Foundation for the National Archives Receives $75,000 Gift for Theater Programming

Feb 03, 2010, 16:37 ET from Foundation for the National Archives

McGowan Fund Gift Creates New Education Opportunities

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation for the National Archives announced today a $75,000 gift from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., to support ongoing programming at the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

The gift is supporting engaging and educational public programs in the 290-seat theater, the Archives' state-of-the-art venue for special documentary features, major public programs, family programming, lecture series, and the annual Women in Leadership Forum. A highlight of these programs is the annual William G. McGowan Communications Forum, a unique exploration of the junction of communication, technology, and government that is inspired both by McGowan's lifelong commitment and the vital role of the National Archives in all three arenas. Past forum topics have included how Web 2.0 technology can improve participation in democracy and how electronic voting systems can help ensure that voter intent is accurately recorded.

The McGowan Charitable Fund gift also is supporting outreach using new technology and social media and helps the Foundation expand the National Archives' audience worldwide through the use of webcasts of McGowan Theater programs at and on YouTube.

"The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund is honored to partner with the Foundation for the National Archives to continue to bring quality programming to the William G. McGowan Theater," said Sue Gin McGowan, president of the Fund. "Bill McGowan recognized the importance of education in creating a better understanding of our past as a nation and as a society, and we are pleased that his legacy continues in the theater named in his honor at the National Archives."

"The National Archives is most appreciative of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund and this recent gift," said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. "The William G. McGowan Theater is a major cornerstone in the National Archives Experience and in Washington, D.C., and the McGowan Fund's generous act ensures that we will continue to provide quality programming here."

"We are very pleased with the relationship we have developed over the years with the McGowan Fund, and appreciate so much their ongoing support," said Ken Lore, president of the Foundation. "Through the support of generous donors like the McGowan Fund, the Foundation is able to bring new audiences to the National Archives and to expand and improve civics and history education nationwide."

About the Foundation for the National Archives

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the National Archives' private-sector partner in the creation of and ongoing support of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and film screenings, educational literature, and historical/records-related products and media. The Foundation helps the public understand the importance of the holdings of the National Archives by presenting the depth and diversity of the records through award-winning, interactive educational exhibits and programs. It generates financial and creative support for the National Archives Experience from individuals, foundations, and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.

About the National Archives Experience

The National Archives Experience, created by the National Archives in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, has transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives' Washington, DC building, and includes a renovated Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery for special exhibits, the Boeing Learning Center, and the Digital Vaults online exhibit. These components make the rich resources of the National Archives accessible to Americans nationwide.

About the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund was established to give financial assistance to organizations and causes that reflect the visions, concerns and lifetime experiences of its founder, William G. McGowan. A visionary, McGowan organized MCI Communications Corporation in 1968. From then until his death 24 years later, he led that company and the entire telecommunications industry in the application of new technologies, the creation of innovative services, and the introduction of competition into what had previously been a closed monopolistic universe. His interests ranged well beyond the confines of commerce and industry, and reflected his recognition that education was a unique means for instilling and fulfilling vision. He believed in finding ways to access the untapped treasures housed in the minds and spirits of the young and putting to good use that crucial human resource.

SOURCE Foundation for the National Archives