[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 117, 108th Congress, 1st Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

117 STAT. 2676

Public Law 108-184
108th Congress

An Act


 
To establish within the Smithsonian Institution the National Museum of
African American History and Culture, and for other
purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in <> Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT <> TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``National Museum of African American
History and Culture Act''.

SEC. 2. <> FINDINGS.

Congress finds that--
(1) since its founding, the United States has grown into a
symbol of democracy and freedom around the world, and the legacy
of African Americans is rooted in the very fabric of the
democracy and freedom of the United States;
(2) there exists no national museum within the Smithsonian
Institution that--
(A) is devoted to the documentation of African
American life, art, history, and culture; and
(B) encompasses, on a national level--
(i) the period of slavery;
(ii) the era of Reconstruction;
(iii) the Harlem renaissance;
(iv) the civil rights movement; and
(v) other periods associated with African
American life, art, history, and culture; and
(3) a National Museum of African American History and
Culture would be dedicated to the collection, preservation,
research, and exhibition of African American historical and
cultural material reflecting the breadth and depth of the
experiences of individuals of African descent living in the
United States.

SEC. 3. <> DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) Board of regents.--The term ``Board of Regents'' means
the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.
(2) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the National Museum
of African American History and Culture Council established by
section 5.
(3) Museum.--The term ``Museum'' means the National Museum
of African American History and Culture established by section
4.

[[Page 2677]]
117 STAT. 2677

(4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF <> MUSEUM.

(a) Establishment.--There is established within the Smithsonian
Institution a museum to be known as the ``National Museum of African
American History and Culture''.
(b) Purpose.--The purpose of the Museum shall be to provide for--
(1) the collection, study, and establishment of programs
relating to African American life, art, history, and culture
that encompass--
(A) the period of slavery;
(B) the era of Reconstruction;
(C) the Harlem renaissance;
(D) the civil rights movement; and
(E) other periods of the African American diaspora;
(2) the creation and maintenance of permanent and temporary
exhibits documenting the history of slavery in America and
African American life, art, history, and culture during the
periods referred to in paragraph (1);
(3) the collection and study of artifacts and documents
relating to African American life, art, history, and culture;
and
(4) collaboration between the Museum and other museums,
historically black colleges and universities, historical
societies, educational institutions, and other organizations
that promote the study or appreciation of African American life,
art, history, or culture, including collaboration concerning--
(A) development of cooperative programs and
exhibitions;
(B) identification, management, and care of
collections; and
(C) training of museum professionals.

SEC. 5. <> COUNCIL.

(a) Establishment.--There is established within the Smithsonian
Institution a council to be known as the ``National Museum of African
American History and Culture Council''.
(b) Duties.--
(1) In general.--The Council shall--
(A) make recommendations to the Board of Regents
concerning the planning, design, and construction of the
Museum;
(B) advise and assist the Board of Regents on all
matters relating to the administration, operation,
maintenance, and preservation of the Museum;
(C) recommend annual operating budgets for the
Museum to the Board of Regents;
(D) <> report annually to the Board
of Regents on the acquisition, disposition, and display
of objects relating to African American life, art,
history, and culture; and
(E) adopt bylaws for the operation of the Council.
(2) Principal responsibilities.--The Council, subject to the
general policies of the Board of Regents, shall have sole
authority to--
(A) purchase, accept, borrow, and otherwise acquire
artifacts for addition to the collections of the Museum;

[[Page 2678]]
117 STAT. 2678

(B) loan, exchange, sell, and otherwise dispose of
any part of the collections of the Museum, but only if
the funds generated by that disposition are used for
additions to the collections of the Museum; or
(C) specify criteria with respect to the use of the
collections and resources of the Museum, including
policies on programming, education, exhibitions, and
research with respect to--
(i) the life, art, history, and culture of
African Americans;
(ii) the role of African Americans in the
history of the United States from the period of
slavery to the present; and
(iii) the contributions of African Americans
to society.
(3) Other responsibilities.--The Council, subject to the
general policies of the Board of Regents, shall have authority--
(A) to provide for preservation, restoration, and
maintenance of the collections of the Museum; and
(B) to solicit, accept, use, and dispose of gifts,
bequests, and devises of personal property for the
purpose of aiding and facilitating the work of the
Museum.

(c) Composition and Appointment.--
(1) In general.--The Council shall be composed of 19 voting
members as provided under paragraph (2).
(2) Voting members.--The Council shall include the following
voting members:
(A) The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
(B) One member of the Board of Regents, appointed by
the Board of Regents.
(C) Seventeen individuals appointed by the Board of
Regents--
(i) taking into consideration individuals
recommended by organizations and entities that are
committed to the advancement of knowledge of
African American life, art, history, and culture;
and
(ii) taking into consideration individuals
recommended by the members of the Council.
(3) <> Initial appointments.--The Board of
Regents shall make initial appointments to the Council under
paragraph (2) not later than 180 days after the date of
enactment of this Act.

(d) Terms.--
(1) In general.--Except as provided in this subsection, each
appointed member of the Council shall be appointed for a term of
3 years.
(2) Initial appointees.--As designated by the Board of
Regents at the time of appointment, of the voting members first
appointed under subparagraph (C) of subsection (c)(2)--
(A) six members shall be appointed for a term of 1
year;
(B) six members shall be appointed for a term of 2
years; and
(C) five members shall be appointed for a term of 3
years.
(3) Reappointment.--A member of the Council may be
reappointed, except that no individual may serve on the Council

[[Page 2679]]
117 STAT. 2679

for a total of more than 2 terms. For purposes of this
paragraph, the number of terms an individual serves on the
Council shall not include any portion of a term for which an
individual is appointed to fill a vacancy under paragraph
(4)(B).
(4) Vacancies.--
(A) In general.--A vacancy on the Council--
(i) shall not affect the powers of the
Council; and
(ii) shall be filled in the same manner as the
original appointment was made.
(B) Term.--Any member of the Council appointed to
fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the
term for which the member's predecessor was appointed
shall be appointed for the remainder of that term.

(e) Compensation.--
(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a
member of the Council shall serve without pay.
(2) Travel expenses.--A member of the Council shall be
allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of
subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency
under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code,
while away from the home or regular place of business of the
member in the performance of the duties of the Council.

(f) Chairperson.--By a majority vote of its voting members, the
Council shall elect a chairperson from its members.
(g) Meetings.--
(1) In general.--The Council shall meet at the call of the
chairperson or on the written request of a majority of the
voting members of the Council, but not fewer than twice each
year.
(2) Initial meetings.--During the 1-year period beginning on
the date of the first meeting of the Council, the Council shall
meet not fewer than 4 times for the purpose of carrying out the
duties of the Council under this Act.

(h) Quorum.--A majority of the voting members of the Council holding
office shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business,
but a lesser number may receive information on behalf of the Council.

SEC. 6. <> DIRECTOR AND STAFF OF THE MUSEUM.

(a) Director.--
(1) In general.--The Museum shall have a Director who shall
be appointed by the Secretary, taking into consideration
individuals recommended by the Council.
(2) Duties.--The Director shall manage the Museum subject to
the policies of the Board of Regents.

(b) Staff.--The Secretary may appoint two additional employees to
serve under the Director, except that such additional employees may be
appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States
Code, governing appointments in the competitive service.
(c) Pay.--The employees appointed by the Secretary under subsection
(b) may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and
subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to
classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates.

SEC. 7. <> EDUCATIONAL AND LIAISON PROGRAMS.

(a) In General.--

[[Page 2680]]
117 STAT. 2680

(1) Programs authorized.--The Director of the Museum may
carry out educational and liaison programs in support of the
goals of the Museum.
(2) Specific activities described.--In carrying out this
section, the Director shall--
(A) carry out educational programs relating to
African American life, art, history, and culture,
including--
(i) programs using digital, electronic, and
interactive technologies; and
(ii) programs carried out in collaboration
with elementary schools, secondary schools, and
postsecondary schools; and
(B) consult with the Director of the Institute of
Museum and Library Services concerning the grant and
scholarship programs carried out under subsection (b).

(b) Grant and Scholarship Programs.--
(1) In general.--In consultation with the Council and the
Director of the Museum, the Director of the Institute of Museum
and Library Services shall establish--
(A) a grant program with the purpose of improving
operations, care of collections, and development of
professional management at African American museums;
(B) a grant program with the purpose of providing
internship and fellowship opportunities at African
American museums;
(C) a scholarship program with the purpose of
assisting individuals who are pursuing careers or
carrying out studies in the arts, humanities, and
sciences in the study of African American life, art,
history, and culture;
(D) in cooperation with other museums, historical
societies, and educational institutions, a grant program
with the purpose of promoting the understanding of
modern-day practices of slavery throughout the world;
and
(E) a grant program under which an African-American
museum (including a nonprofit education organization the
primary mission of which is to promote the study of
African-American diaspora) may use the funds provided
under the grant to increase an endowment fund
established by the museum (or organization) as of May 1,
2003, for the purposes of--
(i) enhancing educational programming; and
(ii) maintaining and operating traveling
educational exhibits.
(2) Authorization of appropriations.--There are authorized
to be appropriated to the Director of the Institute of Museum
and Library Services to carry out this subsection--
(A) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
(B) such sums as are necessary for each fiscal year
thereafter.

SEC. 8. <> BUILDING FOR THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE.

(a) In General.--
(1) Location.--
(A) <> In general.--Not later than
12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Board of Regents shall designate a site for the
Museum.

[[Page 2681]]
117 STAT. 2681

(B) Sites for consideration.--In designating a site
under subparagraph (A), the Board of Regents shall
select from among the following sites in the District of
Columbia:
(i) The Arts and Industries Building of the
Smithsonian Institution, located on the National
Mall at 900 Jefferson Drive, Southwest,
Washington, District of Columbia.
(ii) The area bounded by Constitution Avenue,
Madison Drive, and 14th and 15th Streets,
Northwest.
(iii) The site known as the ``Liberty Loan
site'', located on 14th Street Southwest at the
foot of the 14th Street Bridge.
(iv) The site known as the ``Banneker Overlook
site'', located on 10th Street Southwest at the
foot of the L'Enfant Plaza Promenade.
(C) Availability of site.--
(i) In general.--A site described in
subparagraph (B) shall remain available until the
date on which the Board of Regents designates a
site for the Museum under subparagraph (A).
(ii) Transfer to smithsonian institution.--
Except with respect to a site described in clause
(i) of subparagraph (B), if the site designated
for the Museum is in an area that is under the
administrative jurisdiction of a Federal agency,
as soon as practicable after the date on which the
designation is made, the head of the Federal
agency shall transfer to the Smithsonian
Institution administrative jurisdiction over the
area.
(D) Consultation.--The Board of Regents shall carry
out its duties under this paragraph in consultation with
the following:
(i) The Chair of the National Capital Planning
Commission.
(ii) The Chair of the Commission on Fine Arts.
(iii) The Chair and Vice Chair of the
Presidential Commission referred to in section 10.
(iv) The Chair of the Building and Site
Subcommittee of the Presidential Commission
referred to in section 10.
(v) The Chair and ranking minority member of
each of the following Committees:
(I) The Committee on Rules and
Administration of the Senate.
(II) The Committee on House
Administration of the House of
Representatives.
(III) The Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure of the
House of Representatives.
(IV) The Committee on Appropriations
of the House of Representatives.
(V) The Committee on Appropriations
of the Senate.
(2) Construction of building.--The Board of Regents, in
consultation with the Council, may plan, design, and construct a
building for the Museum, which shall be located at the site
designated by the Board of Regents under this paragraph.

[[Page 2682]]
117 STAT. 2682

(3) Nonapplicability of provisions relating to monuments and
commemorative works.--Chapter 89 of title 40, United States
Code, shall not apply with respect to the Museum.

(b) Cost Sharing.--The Board of Regents shall pay--
(1) 50 percent of the costs of carrying out this section
from Federal funds; and
(2) 50 percent of the costs of carrying out this section
from non-Federal sources.

(c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be
appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 9. <> CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT
COMPLIANCE.

Authority under this Act to enter into contracts or to make payments
shall be effective in any fiscal year only to the extent provided in
advance in an appropriations Act, except as provided under section
11(b).

SEC. 10. <> CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION.

In carrying out their duties under this Act, the Council and the
Board of Regents shall take into consideration the reports and plans
submitted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Plan for Action Presidential Commission under the National Museum of
African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential
Commission Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-106).

SEC. 11. <> AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the
Smithsonian Institution to carry out this Act, other than sections 7(b)
and 8--
(1) $17,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
(2) such sums as are necessary for each fiscal year
thereafter.

(b) Availability.--Amounts made available under subsection (a) shall
remain available until expended.

[[Page 2683]]
117 STAT. 2683

(c) Use of Funds for Fundraising.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to
the authorization under this section may be used to conduct fundraising
in support of the Museum from private sources.

Approved December 16, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3491 (S. 1157):
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
Nov. 18, 19, considered and passed House.
Nov. 20, considered and passed Senate.