2016 Annual Report
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Smithsonian Scholars Made 2016 an extraordinary year

This year, as every year, was a period of change, innovation and great progress for the Smithsonian. Among many accomplishments, we marked an extraordinary milestone, decades in the making: the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This breathtaking museum gives proper place, now and forever, to a vital part of America’s story.

More: An extraordinary year

The new museum is a significant component of the national Smithsonian Campaign. In fact, in fiscal 2016 we surpassed our ambitious $1.5 billion goal with one year still to go. More than 480,000 donors and counting have enabled our scientists, educators and curators to create and share knowledge worldwide.

Just as we sprint to the culmination of this campaign, so too do we chart the course for the future with a new strategic plan to make us more than ever one Smithsonian—greater in reach, relevance and impact. The plan will aid us in striving to meet our grand challenges: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe, Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, Understanding the American Experience, Valuing World Cultures and Magnifying the Transformative Power of Art and Design.

At the Smithsonian, we ask the biggest questions—Where do we come from? How do we live together? Where will we go from here?—and seek answers from artists, scientists and historians. Our scholars are passionate about their work, as illustrated in these pages. And their efforts are made possible through your support, and for your education.

Here is America’s Smithsonian. We thank you for your commitment and belief in our mission.

David J Skorton, Secretary

A Moment for the Nation

Director Lonnie Bunch, Rep. John Lewis, Michael Bonner and donor Shonda Rhimes reflect on the opening day of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Thought Leaders

This past year, our scholars stretched and challenged our thinking as they brought fresh perspectives to emerging cultural voices, the art of the Qur’an and species conservation. Here’s what four of them are saying.

By The Numbers

The Smithsonian is the world’s largest scientific and cultural organization. Here is what that means over one year’s time, in terms of contributions to scholarship and the audiences we reach…by the numbers.

Endless Discovery

Smithsonian scientists work at the frontiers of discovery, from rewriting the fossil record to witnessing the formation of planets to decoding the world’s tropical forests.

You Build It

Darren Milligan is more than an educator. He’s an architect of a revolution in the global learning community. Here’s his take on the Smithsonian’s digital leadership.

This is the curtain

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