What is the Purpose of the Commission?

Established on December 19th, 2014, by HR 3979, the Commission was created to independently study a potential American Museum of Women’s History, D.C. The Commission findings and recommendations were incorporated into a final report to the President and Congress on November 16th, 2016.

Who are the Commission members and how were they appointed?

Commission members were selected by Congressional leadership: the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the House of Representatives’ Minority Leader.

What specific issues were addressed by the Commission?

Based on guidance from HR 3979, the Commission addressed the following in their report:

  1. Availability and cost of collections
  2. Finding a location in Washington, D.C.
  3. Calculating the impact on other regional Women’s History Museums
  4. Deciding whether or not the museum should be part of the Smithsonian Institution
  5. Establishing the governance and organizational structure of the museum operations
  6. Best practices for engaging women in the development and design of the museum
  7. The cost of constructing, operating, and maintaining the Museum
  8. The Commission shall develop a fundraising plan to support the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the Museum through contributions from the public. In developing this fundraising plan, the Commission shall consider the role of the National Women’s History Museum (a nonprofit, educational organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that was incorporated in 1996 in Washington, DC, and dedicated for the purpose of establishing a women’s history museum) in raising funds for the construction of the Museum; and issues relating to funding the operations and maintenance of the Museum in perpetuity without reliance on appropriations of Federal funds.

What is the relationship between the Congressional Commission and the existing nonprofit, the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM)?

The legislation directed the Commission to consider the role of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) in developing the fundraising plan for the future museum. Founded in 1996, the National Women’s History Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating the diverse contributions women have made to society. Operating as a virtual museum with multiple exhibits and programs, they focus on educating Americans on women’s history. Upon the passing of federal legislation to appoint a Congressional Commission, NWHM has made available to the Congressional Commission valuable research resources and studies. They also generously contributed seed money to assist the Commission in its initial launch. While the Commission consistently sought input from NWHM’s leadership throughout the compilation of its report, the Commission was also dedicated to creating an independent report.

How do I contact the Commission?

The Congressional Commission for the American Museum of Women’s History welcomes inquiries from media, stakeholders, and the general public. Please feel free to use the contact form or email us directly at info@amwh.us or at 21 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036