The mission of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. is to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development and culture. The institution was authorized and founded by Congress in 1962 and today the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery continues to narrate the multi-faceted and ever-changing story of America through individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery presents poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives from our national identity. It is a treasured museum in the heart of Washington where art, history and biography converge. The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation helped establish and fund the inaugural American Portrait Gala in November of 2015. The occasion raised funds to plan and create cutting-edge and technologically innovative exhibitions at the Gallery. At the Gala, five portrait subjects — whose lives exemplified extraordinary achievement — received the “Portrait of a Nation Prize.” The inaugural honorees included baseball icon Hank Aaron, architect Maya Lin, fashion designer Carolina Herrera, music legend Aretha Franklin, and Medal of Honor recipient Corporal Kyle Carpenter, USMC.