The Washington Times - February 15, 2012, 04:30PM

President Obama will speak at the groundbreaking of the Smithsonian Institution’s $500 million National Museum of African American History and Culture on Feb. 22, the White House announced Wednesday.

The museum is scheduled to open in 2015 and will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of black life, art, history and culture.


The event is by invitation only and not open to the public; the White House said the ceremony will be webcast.

Congress has pledged to provide half the museum’s cost.

The president’s budget request for fiscal 2013 on Monday called for an increase of nearly $47 million for the Smithsonian, which is constructing the new museum and renovating others.

Under Mr. Obama’s proposal, the Smithsonian would receive a total of $857 million next year.