Sony Corporation announces $1.7M donation to International African American Museum

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The International African American Museum in Charleston will receive a $1.7 million donation from Sony Corporation of America.

The museum is slated to open next year at the former Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston.

According to a news release from the IAAM, historians estimate nearly half of all African captives brought to America arrived in Charleston, most of them at Gadsden’s Wharf.  

“One silver lining of the pandemic is that museums have been challenged to re-imagine the visitor experience,” said Dr. Elijah Heyward III, Chief Operating Officer of the Museum. “Not only will we create more virtual options to learn and inspire, but we will also make use of the extraordinary new technology so generously contributed by Sony inside the Museum. When our doors open in 2022, visitors will experience the journey of African Americans in a way that has never been seen or felt before. Thanks to Sony, the International African American Museum will be a showcase for a new generation of visitor experiences.”

The donation, which is being made through Sony’s Global Social Justice Fund, will be used to outfit the Atlantic Worlds Gallery – a centerpiece of the Museum – and to support additional environments throughout the space. The Gallery, which is the largest in the Museum, is especially impactful as its windows look out onto the path that the slave ships took to arrive at the Wharf, according to the museum.

“Diversity is built into Sony’s DNA,” said Mark Khalil, President of Sony Corporation of America. “It is one of our company’s values, and this donation translates that vision into action. We are thrilled with this partnership and look forward to working with the Museum on this incredible project.”

The International African American Museum will feature several state-of-the-art Sony products, including North America’s first public deployment of the new Crystal LED display series, in a 32-foot wide, 7-foot high configuration; 3LCD and SXRD laser projectors; 4K HDR professional BRAVIA displays; and wireless microphones.