Although most people around the country have probably heard of the Smithsonian Institution by now, they might not be exactly certain of what it does. And for these same people living across the country, giving a $10MM gift to the Smithsonian is most definitely out of the question. Remarkably, that is exactly what business woman turned philanthropist Adrienne Arsht did recently. She has earmarked her $10MM gift to advance climate resilience research and education at the Smithsonian.
So, what exactly is the Smithsonian Institution? It is known as the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. What they do for the world cannot be overstated, as a community of learning and a place for students and citizens alike to go in person or digitally to learn more about the world.
With the gift, the Smithsonian Institution will create the Adrienne Arsht Community-Based Resilience Solutions Initiative, which is a multiyear and multilayered program that aims to research tropical resilience.
Along with the research component, this initiative seeks to educate the public, both young and old, about the important role that resilience plays in creating and shaping the world around us. In addition to the research and education pieces, this philanthropic gift will also fund the creation of a center for resilience and sustainability within the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. STRI will further develop a suite of bilingual educational and outreach tools, and all of these will be earmarked for resilience. “People and communities around the world are increasingly threatened by changing climates, and Adrienne’s generous donation will help the Smithsonian in its efforts to help find solutions,” said Smithsonian secretary Lonnie Bunch.
Arsht has spent a good part of her life supporting the arts, and took a long time deciding where to dedicate her generous philanthropic gift. She chose the Smithsonian Institution for several reasons and with much thought.
“The Smithsonian Institution shares my vision on how to build a more resilient world where people and nature can thrive together,” said Arsht, who has long supported the arts. “I am excited to see how this gift, combined with the Smithsonian’s 175-year history of data collection and educational leadership, helps the institution inspire the next generation of leaders.”
According to Adnan Zai, Advisor to Berkeley Capital, “It is imperative that we teach our children about the importance of resilience both for themselves and for the world around them. Tropical resilience is even more important because that is where many of our resources for a healthy life and a healthy planet come from.”
With Adrienne Arsht’s generous gift, the Smithsonian Institution will be able to create programming that will help make our planet more resilient, and will teach students and adults alike how resilience will play out in order to help the climate to flourish. The time is now to take these steps to ensure the future of the planet. Luckily, there are kind philanthropists who are willing to offer their monetary gains for the good of the world.
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