One Smithsonian

Addressing complicated issues and global problems such as zoonotic diseases, climate change, and the rapid loss of natural resources resulting from human activities and population pressures requires work that spans disciplines and organizational boundaries. The Smithsonian’s potential to tackle complex challenges, as well as to innovate in design, technology, and other pursuits, is greatest when our museums, galleries, Zoo, research centers, education centers, and mission-support offices work together as One Smithsonian.

This section of the Dashboard highlights forward-thinking, interdisciplinary, and cross-Smithsonian activities that tackle pressing issues and chart new paths that the Smithsonian is particularly well suited to address due to its unique combination of science, history, art, and culture experts and global partnerships. Learn more at Torch, Smithsonian Global, Smithsonian Insider, and Smithsonian.com

Poster for the 2022 National Education Summit

National Education Summit

As part of its 175-year commitment to education, the Smithsonian hosted a free two-day National Education Summit from July 27-28. The summit brought together thousands of teachers, museum educators, curriculum specialists, librarians, and education agencies from across the nation to address the challenges facing educators today. It featured over 30 virtual and in-person keynotes, plenary sessions, and workshops. Keynote speakers included Smithsonian Under Secretary for Education Monique Chism, bestselling writer Jason Reynolds, broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, and 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell. Other presenters included Smithsonian experts, state Teachers of the Year, and representatives from Smithsonian education collaborators such as the Public Broadcasting Service, the Library of Congress, and Harvard’s Project Zero.

Smithsonian Castle at Dusk

Solstice Saturday on the Mall

On June 25, the Smithsonian celebrated the first Saturday of summer with its annual Solstice Saturday celebration on the National Mall. The program featured extended museum hours and free events throughout the day and late into the night. Highlights included a Living Longer Festival focused on new developments in health and wellness; an outdoor dance party featuring Washington’s DJ Ayes Cold; and a tribute to master percussionist Héctor René “Tito” Matos Otero. Solstice Saturday was held in association with Hofstra University’s Astronomy Festival on the National Mall, which took place in front of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Coffee traditions from the UAE were on the program at the Folklife Festival

The Folklife Festival Returns!

After two years of pandemic-related hiatus, the Smithsonian’s hugely popular Folklife Festival returned to the National Mall in June and July 2022, with two major programs. One featured music, food, crafts, arts, and culture from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The other focused on Earth Optimism, highlighting community-based efforts to achieve environmental sustainability. The Festival also featured an eclectic series of free evening concerts, featuring the music of the UAE, Afghanistan, the Ozarks, and other traditional and contemporary genres. Launched in 1967, the annual Festival, which is produced by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the National Park Service, celebrates living cultural traditions. Over the years, it has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO