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The Smithsonian Names the National Civil Rights Museum as an Affiliate Museum

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - October 20, 2016) - The National Civil Rights Museum has been named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. The Museum is the second Smithsonian Affiliate in Memphis, and seventh in the state of Tennessee. With just over 200 Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama, the program works with the Affiliate network to facilitate the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibitions and to develop innovative educational collaborations locally and nationally.

John W. Franklin, son of prolific scholar and author of African American history, John Hope Franklin, will present the certificate of affiliation during the Museum's 25th Freedom Award Celebration Gala tonight. He is Director of Partnerships and International Programs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and part of the museum's research staff.

"We are simply thrilled and honored to be a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, and we are elated that John Franklin will join us in making this announcement. In addition to this signaling the Museum's national value, it brings a measure of cache to the Museum that is significant. And with the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I believe there will be an increasing interest in other like museums across the country. We see this as a win for the Museum and for Memphis," said Terri Lee Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum.

Smithsonian Affiliations also reaches across the country with special educational programs designed for museums, schools and centers serving pre-school, K-12 students, and adult learners. The Smithsonian Affiliations network provides new and unforeseen avenues for regional, cultural, topical and audience-oriented types of support and collaboration.

About the National Civil Rights Museum

The NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM, located at the historic Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, is the only Museum of its kind in the country that gives a comprehensive overview of the American Civil Rights Movement from 1619 to the present. Since the Museum opened in 1991, millions of visitors from around the world have come, including more than 80,000 students annually. Serving as the new public square, the Museum is steadfast in its mission to chronicle the American civil rights movement, examine today's global civil and human rights issues, provoke thoughtful debate and serve as a catalyst for positive social change.

An internationally acclaimed cultural institution, the Museum was recognized as TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Top 25 U.S. Museum, USA Today's Top 10 Best American Iconic Attractions; Top 10 Best Historical Spots in the U.S. by TLC's Family Travel; Must See by the Age of 15 by Budget Travel and Kids; Top 10, American Treasures by USA Today; and Best Memphis Attraction by The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Busines­­s Journal.

About Smithsonian Affiliations:

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among the Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.

- civilrightsmuseum.org -