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. Join the conversation at Second Opinion.

Artist Georgia Saxelby held a four-day exhibit at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building during the By the People festival

Smithsonian Celebrates Solstice Saturday

On June 23, the first Saturday of summer, the Smithsonian celebrated Solstice Saturday with free parties, programs, and performances and extended hours until midnight throughout its museums, research centers, and the National Zoo. Solstice Saturday was held in association with By the People, an inaugural four-day international arts and dialogue festival held across Washington that featured everything from punk bands to ballet shows. The Arts and Industries Building was the central hub for By the People, and hosted activities and art installations throughout the festival.

Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, aboard the Earth-orbiting Endeavour. Photo: NASA

American Women's History Initiative

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative is a five-year, pan-Institutional celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America. Recent events include the naming of Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as Co-chair of the initiative and an announcement by the Provost that six new curatorial positions have been funded. The four-year positions will enable the Smithsonian to share stories about the transformational roles American women have played in our nation’s history through the creation of new exhibitions, reinterpretation of Smithsonian collections, research to bring women’s stories to light, and public and educational programming.

Freer|Sackler Galleries received a SAIF Award for the Cosmic Buddha interactive installation.

Accessibility Innovations Awards

The Smithsonian Accessibility Innovations Fund (SAIF) Awards were established in 2018 to encourage creativity and innovation that would promote pan-Institutional accessibility. Inaugural 2018 awardees are Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Freer|Sackler Galleries, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of American History, National Zoological Park, and Smithsonian Exhibits. 22 proposals, several of them collaborations among two or more Smithsonian organizations, responded to the call for innovative design solutions to address the needs of our visitors with disabilities and increase accessibility of museum content for everyone.