Washington Post: Librarian’s trips abroad, posh hotels all paid for by James Madison Council

By Peggy McGlone

But like its 86-year-old leader, the James Madison Council is a throwback to a different time. Although its mission is outreach, the group is insular and exclusive. Membership is by invitation and individual donations go undisclosed. This year, the group numbers 69 — a who’s who of industry titans and philanthropists from Detroit, Philadelphia, Dallas and New York — who contribute $25,000 a year and receive exclusive access to the institution and its collections. Although they’ve raised millions, they’ve spent almost half of their recorded contributions on private parties, exhibition receptions, travel and employees and consultants, financial statements from the council and the library show.


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