On Sept. 28, 450 party animals gathered at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum's Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard for some Monkey Business—the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s first-ever gala.
Gala guests—who were encouraged to forego "monkey suits" and wear animal-themed attire—stepped out of D.C. and into the tropical rainforest of Borneo, where they mingled with live animals, danced to music by Rhythm Collective and enjoyed food from around the world highlighting the Zoo's global efforts to save species.
The evening also honored Harrison Ford and Betty White with the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal for their many years of work on behalf of animals, wildlife and the environment.
The gala's theme and atmosphere were meant to be fun and engaging, but the work the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute does every day to save species is critically important. The gala raised almost $1 million in unrestricted funds, and proceeds from the event will support global conservation projects and enable the Zoo to build new animal habitats, expand its education programs, conduct and share vital conservation research, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.
Thank you to all who attended and supported the gala!