket of ice water over her head. This was one of the first documented instances curators found that tied the ice-bucket challenge to ALS, and by August of that year, the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” had become a viral social media campaign. The blue bucket used in that challenge is being donated to the museum by the Senerchias.

 Note to press: RSVP by emailing

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