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Smithsonian Announces $1.5 Billion Fundraising Campaign

October 20, 2014

The Smithsonian today announced plans to raise $1.5 billion in its first organization-wide fundraising campaign, the largest in history for a cultural institution. 

The campaign’s four themes focus on the Smithsonian’s contributions in the fields of history, science, art and culture—Spark Discovery, Tell America’s Story, Inspire Lifelong Learning and Reach People Everywhere. These messages were chosen by the campaign to highlight the Smithsonian’s strengths and address issues relevant in today’s world.

Related Staff Bios: 
Related photos: 

Inspire Lifelong Learning

Leslie Kossoff / LK Photos

A National Portrait Gallery visitor comes face to face with artist Al Hirschfeld’s caricature of jazz pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines. Every year, more than 30 million in-person visitors encounter objects at the Smithsonian that prompt the desire to learn more. (Photo by Leslie Kossoff / LK Photos)

Inspire Lifelong Learning 2

Pamela Jenkins

Seen through the submerged viewing window, the Seal and Sea Lion Exhibit comes alive for young visitors to the National Zoological Park’s American Trail exhibit.  (Photo by Pamela Jenkins)

Inspire Lifelong Learning 3

Eric Long

A trip to the National Air and Space Museum can inspire members of the next generation. Here, children have the opportunity to meet an astronaut. (Photo by Eric Long)

Places: National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rendering: Courtesy of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup

Campaign gifts are helping to build the National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in 2016. (Rendering courtesy of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup)

Reach People Everywhere

David Dektor

Smithsonian research spans the globe and encompasses every discipline. These Nenets children in northwest Siberia are members of one of very few indigenous societies in Russia who have preserved their language and traditional way of life. Yamal Peninsula, Russia, 1995. (Photo by David Dektor)

Reach People Everywhere 2

James Kegley

Young students in New York draw inspiration from the installation of Freedom’s Sisters, a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit. (Photo by James Kegley)

Spark Discovery

Milky Way

Milky Way, Image courtesy NASA

Smithsonian research extends to the depths of our own universe and beyond. Smithsonian scientists, in partnership with NASA’s Great Observatories program, developed the camera that took this unusual photo of the Milky Way. (Image courtesy NASA)

Spark Discovery 2

Dane Penland

What could be better than kids, computers and robots? Children of all ages enjoy the hands-on activities at the Women in Aviation and Space Family Day at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. (Photo by Dane Penland)

Treasures: Discovery

Dane Penland

The Space Shuttle Discovery has earned a place of honor in the collection of national treasures preserved by the National Air and Space Museum. The longest-serving orbiter, the shuttle flew 39 times from 1984 through 2011, more missions than any of its sister ships, spending altogether 365 days in space. (Photo by Dane Penland) 

Treasures: Lansdowne Portrait

George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait), Gilbert Stuart

George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait), Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796, National Portrait Gallery. Smithsonian Institution; acquired as a gift to the nation through the generosity of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. 


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