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 Smithsonian Global, Smithsonian Insider, and Join the conversation at Second Opinion.

2017 awardee, John Legend

American Ingenuity Awards

The Smithsonian has been celebrating innovation in American culture for more than 150 years. Following in this tradition, Smithsonian magazine presents the American Ingenuity Awards, honoring revolutionary breakthroughs in the arts and sciences, education, and social progress. 2017 winners include musician John Legend; filmmaker, Ava DuVernay; head of design at Apple, Jony Ive; neurosurgeon, Gary Steinberg; and the creative team from Sesame Street Workshop. The Ingenuity Awards gala will be held November 29 and a Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival across museums will take place in late November and December. Find out more at

poster for Water/Ways exhibition


ThinkWATER is a multi-unit Smithsonian initiative bringing together exhibitions, educational resources, and public programs to explore water from both scientific and cultural perspectives. The initiative aims to develop innovative civic engagement and citizen science projects for community and student interaction with water. Central to this initiative is a multi-year SITES traveling exhibition, Water/Ways and its companion exhibition, H2O Today which will travel to small towns in partnership with state humanities councils. Learn more at Smithsonian Newsdesk.

Google Arts and Culture, We Wear Culture project

We Wear Culture

Three Smithsonian Museums – National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of African Art, and Freer and Sackler Galleries, have joined more than 180 cultural institutions from New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, São Paulo, and around the world for the We Wear Culture project. The newly launched fashion project, presented by the Google Cultural Institute, represents the largest virtual exhibition of global style. It showcases clothing evolution around the world and examines the cultural significance of the clothes worn today. Learn more at