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

Stock photo of the Smithsonian Castle

Castle Renovation

The iconic Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall—the “Castle”—closed on February 1, 2023 for its first major renovation in over 50 years. Completed in 1855 and now designated a National Historical Landmark, the Castle serves as the Institution’s administrative center and offers the public a visitor center, café, gift shop, and exhibit room featuring content from all Smithsonian museums and research centers. When the five-year, top-to-bottom renovation is complete, visitors will walk into a dramatic Great Hall restored to its original appearance, with expanded visitor amenities moved to a lower level.

Scanning the QR code on a Visitor Information pylon outside the Castle

Virtual Visitor Center

During the multi-year renovation of the Castle, the Institution will maintain a Virtual Visitor Center to provide the public with information to plan their Smithsonian journey. The Virtual Visitor Center will continue to provide brochures, maps, and information on museum hours and locations, dining and shopping options, accessibility, and group visits. In addition, it will include new features such as a “My Visit” app that helps visitors develop a list of exhibitions and museums to see, and a Virtual Information Desk that connects them with volunteer information specialists via Zoom. Visitors on the National Mall can access the Virtual Visitor Center via a QR code scan from one of 27 signage pylons.

Ali in the ring

Black History Month

To mark Black History Month, the Smithsonian Channel premiered two documentaries highlighting aspects of the African American experience. Cassius X: Becoming Ali (February 20) explores the transformation of the young boxer Cassius Clay into the cultural and sports icon Muhammad Ali, while American’s Hidden Stories: The Black Wild West (February 27) tells the little-known story of the Black cowboys, sheriffs, trappers, and soldiers who were part of the United States’ westward expansion. Throughout February, the Channel also published near-daily social media content on Black history and re-aired several African American-themed programs produced with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History, and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research/OCIO