A major fund drive to keep the Museum of African Art in operation during the next two years has been announced by its founder and director, Warren Robbins. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded the museum a $225,000 challenge grant and the museum has begun a fund drive to raise $675,000 in private funds between now and April 30, 1979, to match the grant. This year's goal is $150,000.

"Our problem has been that many people take the museum for granted, assuming that it is in sound financial condition when, in fact, it is not," Robbins said. "We want to urge the museum's thousands of friends to come forward now and support our educational work through membership contributions to match the challenge grant." Regular memberships are available in categories ranging from $10 through $1,000.

The Friends of the Museum of African Art, an autonomous support group, is starting a three-month drive to increase the organization's membership through the sale of tickets to a black tie benefit evening on Sept. 17th at Bloomingdales. Tickets to the benefit are $100 pr couple, and include a one year membership in the Friends organization.

In addition to its membership and community business support drives, the Museum will launch a national fund drive among American corporations with business interests in Africa, asking them to become corporate patrons ($1,000) or donors ($5,000).

The Museum of African Art was founded in 1964 in the first Washington residence of Frederick Douglass, renowned abolitionist orator and publisher. It displays 500 objects of African art in rotating exhibitions from its collection of 7,000 objects, and carries on teaching programs at all educatinal levels. The Museum is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from noon to 5 p.m. It is located in the 300 block of A st. NE.