|Secretary Kempthorne announces a $2.3 million commitment to The Peopling of America® Center at Ellis Island National Monument. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing $1.5 million in matching funds, along with a $1 million match by the Annenberg Foundation. From left, Gillian Norris-Szanto, Senior Program Officer of the Annenberg Foundation; Cynthia Garrett, superintendent, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island National Monument; Secretary Kempthorne; Andrew D. Plepler, Global Community Impact Executive and President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Ellis Island Foundation President and CEO, Stephen A. Briganti. HI-Res|
NEW YORK, NY -- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne joined The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and the National Park Service today in unveiling the plans for a significant expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to be called The Peopling of America® Center.
Designed by ESI Design, this exciting new Center will enlarge the story currently told of the Ellis Island Era (1892-1954) to include the entire panorama of the American immigration experience, with exhibits dedicated to those who arrived before Ellis as well as those who arrived post-1954, right up to the present. It will illustrate the American immigration story across the generations and the important role immigrants have played in the making of this great nation.
“This expansion will not only significantly broaden the scope of this wonderful museum’s content, but also its relevancy to the more diverse audiences who visit America’s national parks today,” Secretary Kempthorne said at the event in Ellis Island’s historic Great Hall, “To reflect this expanded mission, I am delighted to announce that upon completion of the Center, this museum will be re-named Ellis Island: The National Museum of Immigration.”
Secretary Kempthorne went on to announce that $2.3 million has been committed to The Peopling of America® Center from the National Park Service, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is providing $1.5 million in matching funds, along with a $1 million match by the Annenberg Foundation.
“Bank of America is proud to be the Founding Partner for this dynamic and timely project which is consistent with other investments we have made to preserve our nation’s heritage,” said Andrew D. Plepler, Global Community Impact Executive and President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “Underwriting The Citizenship Gallery is a natural fit with our company’s role as the Bank of Opportunity. Our business and our philanthropy are focused on creating economic opportunity for individuals and businesses, and helping communities thrive.”
Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, Trustee of the Annenberg Foundation comments, “On behalf of the Annenberg Foundation, I am delighted to support The Peopling of America® Center. We believe that sharing ideas and knowledge is critical to the improved public well-being. We hope that the visitors to the New Eras of Immigration Gallery, underwritten by the Annenberg Foundation, will leave with a deeper appreciation for what is possible in our country and in the world today.”
The Center’s citizenship component was highlighted at the event with a naturalization ceremony under the direction of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, during which twelve immigrants from countries including Ecuador, Thailand, Haiti, Mexico, Turkey and India were sworn-in as new American citizens. The Peopling of America® Center, a $20 million undertaking, continues the historic partnership between The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service. It will entail the redesign of one major existing gallery, the restoration of two historically important spaces to accommodate additional Center exhibits, and the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the New Immigration Building to house the museum’s curatorial center.
“The Foundation is gratified to once again work in partnership with the Park Service to tell the complete story of the populating of America, dramatically broadening and enhancing how the museum’s millions of visitors from across the country and around the world will experience Ellis Island,” said Foundation President and CEO, Stephen A. Briganti. “I am pleased to announce that we are over 75% toward our fundraising goal, and work on the first phase of this highly anticipated expansion began on September 15th.”
“We have designed The Peopling of America® Center to serve as a way for everyone who visits Ellis Island to personally connect with their family’s immigration story,” said Edwin Schlossberg, principal designer of ESI Design. The architectural and engineering work is being designed by Highland Associates.
The Peopling of America® Center is expected to be completed in 2011. For further information visit www.peoplingofamerica.org.
Photo Editors: High resolution images of The Peopling of America® Center exhibits and captions are available online at: http://www.ellisisland.org/Eiinfo/Press_Immigration_Museum_Story.asp
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created a museum in the Statue’s base and the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and the American Family Immigration History Center®. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America will embark in 2009 on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2007, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
The Annenberg Foundation Established in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, the Annenberg Foundation provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally through its headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania and offices in Los Angeles, California. Its major program areas are education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation operates a number of initiatives which expand and complement these program areas. The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.