Firm That Shaped African-American Museum to Do Obama Museum

Minority- and women-owned businesses will perform almost half of the exhibition design work

The Obama Foundation says it has hired the firm that helped shape the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington to lead the exhibition design for the Obama Presidential Center's museum.

New York-based Ralph Appelbaum Associates will head a team of several firms and individuals with expertise in media, lighting and acoustics in designing exhibits.

The foundation says almost half of the exhibition design work for the museum to be located in Chicago's Jackson Park will be performed by minority- and women-owned businesses.

Obama Foundation CEO David Simas says in a statement the selections were based on the firms' and individuals' track records on civic projects. He says the foundation is confident the team will help build a center that will inspire individuals and communities.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September.

"Hopefully, this museum makes us talk to each other and listen to each other and see each other," then-President Barack Obama said at the time.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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