NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MUSEUM:
Our mission is to tell the stories of women who transformed our nation. We will do that through a growing state-of-the art online presence and a future physical museum to educate, inspire, empower, shape the future, and provide a complete view of American history.
For the last twenty years, the National Women’s History Museum has served as the largest online cultural institution dedicated to US women’s history. (see below for UPDATE on new building)
As an institution, it has galvanized support for preserving, illuminating, and sharing the powerful history of women in America.
The House passed legislation February 2020 that established a women’s history museum within the Smithsonian Institution, the culmination of an effort by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) spanning back to 1998 — and the NWHM group. It wasn’t until 2014 that the House passed a bipartisan bill led by Maloney that created a commission to study the idea of a women’s history museum on or near the National Mall. That commission produced a report in 2016 with recommendations for building such a museum.
Maloney introduced a bill in 2017 similar to the one up for a vote this week to create the proposed museum, but it didn’t advance in the then-GOP-controlled House. (Nothing happened in the Senate)
After working decades to get legislation passed for a museum dedicated to women’s history on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the National Women’s History Museum is negotiating to open a two-level 40,000-square-foot location at Union Station. == The proposed museum’s administrative offices have been based in the Alexandria’s West End since it was founded in 1996, with the goal of eventually opening on or near the National Mall. Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, but it does not include a timeline or location. ==The NWHM is now waiting for Senate approval and for an appropriate space to eventually open up.
National Women’s History Museum statement: “We are delighted that the legislation we fought so hard to get introduced all those years ago finally passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on a bi-partisan basis as part of the COVID relief/omnibus appropriations package.
“We strongly support this bill, but we also understand the reality that the timeline is uncertain and the bill still needs to be funded. We remain laser-focused, as we have been for the past 25 years, on the urgency of representation—of sharing women’s stories and celebrating their contributions to our national narrative. We’ve long championed the creation of a space that captures and communicates the breadth and depth of women’s experiences and accomplishments, and this space is long overdue. We remain committed to having our own museum now.”
Update/response to Lyons Recorder inquiry:
While this was indeed fantastic news (and we were responsible for spearheading the legislation), the Smithsonian Museum is many years away and the legislation needs to be funded. We are not part of the Smithsonian, but we will continue to support a Museum on the Mall as it develops. We are pleased to share that we are going to start exhibitions and programming in DC next year at an exciting venue to be announced — stay tuned!
All my very best, and happy Women’s History Month! Jennifer Herrera / Vice President of External Affairs
Just Released! NWHM’s 2021 Women’s History Month Resource Toolkit!
Happy Women’s History Month! We’re pleased to present our 2021 Women’s History Month Resource Toolkit, filled with links to biographies, events, and programming to celebrate this important month. Click “Read More” to download the PDF.