The National Museum of African Art is raising $800,000—and you can help!
We are celebrating by looking to the museum’s future. The museum’s Advisory Board recently established the Johnnetta Betsch Cole Fund for the Future to raise money specifically to support our central mission.
With your help, this fund will support the museum’s mission, now and forever: To inspire conversations about the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and cultures worldwide.
How You Can Help
The JBC Fund for the Future is about looking forward. Your contribution will fund long-term initiatives and ensure that we continue to present our incredible programs and exhibitions to every visitor, always free of charge.
In honor of Dr. Cole’s 80th birthday, we are asking our loyal visitors and supporters to consider donating $80. Easily give online by clicking “Contribute” above, or simply text your pledge amount and birthday wishes to 202.836.6622.
Raising $800,000 is no small task—and we are already getting closer, thanks to contributors like you! On October 28, we held our first annual African Art Awards, where we introduced the ability to text to pledge—making it easier than ever to support African art and the museum! In one night, we raised over $37,000 to kickstart this new initiative.
And it’s not too late! Simply text your pledge and birthday wishes to Dr. Cole at 202.836.6622. We are grateful for donations of any amount—with each gift, Dr. Cole will be tremendously honored.
More About Dr. Cole
Johnnetta Betsch Cole earned her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and then a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Northwestern University with a focus on African studies. She retired from Emory University as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and African American Studies, where she is also a professor emerita. In 1987, Dr. Cole made history as the first African American woman to serve as president of Spelman College. Later, she also served as president of Bennett College for Women. Dr. Cole has been the president of the board of the Association of Art Museum Directors, has been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, and serves on the boards of many charitable and corporate groups.
After a long and distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian, Dr. Cole was appointed director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in March 2009. This year, she celebrates her seventh successful year with the museum—and her 80th birthday! Dr. Cole is married to James D. Staton Jr. and is the mother of three sons and one stepson. She has three grandchildren and is a mentor to many young women and men.