Multimillion-dollar endowment will fund new programs

Secretary Clough announced on Wednesday, Nov. 3, that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed $40 million to the Smithsonian for new programs: $30 million for broadening access to the Institution through a Youth Access Endowment, and $10 million for the four interdisciplinary consortia identified in our Strategic Plan. This latest contribution is in addition to $10 million the Foundation contributed to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in fall 2009, for a total of $50 million.

The $30 million endowment will support programs for children in grades K-12 now and in the future. The youth access initiative will enable our museums and research centers to use their vast resources and expertise to reach underserved students in school districts around the country.

We will build on existing programs that use interactive websites, online conferences, distance learning and games to reach new audiences in innovative ways.

The Youth Access Endowment will offer development and implementation grants each year, on a competitive basis, to Smithsonian educators and researchers to support new ideas or expand ongoing projects that have proven successful.

This initiative will foster creativity and innovation while allowing the Smithsonian to serve those communities that need us most.

Posted: 4 November 2010
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