BY CONTRAST, THE National Museum of American History, successor to the original 1846 Smithsonian Institution ("America's Attic"), opened its doors in 1964 with a 750,000-square-foot structure, almost twice the size of NMAAHC.
Happily, membership at the NMAAHC is unparalleled within the Smithsonian constellation.
Given the sheer disparity of resources and political influence, as well as the fraught history of race in America, it's remarkable that the new NMAAHC is doing as well as it is.
THE NMAAHC HAS been long in the making--100 years, to be precise.
The NMAAHC would be dedicated to the "legacy of African Americans [which is] rooted in the very fabric of the democracy and freedom of the United States.
Ten stories in all--five of them aboveground--the NMAAHC is sheathed in a three-tiered bronze-colored corona consisting of 3,600 panels that fit together to form a lacey scrim reminiscent of the ornamental ironworks executed by free and enslaved African American artisans in Charleston and New Orleans.
If you spend any time at NMAAHC headquarters, you'll find among the slew of memorabilia, several large sheets of yellow flipchart paper taped on a wall in the office's glass-encased conference room.
Still, when offered the job of leading the NMAAHC, he turned it down.
In June 2005, Bunch had to contend with an intimidating meeting at NMAAHC, a month before he officially took the helm.
Delphia Duckens, associate director of external affairs for NMAAHC, who has coordinated fundraising efforts for the past 15 months, asserts that "Lonnie is one of the best in terms of articulating the vision in a way that people see themselves wanting to be a part of it.
Duckens says the NMAAHC approaches fundraising from a "standpoint of abundance, not scarcity," not wasting much time on those who will suffer from sticker shock.
Beyond using the contacts from the council, Duckens says NMAAHC has compiled an expansive database in which each individual and organization has been placed through a series of analytical screens for the greatest probability of donation, including contribution history; capacity for sizable gifts; interest in African American causes or preservation of history; and HBCU alumni status.