Archive for August, 2008

8/12/08: National Women’s History Museum Calls on Congress to Help Give Women’s History a Permanent Home in Our Nation’s Capital

August 12th, 2008

Timely Bipartisan Legislation Will Help Secure Land to Build New Museum

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2008) – The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is calling on Congress to immediately pass House Resolution (H.R.) 6548, a bipartisan bill that will allow the NWHM to purchase land close to the National Mall and build the first major repository of women’s accomplishments and contributions in Washington, D.C.

NWHM, a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution, has been working for 11 years to find a permanent physical space to house the collections that it plans to make public and further its educational services. H.R. 6548 offers a viable opportunity for NWHM to secure a physical space adjacent to several of the nation’s most iconic museums, such as the National Air and Space Museum, the National American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

“I urge my fellow members to co-sponsor and vote for H.R. 6548 to provide a long-awaited national home for American women,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who introduced the legislation in July. “Now is the time to pass legislation that will empower and inspire future generations of women.”

The vacant lot—located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W.—will be purchased at fair market value from the General Services Administration with private funds raised by the NWHM.

Congress must take action during this session to pass H.R. 6548 or lose this opportunity to honor women’s many contributions to our nation. The land will be used by NWHM to build one of the first museums in the nation’s capital to earn certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Green building requirements include sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“The women who have persevered for years to develop the idea of a National Women’s History Museum have shaped a vision that I am proud to co-sponsor as legislation,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC At-Large). “They deserve the support of the American people in the task of raising a museum that places the history of the women in our nation front and center in the nation’s capital.”

Currently, NWHM operates as a web-based Museum with several CyberExhibits, traveling exhibitions and classroom curricula that educate all about women’s changing roles through history and their fight for rights. The Museum empowers people of all ages by showcasing the leadership role of women in many fields—from agriculture, medicine, science, and mathematics to religion, philosophy, literature, and the arts.

“This has been an historic year for women, and it is the perfect time for Congress to pass this legislation and create a permanent home for women’s history,” said Joan Bradley Wages, President of NWHM. “The location on 12th and Independence offers the NWHM the chance to be part of the nation’s historic museum core, but also allows us to create a modern, green building reflective of the evolving leadership role of women in all areas.”

Other co-sponsors of H.R. 6548 include Congresswomen Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has agreed to introduce the Senate companion bill.

The NWHM needs more partners to take action and voice support in order for this act to succeed. To contact your Member of Congress directly and urge him or her to champion this legislation giving women’s history a permanent site in Washington, D.C., please visit nwhm.org.