3M Touchscreens Bring African American Experience to Life

3M investment to National Museum of African American History and Culture includes interactive technology

With the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) this week, visitors are getting an interactive view of the African American experience thanks to 3M technology.

As part of 3M’s Cornerstone Sponsorship, 100 3M Touchscreens are positioned throughout the museum to tell the story of African American excellence in culture and science.

“This technology enables the Smithsonian to tell stories in new and exciting ways,” explains Mark Lavoie, the 3M sales rep who installed the monitors. “The best way to connect with Museum visitors is through the convergence of voice, data and video technology.”

The NMAAHC was established by an Act of Congress in 2003. The museum opened to the public this week showcasing more than 3,000 artifacts in a five-story, 400,000-square-foot museum on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. The opening celebration featured remarks by President Barack Obama, who himself is featured in one of the museum’s exhibits.

“We are honored that our technology is helping to bring history to life,” said 3M Senior Vice President Kim Price, who personally shared in Saturday’s dedication. “This museum tells an important story and we’re proud that 3M Science is enhancing that experience.”

As a Cornerstone Donor, 3M is sponsoring the “Freedom Now: The Modern Civil Rights Movement 1945-1968” wing of the Museum. Through a series of question and answer applications on 3M touchscreens, visitors gain insight into the African American experience during the height of segregation, including stories about Freedom Marches and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 3M has a longstanding partnership with the Smithsonian, and retired Senior Vice President Bob MacDonald currently serves as Chair of its National Board of Directors.

“3M has been a strong supporter of the Smithsonian for over 20 years,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of NMAAHC. “The donation of these touchscreens and other products takes that partnership to the next level. 3M is a valued partner in telling this important story.”


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