[image-1]When last we spoke with International African American Museum president Michael Moore earlier this month, he promised a few six- and seven-figure donations would soon be announced. And the man tasked with raising $25 million in private funding for the museum wasn’t lying.

On Monday, the museum announced a $500,000 corporate investment from the Michelin Corporate Foundation. According to a statement released by the museum, there now remains $12.5 million in private fundraising left to go before they reach their goal.

“Michelin has long exercised its leadership in South Carolina since opening its first plant here more than four decades ago,” said Moore. “This generous gift fortifies and expands Michelin’s commitment to our state and further demonstrates its value for diversity.”

Set for construction at Gadsden’s Wharf, the $75 million museum has already cleared Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review. In July, Moore announced the launch of the museum’s Center for Family History, which will be dedicated to the study of African-American ancestry, providing genealogy education, original research, archiving efforts, as well as DNA testing.

Tentatively scheduled to open in 2020, Charleston County and the city have already pledged $25 million to the museum. Previous state budgets have set aside a total of $14 million for the museum, but funding was pulled from this year’s budget, with state lawmakers holding off on contributing any more money until the $25 million in private funding is secured.

According to a statement from the museum, Michelin’s investment will be recognized in the Stele Terrace in the museum’s African Ancestors Memorial Garden, a collection of gardens and installations that will be arranged across IAAM grounds. The Stele Terrace will feature an audio installation that broadcasts songs and spoken word recordings in various languages originating from areas of West and West Central Africa

“As a global company, Michelin appreciates the way that our differences make us stronger,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc. “With that in mind, we are proud to support the International African American Museum — an institution of history and education that will encourage the celebration of diversity and improve understanding about the diverse experiences of different ethnic groups that contribute to the fabric of our country.”

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