Donors contribute over $55 million for new Smithsonian American Women's History Museum

FILE-: Life-size 3D-printed statues honoring women in STEM are seen at the Enid A. Haupt Garden outside the Smithsonian Castle on March 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A massive donation has been given to develop the new Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

The Smithsonian announced Monday, ahead of Women's History Month, which begins March 1, that they have received over $55 million in donations, including from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walmart billionaire Alice L. Walton, the Target Corporation, Bank of America, and designer Tory Burch. 

This group is part of a growing list of donors who have contributed $1 million or more to support the planning of the museum’s building and kick-start program development and digital content museum, according to the Smithsonian Museum. 

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"Together, we will create a museum that celebrates the women who have helped build this country. These donations are pivotal in the realization of this vision." Lisa Sasaki, interim director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, said in a statement. 

In Dec. 2020, Congress passed legislation approving construction of the museum dedicated to women’s accomplishments, the history they made, and the communities they represent, according to the Smithsonian. 

Over the past couple of years, the Smithsonian has held events on digital platforms while the women’s museum is being built, the Smithsonian shares. 

The American Women’s History Museum currently has 14 employees and an operating budget of almost $2 million to create a wishlist for the Smithsonian Institution’s collection, the New York Times reported. 

"By paying tribute to the women who shaped our past, the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum empowers and inspires the ones who will shape our future," Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Pivotal Ventures, said in a statement from the Smithsonian. 

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.