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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 13, 2022

Contact: Wendy Malloy

Museum of History & Industry PR

wendy.malloy@mohai.org

(206) 324-1126 ext. 150

MOHAI Announces $10 Million Gift from Jeff Bezos to Expand Center for Innovation

June 13, 2022

SEATTLE – Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) has announced a $10 million donation from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, to expand the museum’s Bezos Center for Innovation. The new gift will allow the center to expand interactive storytelling; enhance educational programs including an Innovation Classroom where young people test solutions to the challenges they face; create a dynamic “innovation hub” where the community comes together to tackle major problems on topics ranging from climate change to social justice; present insights from leading-edge innovators; and build a definitive collection of artifacts and archives that preserve Seattle’s history as a global center of innovation. It will also support expanded hands-on learning opportunities, designed to serve 30,000 young people and their teachers each year, and allow the center to develop new interactive exhibits, build a significant collection of artifacts associated with the history of innovation, and present first-person histories from some of the world’s most important innovators.

Launched in 2013 with an initial gift from Jeff Bezos, the Bezos Center for Innovation at MOHAI explores the transformative role of innovation in Seattle history and highlights how innovation drives change that transforms the world. Through exhibits and programs, the center empowers visitors, especially young people, to discover their own role as innovators.

“At a time of profound challenges and unprecedented opportunities, innovation in all facets of human endeavor is key to building strong, sustainable communities,” said MOHAI Executive Director Leonard Garfield, “and with Jeff Bezos’ extraordinary gift, the expanded innovation center at MOHAI will become Seattle’s essential resource for ensuring that all residents, particularly young people, have full access to the region’s heritage and culture of innovation.”

Since opening nine years ago, the Bezos Center for Innovation has welcomed over one million visitors including hundreds of thousands of students and their teachers. According to Garfield, the expanded center will deepen connections between Seattle history and the region’s evolving culture of innovation, “engaging visitors in experiences that build on history but are not bound by it.” The center was honored with the American Alliance of Museum award for interactive and digital media experiences. The expansion, which will be implemented over the next three years, is part of a larger initiative coinciding with MOHAI’s tenth anniversary at Lake Union Park, to reimagine all the museum’s exhibits to incorporate a more inclusive and expansive history of the region.

ABOUT MOHAI

MOHAI is the largest private heritage organization in Washington State. Maintaining a collection of more than four million historic artifacts, photographs, and archival materials from throughout the Puget Sound region, the museum engages over 150,000 visitors and program participants each year with interactive exhibits, online resources, and award-winning education programs. MOHAI is an official Smithsonian Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and has been selected as a Top Ten History Museum in the United States by USA Today.

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