Twenty years ago, during the 150th anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary I. Michael Heyman announced the creation of a national outreach program that would extend the reach of the Smithsonian collections to communities, museums and research organizations across the nation. To fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Smithsonian Affiliations was created to provide access to Smithsonian collections and vast resources. The program’s goal was to make sure those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., could experience and enjoy the Smithsonian in their own neighborhoods.
At the end of its first year, Smithsonian Affiliations welcomed 21 museums as Affiliates. Today, the program has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.
This month begins our series of highlighting the Smithsonian in Affiliate communities. We’ll be posting blogs, sharing photos on social media, inviting Affiliate guest authors to share their stories of being an Affiliate as well as Smithsonian guest authors sharing their history with Affiliates. We’ll be continuing this series through October 2016, so follow us along on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and this blog. We hope you’ve experienced the Smithsonian in YOUR neighborhood!
A gift to Smithsonian Affiliations will enhance our efforts to reach Americans in their own communities. Donate to the I. Michael Heyman Smithsonian Across America Fund today.
Are you a Smithsonian Affiliate? Contact us (email@example.com) for the logo and guidelines.