Kickoff Celebration: Today, Tomorrow, Forever
The Launch Celebration was a weekend of inspiring moments, probing conversations and insiders’ tours of the best of the Smithsonian. It also marked the start of the most comprehensive capital campaign ever undertaken by a cultural institution, the Smithsonian Campaign.
The weekend was attended by, in the words of Co-Chair David Rubenstein, “500 of our closest friends,” from across America. Smithsonian historians, scientists and scholars regaled these friends with their latest their discoveries and research. Guests traveled to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Chesapeake Bay. They attended musical workshops with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and learned about the recovery of art during times of conflict.
At the gala, Co-Chair Barbara Barrett announced the goal of the campaign — to raise $1.5 billion. “It’s a bold amount – to ensure a bold future, where the Smithsonian touches hearts, inspires minds and sparks discoveries in the 21st century and beyond,” she said.
The campaign is well on its way, raising $1 billion so far, Co-Chair Alan Spoon continued. This, he said, was because “some of you have stepped forward in this campaign to continue a tradition of giving to us. Some of you have made your first gift to the Smithsonian. Others may have made your largest gift yet to us – and for some, your largest gift ever. We are so grateful.”