On a Saturday night in Washington, DC as President Barack Obama was holding court at his last White House Correspondents’ dinner, another star-studded event was taking place in the city.
Two time Oscar Award winner and star of numerous movies, Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta Washington were hosting an event to raise monies for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The new museum is slated to open later this year. The party was attended by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. The lavish event reportedly raised $17 million and included a pledge of $10 million from television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes.
The purpose of the event was to raise additional funding to cover the cost of finishing the museum. The total cost to build the museum is estimated to be $540 million and the federal government has contributed $270 million thus far. The remaining half of the building cost is expected to be raised by events like the one the Washingtons threw. With the star power of Denzel and his wife, it’s safe to say their friends have no problem donating money.
When asked why he hosted the event, Mr. Washington summed it up this way:
“There is such a historical significance to this project. It means so much for our community, our country and to future generations.’’
The soirée was closed by Magic Johnson, who said “we have to get everyone involved in this, making this a success.”