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Monkey Business: 2017 Gala

2017 Gala for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Thursday, September 28, 2017
  • The entrance to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's 2017 gala in Washington, D.C., featuring large panel photos of orangutans and palm-leaf projected lights on the wall
  • A couple takes a selfie with a penguin at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Monkey Business Gala
  • A table with linens, glasses and flowers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Monkey Business Gala
  • Two women talking to an interpreter holding a large snake at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Monkey Business Gala
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Monkey Business: 2017 Gala

2017 Gala for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

On Sept. 28, 2017, 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 stepped out of D.C. 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 raised almost $1 million in unrestricted funds, which support global conservation projects and enable the Zoo to build new animal habitats, expand its education and research programs, and train the next generation of environmental leaders.