ATLANTA, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Center) today announced that its capital campaign has raised more than $73 million to date, including a new $1 million grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Officials confirmed the Center is on track to raise the remaining $12 million to construct and open the debt-free Center and will break ground this fall.
"The Center held firmly to its guiding principles and will deliver a majority self-sustaining facility and world-class experience for all to enjoy," said Doug Shipman, CEO of the Center. "We are thankful for the support of local and national funders who see the importance of a human rights institution. Thanks to their contributions, the Center is on track to complete its fund raising within six years compared to the 13-year average to build a cultural institution. Partners like the Blank Foundation help fuel momentum to bring us closer to groundbreaking, inspiring individuals and corporate citizens to make similar commitments."
The goal to break ground is $85 million. The Center will now prepare to launch the public capital campaign this spring and establish an annual fund after groundbreaking.
Established in 1995 and based in Atlanta, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation joins prominent philanthropic and corporate partners of the Center, including The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, Newell Rubbermaid, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and The UPS Foundation.
"The National Center for Civil and Human Rights' efforts to foster interactive discussions on global human rights issues have never been more needed," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "Atlanta's history positions it perfectly to serve as the future home of the Center and play this role worldwide. We are proud to help bring the project closer to reality."
The Center unveiled today the construction-ready design, which makes the design competition-winning plans workable on the site at Pemberton Place. The Freelon Group of Research Triangle, N.C. and partner HOK of Atlanta worked closely with Center leadership, exhibit designer Gallagher & Associates and project manager Cousins Properties/Gude Management Group to finalize the facility's design. The state-of-the-art, LEED certified building will take 24 months to construct and is slated to open in 2013 in Downtown Atlanta adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, The New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.
The Center has named Jill Savitt human rights exhibition coordinator. A renowned human rights advocate with extensive expertise in genocide prevention, Savitt currently serves as a special advisor for the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Savitt will help establish interactivity and relevance between the historical and contemporary human rights issues presented through the Center's educational exhibitions. She joins chief creative officer George C. Wolfe on the exhibition team working to bring civil and human rights to life in the displays and interactive installations.
The Center will feature permanent and rotating collections, timely exhibitions and interactive education opportunities to engage visitors in the historical and current struggles people across the world experience in securing and expressing their rights.
About The National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will display The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection (King Papers), the award-winning Without Sanctuary lynching exhibit and serve as a hub for ongoing dialogue, attracting world-renowned speakers and artists who work on a variety of human rights topics. Located in Downtown Atlanta at Pemberton Place and equipped with broadcast and event space, the Center will host civil and human rights conversations among scholars, organizations and the public. For more information visit www.cchrpartnership.org.
About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Foundation promotes positive change in people's lives and helps them build and enhance the communities in which they live, seeking investments that immediately touch the lives of children and families in greatest need. At the same time, to secure lasting benefits, the Foundation invests in innovative ideas that will shape the region's future. Foundation Chairman Arthur M. Blank is owner & CEO of the Atlanta Falcons and co-founder of The Home Depot. Through the foundation and personal giving, Blank's lifetime charitable giving now exceeds $250 million.
SOURCE National Center for Civil and Human Rights