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 American Women: Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity, and Vision for the National Collection

AWHI Publishes First Title

The first publication from the American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI), Smithsonian American Women: Remarkable Objects and Stories of Strength, Ingenuity, and Vision from the National Collection, is a truly pan-Institutional effort featuring more than 280 artifacts from 16 Smithsonian museums and archives, and more than 135 essays from 95 Smithsonian authors. Through objects ranging from fine art to computer code, from First Ladies memorabilia to Black Lives Matter placards, and from Hopi pottery to a couch from the Oprah Winfrey Show, Smithsonian American Women celebrates women's participation in science, art, music, sports, fashion, business, religion, entertainment, military, politics, activism, and more.

Credit: “Lin-Manuel Miranda” by Mark Seliger, archival pigment print, 2016 (printed 2018). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonia

National Portrait Gallery Gala Premiers new Commissions

The National Portrait Gallery's biennial American Portrait Gala will be held on November 19, 2019. The event focuses attention on the museum’s work with living sitters and contemporary artists from across the American landscape of arts and enterprise. The six 2019 honorees are “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the band Earth, Wind & Fire, Nobel laureate Frances Arnold, and business pioneer Indra Nooyi. Their recently acquired portraits, including three commissions, will be on view to the public through August 2020.

Caption: Six Cents Anti-Pollution Series Stamps (1970) (National Postal Museum)

Excitement Builds for Earth Optimism 2020

A yearlong, Smithsonian-wide initiative, Earth Optimism 2020, will continue the global conversation started at the first Earth Optimism Summit in 2017, which aims to promote planetary well-being through stories of success in conserving natural and cultural resources. Led by the Conservation Commons, an action network within the Smithsonian, the centerpiece will be the second Earth Optimism Summit, planned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 23-25, 2020. Another highlight of the initiative will be the 2020 Folklife Festival, which will present how peoples across the globe harness cultural knowledge to address environmental challenges ranging from habitat loss and species conservation to food insufficiency.