The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has announced a $20 million gift from board vice chair Allan M. Holt and his wife, Shelley, in support of a comprehensive revitalization of its permanent exhibition.
Awarded through the Hillside Foundation, the Holts' family foundation, the funds will support efforts to expand the reach and impact of the exhibition and ensure its relevance to new audiences, especially youth; leverage new technologies to engage a global audience; incorporate content about institutional and individual failures that led to the Holocaust; reflect new research and scholarship; and showcase recent acquisitions and rarely exhibited items from the museum's collections. The project will take advantage of new historical research as well as developments since the museum opened in 1993, including the fall of the Soviet Union and an aggressive global effort to "rescue the evidence," both of which contributed to the growth of the museum's collections.
The Holts' gift boosts the total raised by a $540 million fundraising campaign launched by the museum in 2013 to $556 million. The revitalization project is expected to take five to seven years to complete, museum director Sara Bloomfield told the Washington Post.
"As the son of Holocaust survivors, I wanted to do something that would honor the victims and would also ensure the museum's ability to impact new generations in an ever-changing world," said Allan Holt, a senior partner and managing director of the Carlyle Group. "Keeping this singular event in history relevant for the future is our greatest responsibility."